American Arborvitae Characteristics
Arborvitae (thuja) are a very common border planting in the mid-Atlantic landscape. Varieties can vary greatly in size, shape and foliage type, although some are hardier than others.
'Emerald Green' (pictured) is a smaller variety that does well as a foundation planting and green screen in smaller settings. Arborvitae 'Nigra' is very similar to the 'Emerald Green' in foliage and shape, though a much larger grower. Its needles are less densely packed, giving it a looser feel. 'Nigra' can grow to 30' in height.
Arborvitae 'Green Giant,' a fast-growing variety that can reach over 40' in height, is a great border plant that thrives as a hedge and is deer-resistant in all but the most extreme circumstances.
A common sight with many juniper and arborvitae plants is deer browsing - 36-48" of bare growth at the bottom of the tree where deer have eaten away at the plant. Not all arborvitae varieties are deer-resistant, so it is important to understand your varieties when considering selections for your landscape.