Discover The Two Most Popular Arborvitae and When to Plant Them

The Arborvitae (Thuja) is native to North America and East Asia that is characterized by its dense foliage and beautiful greenery that remains throughout the year. Arborvitaes can vary in size and shape, ranging from small shrubs to medium-sized trees. The name “arborvitae” translates from Latin to “tree of life,”.

Arborvitaes are popular for decorating or creating privacy on residential properties, commercial businesses, and parks/outdoor spaces. Here we are going to discuss the two most popular species of arborvitaes that can be used in landscaping for their ornamental purposes, privacy screens, or even help your home/building acting as windbreakers.

1.      Emerald Green (Also known as an Evergreen Arborvitae)

The Emerald Green Arborvitae, scientifically known as Thuja occidentalis, stands out as a beloved choice among arborvitaes. Renowned for its dense emerald-green foliage, this compact evergreen shrub grows upright, making it perfect for privacy screens, hedges, or as a focal point in smaller landscapes and narrow spaces.

It’s no surprise that this variety is one of our top picks for customers. Its vibrant green hue and robust growth make it a favorite. Once established, it requires minimal maintenance, adding to its appeal. However, it’s important to note that the Emerald Green Arborvitae are not deer-resistant. If deer are a concern in your area, you might want to consider the Green Giant Arborvitae instead, as it boasts deer resistance.

Key Features of the Emerald Green Arborvitae:

  • Narrow width reaching to the height of 10-15 feet tall with a width of 3-4 feet at maturity
  • Maintains shape without extensive pruning (great for low maintenance customers!)
  • Prefers full sunlight and a well draining soil but can tolerate partial shade. At least 6 hours of sunlight is needed.
  • Not deer resistant (unless fencing or a net is placed around the area the arborvitaes are planted in)
  • Regular watering is needed in the 6+ weeks of planting but once establish minimal watering is required and is tolerant to droughts
  • Adds a lighter green vertical accent in a smaller landscape and is a preferred plant for creating a privacy screen, wind break, or a hedge.

2. Green Giant

The Green Giant Arborvitae, also referred to as Thuja standishii x plicata, is a hybrid of the Japanese arborvitae and the Western Red Cedar. This impressive species can reach heights of 30-60 feet at maturity, with a spread of 12-18 feet wide. Its dense branching structure makes it an excellent choice for two-story homeowners seeking privacy screens or windbreaks.

One of its most impressive features is its rapid growth rate, earning it the name “Green Giant.” In optimal conditions, this shrub can grow up to 1-3 feet or more per year. Additionally, it carries a higher resistance to deer, diseases, insects, and periodic droughts.

While the fast growth rate is an advantage, it can also pose challenges. In regions like Michigan with harsh winters and heavy snowfall, the tall shrub may be susceptible to being weighed down by snow, potentially causing it to bend or even fall. Furthermore, maintaining its shape through pruning, trimming, or shaping may require attention 2-3 times a year, depending on desired aesthetics.

Arborvitae Bushes

Key Features of the Green Giant Arborvitae:

  • Impressive height growth, reaching 30-60 feet tall and 12-18 feet wide –  Has a greater resistance from deer (compared to the Emerald Green Arborvitae)
  • Prefers full sun when planting, at least 6-8 hours of sunlight is recommended daily.
  • Regular watering is needed in the 6+ weeks of planting but once establish minimal watering is required and is tolerant to droughts
  • Might need to be trimmed more often compared to the Emerald Green Arborvitae due to rapid growth rate
  • Adds a darker green colonial shape to landscapes When is the best time of year to plant arborvitaes?

The best time to plant arborvitaes is in early Spring or early Fall. These times of the year are perfect weather conditions for the roots to become well established before stronger weather conditions, i.e. burning hot or freezing cold temperatures set in.

Early Spring:

After there is no longer a worry of freezing temperatures becomes the perfect time to plant new arborvitaes, this allows for the root system to grow and mature before the onset of winter weather. With the moderate temperature and consistent rain fall during the spring time, this improves the moisture levels in the soil that helps with growth.

