Emerald Green (a.k.a. ‘Smaragd) is a narrow, compact, pyramidal arborvitae with bright green foliage that grows in tight vertical sprays. It can get to be 15′ high and 4′ wide.
Like most arborvitae Emerald Green prefers full sun. And although it will tolerate some dryness once established, moist soil is its friend. I have found the plant becomes susceptible to spider mites when stressed from drought for too long.
The other susceptibility Emerald shares with many other arborvitae is “deer browsing”. There are other varieties like ‘Green Giant’ to choose from if deer are an issue. Always check with nurseries and the agricultural extension service in your area on “deer resistant” plants. This is not a universal science and varies from region to region.
Like many (but not all) arborvitae it can have multiple stems. These stems can splay out under the heavy load of snow and ice. Whenever I plant an arborvitae with multiple stems, I tie a loose loop with ArborTie around the main stems about 3/4 of the way up.
I’ve probably mentioned it before and rest assured I’ll mention it again, “Use the right plant in the right place”. And although there are several considerations when selecting a plant, make your first consideration space requirement. For this you need to know 2 things:
- What is the available space a plant has to grow? (Don’t forget neighboring plants grow too!) and
- What is the potential mature growth of the plant you’re considering?
In the picture below you can see the limited space between the property line and driveway. Arborvitae ‘Emerald Green’ makes a good choice here because it naturally stays within this space and yet grows tall without any trimming. That’s right, put away your gas or electric powered shears and let this beautiful plant develop on its own. Just look at the tufts of foliage with varying hues of green and the multiple spires on top.
This happens to be a favorite of mine, in part because it’s so useful as a taller plant in tight spaces. Have you used other plants besides Emerald Green in situations like this?