Thuja standishii x plicata 'Steeplechase' / Steeplechase hybrid arborvitae

Thuja standishii × plicata 'Steeplechase' is a popular and attractive dense, broadly pyramidal shrub-form of hybrid arborvitae with finely textured, rich-green foliage. It is an ideal choice for hedgerows, screens, or as as a standalone specimen. 'Steeplechase is an excellent alternative to Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) in colder climates where one desires a Mediterranean style.

At maturity, a specimen will measure 20 feet (6 m) tall and 8 feet (2.5 m) wide, an annual growth rate of 2 feet (60 cm). It will quickly become a massive tree that will be hard to keep in bounds even when judiciously pruned.

This cultivar originated as a branch sport found in 1990 on a specimen of 'Green Giant' by Alan Jones of Felton, Pennsylvania, USA. It was granted U.S. Plant Patent #16094 in 2004 for broader, more finely textured foliage than it's mother plant as well a denser, bushier growth habit.

Thuja standishii × plicata 'Steeplechase' — a 1999 accession at the New York Botanical Garden, The Bronx, New York (USDA Hardiness Zone 7a); photo from 2020.
A formidable hedgerow of Thuja × 'Steeplechase.'
Photo by The Gardener Direct, LLC


Barbara Wark

looking for an arborvitae that grows to only 6-8 feet, lush green and deer resistant, and more vertical shape than bushy.

Maxwell Cohn

such a plant does not exist. Arborvitae are a deer favorite everywhere, and no conifer will grow to a specific height and stop forever. All conifers grow at a constant and predictable rate for many decades, if not centuries.


If deer get hungry enough; i.e., during a harsh winter it is true they will eat any arborvitae. However, my understanding is that Green Giant, Spring Grove, or Steeplechase tend to be more deer resistant.

Brad Furfaro

They do not go after the Green Giant variety, but that is taller than you are looking for.