Early Fall:

When the temperature starts to cool around the middle of September and the soil is still warm is another great time to plant arborvitaes. The arborvitae will experience less stress when the temperatures are cooling down and it will help the roots and overall plant grow without the worry of quick dehydration that could happen during the summer time.

By planting arborvitaes around these times of the year, you will give them the best opportunity to grow and thrive for years to come.


Emerald Green and Green Giant Arborvitaes can improve the aesthetics of your landscape and can bring a vibrant foliage to your property. These arborvitaes provide more than just ornamental values; they serve practical benefits such as natural barriers, giving a shield your property from unwanted views, noise, and wind. Additionally, their evergreen foliage ensures a constant splash of greenery throughout the year, even during the dreary winter months.

If you’re interested in learning more information about planting arborvitaes, contact us today! At Metro Detroit Tree, we can help you pick out the right arborvitaes for your space and plant them for you; plus we can give you additional tips to help your freshly planted arborvitae grow and flourish.

Contact us today! (586) 625-3398

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Metro Detroit Tree did a Perfect and Professional job from quote to completion. I can't imagine a better tree service.
Guy S.
I just moved in into my house and I had a dead pear tree looming over my roof. I called Metro Detroit tree & firewood. Setup an app. For quote. The owner came out, walked my yard with me. Gave me a good price on a couple things I needed done. I’m very happy with the work. I came home Everything was done. I couldn’t take off work. The owner was present at my home . No need! I would definitely call them again if I need them. Thanks Talima.👍🏽
Gary K.
This is the second year in a row that we have used Metro Detroit Tree & Firewood, and the second time we have had an excellent experience. They are professional and show up with a good size crew, with everyone knowing exactly what their responsibility is. They hit the ground running and were able to perform all of the tasks in a timely manner, quick cleanup, and on their way to the next job. My wife and I watched the entire process and were amazed by the efficiency. We will continue to call Metro Detroit Tree & Firewood for all of our tree and shrub service needs.
Andrew G
Professional and got the job done right!
Teresa V
They did a great job and were professional. Had about 5 companies come out to give me quotes and I’m very glad I decided to go with Metro Detroit Tree!
Barb B.
I can't say enough great things about Jose and his crew! Of the 4 estimates we received, Metro Detroit Tree & Firewood was the only company that would grind the stumps. The other companies claimed the stumps were too close to the fence and shed. We are very happy with the job that was done and highly recommended Meyro Detroit Tree & Firewood, and they will be the first tree service companyI call in the future.
Kelly T.
Great communication in scheduling. Crew was bery efficient and clean up was great! We are very pleased.
MDTF showed up early, reviewd what I requested and made some valuable suggestions for trimming my tree. The results were better than I expected and the team were fast, through and cleaned up to the point that you couldn't notice they were ever there. Highly recommend MDTF for any tree services! Very pleased with the entire experience!
Joyce C.
Timely service, great communication, gets the job done
Russell G.
The crew showed ready to get the job done. All the services were performed professionally and the property was cleaned up before they left.
Vicki H.
Very pleased with my whole experience with Metro Detroit Trees. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. I had a tree that needed to be trimmed in my backyard, they gave me a VERY good quote and were very efficient when they cut it down. I will hire them again in the future!
kirsten W
Metro Detroit Tree & Firewood did an outstanding job! No mess left. Timely and quick! I was impressed. Plus competitive in price! I have my own insurance agency and plan to give out this organization to my clients for tree work!
Robert B.
Jose and his crew did a fantastic job on our tree. They came and removed a lot of big dead branches and cleaned up the smaller ones. They are very professional and very quick. They got here did the work, cleaned it up and were leaving in 1 hour. It was a medium sized job, but they handled it like it was just a little trim work. They have a very experienced crew that came ready to work. They did exactly what they said they would do, the price was great and the work is the best. I will recommend them to everyone I know. I already gave my neighbor one of their business cards. They also kept my neighbor and her 3 year old very entertained, the 3 year old loved all the big trucks and equipment. I'm very satisfied.
Mary V M.
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Karen C.
