Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' / Emerald Green arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is a narrow upright selection of arborvitae with fine branchlets and glossy, emerald-green foliage that does not become bronze in winter. It is an extremely popular plant for use in hedgerows and borders. After 10 years in the landscape, a specimen will be considered mature at roughly 6 feet (2 m) tall and 18 inches (50 cm) wide, rate of growth approaching 1 foot (30 cm) per year.

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in 1950 by D. T. Poulsen Nursery, Kvistgaard Denmark. It is marketed in the U.S. under the trade name Emerald Green™, a designation that is generally rejected by nomenclature purists.

Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' — an example of its most-common use.
Photo by Sam Pratt, courtesy of Conifer Kingdom inc.



These are everywhere near me, but it's easy to see why because they're very striking. Most people allow theirs to grow multiple leaders, but I keep mine to a single leader.


beautiful trees. I've had mine for a year and they have dead branches in the interior. What can I do about this?

David Olszyk

you should cut them away or ignore them. This is typical behavior for these kinds of plants.