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Which Arborvitae is Right for my Hedge?

Though they may appear really similar at first glance, not all arborvitaes are the same! Some grow faster, some take up less space, and some, like Full Speed A Hedge arborvitaes, do both. our chart compares Full Speed A Hedge arborvitaes to the two most popular other arborvitaes – ‘Green Giant’ and ‘Emerald’ – so you can make the right choice for your hedge planting project. 

A row of Full Speed a Hedge American Pillar Arborvitae
Full Speed a Hedge 'American Pillar'
Habit depiction of American Pillar

Botanical Name: Thuja occidentalis

Where Developed: Woodstock, Georgia

Native to: Eastern North America

Height: 15 – 20′

Width: 3 – 5′

Growth Rate: Very fast

Color: Green in summer and winter

Hardiness/Heat Tolerance: USDA Zone 3 to 8

Number of Plants Needed for a Hedge: 8

a hedge of Thin Man arborvitae in a garden
Full Speed a Hedge 'Thin Man'
Habit depiction of Thin Man

Botanical Name: Thuja occidentalis

Where Developed: Grand Haven, Michigan

Native to: Eastern North America

Height: 12 – 15′

Width: 3 – 5′

Growth Rate: Fast

Color: Green in summer and winter

Hardiness/Heat Tolerance: USDA Zone 3 to 7

Number of Plants Needed for a Hedge: 8

A green Giant thuja planted beside a house
'Green Giant'
Habit depiction of Green Giant

Botanical Name: Thuja standishii x T. plicata

Where Developed: U.S. National Arboretum by way of Denmark

Native to: Hybrid of Japanese and Western North American Species

Height: 50 – 60′

Width: 15 – 20′

Growth Rate: Fast

Color: Green in summer and bronze in winter

Hardiness/Heat Tolerance: USDA Zone 5 to 8

Number of Plants Needed for a Hedge: 4 – 5

A row of Emerald Green Arborvitae lining a path
Emerald Green (aka 'Emerald' or 'Smaragd')
Habit depiction of Emerald Green

Botanical Name: Thuja occidentalis

Where Developed: Denmark

Native to: Eastern North America

Height: 12 – 14′

Width: 3 – 4′

Growth Rate: Medium

Color: Green in summer, some yellow in winter in cold areas

Hardiness/Heat Tolerance: USDA Zone 3 to 7

Number of Plants Needed for a Hedge: 8 – 9

Full Speed a Hedge 'American Pillar' 'Green Giant' Emerald Green (aka 'Emerald' or 'Smaragd')
Botanical Name
Full Speed a Hedge 'American Pillar' Thuja occidentalis
'Green Giant' Thuja standishii x T. plicata
Emerald Green (aka 'Emerald' or 'Smaragd') Thuja occidentalis
Where Developed
Full Speed a Hedge 'American Pillar' Woodstock, Georgia
'Green Giant' U.S. National Arboretum by way of Denmark
Emerald Green (aka 'Emerald' or 'Smaragd') Denmark
Native to
Full Speed a Hedge 'American Pillar' Eastern North America
'Green Giant' Hybrid of Japanese and Western North American Species
Emerald Green (aka 'Emerald' or 'Smaragd') Eastern North America
Height
Full Speed a Hedge 'American Pillar' 15 - 20'
'Green Giant' 50 - 60'
Emerald Green (aka 'Emerald' or 'Smaragd') 12 - 14'
Width
Full Speed a Hedge 'American Pillar' 3 - 5'
'Green Giant' 15 - 20'
Emerald Green (aka 'Emerald' or 'Smaragd') 3 - 4'
Growth Rate
Full Speed a Hedge 'American Pillar' Fast
'Green Giant' Fast
Emerald Green (aka 'Emerald' or 'Smaragd') Medium
Color
Full Speed a Hedge 'American Pillar' Green in Summer and Winter
'Green Giant' Green in Summer and Bronze in Winter
Emerald Green (aka 'Emerald' or 'Smaragd') Green in Summer, Some Yellow in Winter in Cold Areas
Hardiness/Heat Tolerance
Full Speed a Hedge 'American Pillar' USDA Zone 3 / USDA Zone 7
'Green Giant' USDA Zone 5 / USDA Zone 8
Emerald Green (aka 'Emerald' or 'Smaragd') USDA Zone 3 / USDA Zone 7
Number of Plants Needed for a Hedge
Full Speed a Hedge 'American Pillar' 8
'Green Giant' 4 - 5
Emerald Green (aka 'Emerald' or 'Smaragd') 8 - 9