I highly recommend Metro Detroit Tree for your tree trimming/removal and/or lot clearing needs. From my first call requesting a quote to completion of the job, they were responsive, professional, punctual, hard working and thorough.
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Metro Detroit Tree & Firewood was an amazingly skillful and professional company. They provided me with a free and easy quote just a day or so after I contacted the company. The man who inspected the tree was super friendly and knowledgeable. I was even provided a copy of their insurance with the quote. It's the little touches like a copy of the insurance that helps consumers (at least me) feel at ease with a business. The removal of my decrepit and potentially dangerous Silver Maple was efficient and clean. They left no messes in my neighbors driveway which just highlights their respect and professionalism. I would call Metro Detroit Tree again if I ever needed tree services. I highly recommend you call them for a quote if you've got any tree needs!
Connie M.
We had a tree fall in our yard at night, the next morning my husband called Metro Detroit tree, someone came out that morning. And they were able to cut the tree down the very next day. There was a crew of 4 and they were fast and cleaned up everything. We are very happy with their service.
Dawn S.
Job well done. Very professional, efficient and friendly. I'm extremely satisfied and happy. Highly recommend 👌
Kelli B.
Josè was so professional when he came to provide my quote and even pointed out more that I needed done which wouldn’t be much of a price difference. Raul did my work today with the team they were timely quick and cleaned up like nothing happened. Price was reasonable and I will be calling again!
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Brad M.
Very pleased with this company. Very professional and experienced in providing a thorough estimate. The tree removal was expertly done in removing a large tree in a backyard with limited access, power lines, etc. The crew was able to remove the trees and grind down the stumps all in half a day and cleaned everything up. Highly recommend reaching out to this company, we will be using them again!
Detroit Metro Tree. Exceptional company! Fantastic work at great prices. I had 2 large pine trees removed from my backyard (over 40 ft. tall each). Work completed in under 2 hours. Complete clean up as if they were never there. I highly recommend this company.
Miguel M.
Had an excellent experience with this company, on time and quick work. I will recommend this company to friends and family. Thank you
Daniel R.
I've worked with Metro Detroit Tree twice now & have been very pleased with their work. They came out quickly after a storm last winter to handle some down limbs on wires & trees. Last week, I hired them to take down 15 trees & stumps. Their prices are fair, they show up when they say they will & are very communicative about details. They bring a large, well equipped crew, work very clean, and are very conscientious. Carlos & Raoul and company are refreshing to work with.
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Highly Recommend!! Great Crew .. Great Job from start to finish .,
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Professional and quick service. Will be using again in the future.
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This company is the go to company for tree service. They were professional, courteous and did a very good job trimming our 2 trees, cleaning up and didn't even clobber not one of my flowers. Thank you so much 💓 💗 💛
Diane D.
Jose, Raul and "The Crew" came out to our home in St. Clair Shores to prune 2 big trees. The quote was very fair. The workmanship and professionalism were TOP-NOTCH!! I mean, these guys were good. They got out to the site a half hour earlier than promised. They got to work and BOOM, BOOM, were done in an hour. My wife and I were so happy we called Metro Detroit Tree and Firewood, LLC. We do recommend this company to EVERYBODY WE KNOW!!! Thanks Guys. God Bless Metro Detroit Tree and Firewood LLC.
kathy M.
They came early with a slew of trucks and men, got right to work and were out of my yard in an hour and they cleaned up everything - even blew the old leaves off the roof!
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S B.
I cannot say enough great things about this company from scheduling, pricing, completed work, clean-up and the courtesy of the entire crew. They were on-time and completed what I thought was a very large job within 2 hours. The team was extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. I highly recommend and will be using again. Thank you!
Jim R.
I've trusted Jose @ Metro Detroit Tree for over two years now. From my first call to Tolima, the fantastic service & care started! Jose is professional, prompt & courteous. I would highly recommend them to everyone that needs tree's removed, bush's pulled, and much much more! They are quick and efficient. If I could give them 10 Stars I would! Great company & another very happy customer..Thank you Jose & Tolima!!
Renee' D.
