How do I Winterize Thuja Green Giants?

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Snow and ice can damage Thuja Green Giant.
Snow and ice can damage Thuja Green Giant. (Image: winter landscape image by Canoneer from Fotolia.com)

Thuja Green Giant is a hybrid arborvitae tree. It is relatively resistant to deer browsing and grows more rapidly than other arborvitae. It is relatively pest-free and can be grown in almost any soil. Thuja Green Giant is often used in a privacy hedge. Its elegant pyramidal shape can reach 30 to 50 feet at maturity. Thuja Green Giant is hardy down to USDA hardiness zone 5. Although Thuja Green Giant is a tough tree, it can suffer winter damage from snow and ice, wind and winter drought.

Things You'll Need

  • Watering equipment
  • Mulch
  • Burlap
  • Twine or rope
  • Wooden stakes
  • Nails and hammer

Water your Thuja Green Giant deeply shortly before the ground freezes. This is especially important if your trees are still small and not yet well established. Winter air is dry and can dry out the leaves. The roots will dry out if the ground heaves. Mulch with wood chips or dried leaves to protect the roots. Use about 3 inches of mulch.

Protect Thuja Green Giant from snow and ice damage by wrapping it in burlap. Start from the bottom, spiraling up to the top. Leave about a foot open between strips of burlap. Use twine or rope to help keep the burlap in place.

Use just twine instead of burlap to tie up larger Thuja Green Giants to prevent winter damage. Again, start at the bottom and work your way up. Don't tie branches too tightly or you may break them and deform your tree.

Build a wind screen or fence for your Thuja Green Giant. A wind screen is a good option if you live in a windy area, your trees are still small and form a row or hedge. Place some wooden stakes in the ground next to your hedge and nail burlap to the stakes. This makes a good windbreak, because it protects the trees without cutting off air circulation. To protect your tree branches from snow and ice damage, you may also have to tie up your Thuja Green Giants with twine and rope.

Tips & Warnings

  • It may be sufficient to use twine instead of burlap even for your smaller Thuja Green Giants, depending on your conditions. Burlap can provide extra wind protection. Don't forget to remove the burlap and twine in the spring.
  • Never cover shrubs or trees with plastic; it may suffocate them.
  • Don't use wire to tie up your Thuja Green Giant; it can scar your trees.

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