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Green Giant Arborvitae spacing question

5007 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  chandler48
Hello everyone,

I am currently planting Green Giant Thuja's along my fence line. My space is wide enough for one row but not for two staggering rows. So my question is how close can they be planted next to each other without causing growth issues? Right now I have them eight feet apart, it seemed like a good idea due to their spread. However I only planted them for privacy, which won't be accomplished unless I can get at least 6 foot wall above my fence (6ft). I came across a business nearby that has theirs spaced ten foot and it seems this may be futile.

With that being said if I planted more they obviously would end up being four foot apart. If that won't work what do you guys think about alternative between giants and emeralds? I wasn't sure if being more narrow might work out.

I appreciate the help!
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If you want the height, your 8' spacing is fine for untrimmed plants. Because of the conical shape you'll have lots of space between them for the first 20-30+ years. If you want a screened hedge, it is fine to plant them 5'-6' apart and maintain them to insure full growth down low. You can plant another row staggered only 3'-4' from the first row, it doesn't have to be 8' away. If they were small potted and you just planted, it should be easy to relocate if you choose so.
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@Aleforge, welcome!

How wide is your space, in feet across? Aproximately? (I just do heel-to-toe with my 13" feet and do the math.)

I concur with @3onthetree; knowing how much space you have might be useful for other things, like possible additional plantings, etc.

Though I'm in California now, I lived in Ohio for many years before coming out here. My mom and dad (now my brother's) house had a-vitae in front for many years. If used wisely, a very nice, trouble free barrier or hedge.
I didn't get a notification so I missed this! Thank you guys for the help (and welcoming).

The height isn't as important as the higher screening. My fence is 8 foot wide by 6 foot (solid panel) so even the bottom width won't be doing much for me. I have about 10 foot of grass width, then large patio extending outward and I am fine with the overhang (so it's shifted a bit). It's a fairly tight spot but I REALLY can't stand my neighbors. Their yard alone would scare off prospective buyers. Plus there kid climbs their tree to peak into our yard... which has a pool (creepy).

Anyhow... I know I don't have the room to stagger. I considered emeralds as they would make more sense but you guys know how many more I would need. I have a few already and they also seem to be slower growers.

How risky would 4 foot spacing be? Not that it's "nice" to the next owners but I won't be living in my house for 20 more years. We plan to move when my son grad HS. Which is about 7-8 years away.
Make sure you're subscribed to the thread, I think there may be a general setting when you make a post to defer to that or not, can't remember. Emails are sometimes spotty for me.

I suppose you can plant them 4' apart, that's not much different than recommended 5'-6'. I assume you planted them in the middle of the 10' space so 5' from the fence. You can then stagger the row a 1' or so around that 5' line which may help the closer spacing. The growth rate is superfast to reach your 12' screen goal, but it'll still be 'spindly' up high until you get to maybe 20'-30' or so tall to fill in the shape (unmanaged at least). If you really want a hedge fast up high, you have to spend the $150-$450 per plant to get 6'-10' tall to start with, not the little potted 3' from Lowes for $34.99.

I feel for ya, eventually the kid will figure out drones and you'll have a different problem.
Luckily I did buy 7 footers, I tried to go as large as possible to start out. And uh.. I got them from Home Depot... (wait for it)... for 29.99 each... , I am honestly thinking they screwed up tagging them. I did about a weeks worth of shopping around prior and my local nursery wanted 179 for 6-7 foot ones.

I have a feeling that there are either none left or they "fixed" the price tag. I need to run back up there this weekend and find out. Although I will say they had some 10-12 footers for about 100 and I heard people freaking out. However they only had 2 and I had to fit my 6 in a sedan.

So your thinking I could stagger them in such a tight space? I guess moving them one foot away does make them 5 foot spaced in the end. I had never considered that.

As far as spindly, are you suppose to cut that tall leader off once they get closer to the height you want to make them more bushy?
Luckily I did buy 7 footers, . . . .
I had to fit my 6 in a sedan.

As far as spindly, are you suppose to cut that tall leader off once they get closer to the height you want to make them more bushy?
LOL sunroof? You certainly gots the dealio.

You can trim them to have it fill in wider at the top. It's a process like Mr Miyagi and his bonsai. There are probably some botanical sites that would describe the whens and hows better than I know.
I put them through the trunk and they ended up against my back seats and a bit through the console. Smelled like Christmas in there. Funny enough I rushed to my car with my wife and tried to get them in as quickly as possibly due to looking like an idiot. Everyone around me had giant trucks... although people afterwards were impressed it seemed.

I will look that up once they get to that point someday. As mentioned I really appreciate the help!
Smelled like Christmas in there.
I will look that up once they get to that point someday.
And maybe a bit sticky afterwards!

I believe you have to trim as they grow to insure fill-in. Here's a good website, also I seem to remember seeing in-depth info on a Missouri Botanical garden or UofI Ag site or something.

I use Techny Thujas because they are a little less coned so I don't have to prune and foliage seems a bit denser than Giants.
Thanks for the link, checking it out now!

I didn't know there was such a thing as "Techny Thuja's". :plain:
I live in the Eastern part of PA and my Home Depots doesn't make price mistakes. What should I pay for 7 footers? any suggestion where I can get a fair deal for Green Giant Arborvitae?
@PA GUY you are responding to a 3 year old thread. It is always best to start your own threads giving as much information as you think we need and post pictures so we can see what you see, if necessary.
My trees are only about seven foot. Its raining like crazy here today so the clay soil will be squishy and maybe I can dig them up with the root ball somewhat covered in clay. And dig a new hole three feet away. Remember doing a lot of research and that was the number I kept coming up with. My wife keeps insisting they will be fine but you pretty much confirmed my worries. I do not want to wait 15 years to get even a small bit of privacy. Do you have any kind of guesstimate on the time needed for privacy to start between 8 vs 6 spacing. I need something to point out.
Still a 3 year old thread. It is always best to start your own thread with pertinent information and post pictures so we can see what you see.
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