MDT&F WOW!What a professional operation this crew runs! They were respectful and listened to what I needed. They have all of the equipment necessary to complete the job--a large crew, big trucks, cherry pickers, chippers, bulldozers, stump grinders AND, they put a partition around the stump when they were grinding, to prevent it from flying into my neighbor's yard.When they were cutting, they took the extra time needed to direct where the limbs fell, so as not to damage wires, structures etc... they raked up all of the debris and smoothed out the area. These guy's work well as a team and everybody knows what to do. José (owner) pays attention to every detail.Their prices are fair and affordable. I recommend them highly. I am very happy with the job they did. Amazing!
David W.
We have a 70+ year old no fruit bearing mulberry tree that we had trimmed and topped today. It makes all the difference in the world in our yard. Here are before and after pictures. These guys were here about 45 mins and did a outstanding job.If you need some work done on a tree, these are the guys to call. Prices are very reasonable.
Sandy R.
This company is the BEST. I called several for the removal of several large trees and they were perfect. Prompt callbacks, setting appointment to come out, calling ahead, showing up on time, immediate quote followed up by a written quote, the most competitive quote I was able to get (I usually don't take the lowest but they were so professional). I accepted the quote and they scheduled it for the next day, came out, did the job and cleaned up. There's no way it could have been better. Highly recommended.
Carl S.
Metro Detroit Tree & Firewood were out today and trimmed four of my trees. The crabapple in the front of my house was the one I really wanted trimmed. They did a fantastic job. The tree was trimmed exactly like I wanted. The others were also trimmed as I requested. I’m extremely pleased and will have them out every year to trim up my trees.
Brian H.
Metro Detroit Tree & Firewood did an excellent job! They were great at communicating from first day I called for a quote, to booking the job and following thru to the day of. My job had to be rescheduled due to weather and the first thing when they opened the day before my scheduled job was contact me.Metro Detriot Tree & Firewood was very professional, they arrived on time and provided a great service. Took the Tree down, stump ground and cleaned up all mess that was from their service.I recommend them and would use them again!
Matt P.
Jose came out to our house and gave us a very competitive estimate for trimming several trees. He was professional and arrived when he said he would. He provided a written estimate and gave me a copy of his insurance. I called the next day and scheduled the work. The other estimates that we received were higher and required 50% deposits just to schedule. They arrived the next day with 6 or 7 trucks and a large crew on time. All in matching uniforms, new trucks or very well cared for. All workers were also very professional. They were very impressive. The job was finished in 90 minutes, and they cleaned up the yard. It looked better than when they arrived. I asked Jose for a referral for another type of contractor, and he gave me a couple of names to help us since we were new to the neighborhood. Great service, people and exceptional quality of work at a better than competitive price.
Elaine G.
Simply the best. Better than all the rest. They are professionals, have the right equipment and do a wonderful job. Clean up is perfection
kyra W.
Great service! The team was quick, polite, and did a great job removing the 2 trees from my yard. They removed the stumps - you can't tell that a tree was originally there! Fantastic work!
Rifat I.
The guys came and gave an called back from the office to schedule. Communication from their office is superb and the sister was able to facilitate the entire job seamlessly. They were able to take down 2 of my trees within 2 hours, packed and gone. Even without the grass, you wouldn’t even know that there were any trees back there.Highly recommended team and excellent communication!
kathryn L.
They were amazing! They trimmed the tree and made it look GOOD, took all of the wood, and cleaned it up so we barely knew they had been there! We are so incredibly pleased with their work and will use them in the future.
Annette Z.
Metro Detroit Tree & Firewood were great , got the tree down fast and cleaned up fast , very professional and friendly , I highly recommended them 🙂
Mike N.
Very polite, professional and fairly priced!
Anjali A.
Had multiple services for my home, Tree trimming, stump grinding, tree volcano removal, dead tree removal. All were done great and very quickly. Thank you all very much for a great job! I highly recommend this company!
Steve F.
Jose and his team did a fantastic job trimming a few trees for me. Great attention to detail and very customer oriented.
Sharese M.
I was very pleased with the service the level of expertise on cutting my tree down . I highly recommend this company

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