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Green Giant

Hello Jim,
I saw your answer about the Green Giant and was wondering how it does in shade. I have read that the Western Redcedar is excellent in shade and was wondering if those traits carried to its relative the Green Giant.

Thanks for your help.


It does best in Partial Shade/Full Sun. Total shade will stunt the tree. Green Giant's most vigorous growth will be in full sun, but it will also perform well in light shade.

The original Green Giant got its name not from ancient lore, but from unusually extra large, hence "giant," green peas. These "Green Giant Peas" were introduced by the Minnesota Valley Canning Company in 1925, in contrast to their previously marketed LeSueur baby peas, early-picked in June. Founded in 1903, this pea company was located in the valley of the Minnesota River, the Dakota Sioux name for "cloudy water," just southwest of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the state capital. This is where there's a "confluence" with the even cloudier and muddier Mississippi River giving the whole area, including the surrounding towns like LeSueur, the title of "the Minnesota Valley." Lesueur is the name of the original explorer of the area, a Frenchmen of the early 1700's. By 1950, the "Jolly Green Giant" was so popular, such an "icon" as we say today, with a cartoon character created, etc., he became the basis of the company's new name. So that is where Green Giant comes from, modern marketing, not ancient lore...

The Green Giant Arborvitae is more properly named by tree scientists the "Thuja Plicata," with the other common historic names being, "giant cedar," also "western cedar," and "red cedar." There's only one other Arborvitae specie in all of North America, the "eastern cedar," or "white cedar," with "Thuja Occidentalis," as the tree scientist's Latin name, the botanist's name. This short tree is actually what we usually think of when the "genus" juniper is mentioned.

The Green Giant Arborvitae is recommended for growing as a hedge or privacy buffer along a property line, or driveway. Thuja Plicata, Western Red Cedars are ideal "windrow" trees. In a row, they'll truly diminish the wind. The Green Giant Arborvitae is justifiably considered wind resistant considering the windswept mountains of the Pacific northwest. The wood itself is weak, but it is very light. Green Giant Arborvitae trees are decay resistant, too, but the "Achilles Heel," the one and only vulnerability, is to being eaten by deer. Any Arborvitae are a favorite "deer browse," or as we jokingly say, "deer candy." The Western Red Cedar, the Green Giant Arborvitae do have better deer resistance than most arborvitae. Do not plant arborvitae too far away from structures, lights, roads, etc., where there's quietude and privacy for the "browsing deer

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