I want a tall hedge but keep it up to 5ft wide (once grown). I understand that for height I would need green giant arborvitae. However, they grow as wide as 15ft, whereas emerald green arborvitae would stay at 5ft wide.

Is there a way to keep the green giant 5ft wide or do I need to plant emerald green and give up the height?

  • What is the "tall height" you fail to mention?
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 15:32
  • @Ecnerwal I would like it more than 15ft tall if possible and up to 30ft.
    – aerijman
    Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 16:18
  • Do you have, or will you get, equipment that lets you effectively shear a 30 foot tall hedge? That's not a small job.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 16:24
  • @Ecnerwal, I don't have the equipment but I am willing to buy it and learn or pay. If you could point me to learning material I will appreciate. If so, green giant is indeed a good option?
    – aerijman
    Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 16:34
  • 2
    You should broaden your cultivar choice. For example, Taylor Junipers get at least 20 feet tall and only 3 feet wide. More details here, if you're interested: conifersociety.org/conifers/juniperus-virginiana-taylor This source shows a 25 ft height: plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/juniperus-virginiana-taylor And this source has 30 ft: monrovia.com/taylor-juniper.html. This tree would be perfect - yeah, you'd have to pay more (assuming it's available where you live), but you wouldn't have to spend the money to torture it into submission, either
    – Jurp
    Commented Apr 30, 2023 at 3:51

1 Answer 1


There are other arborvitae cultivars than these two - one of which might be more suited, if you can answer the height question.

Prune / shear / "hedge trim" compulsively. That may require some serious equipment investment if you are aiming for a 50 foot tall hedge, and a 50 foot tall hedge will also fail on the next point at 5 feet wide.

And don't do it vertically. If you want the bottom to be heathy and full, the bottom is 5 feet wide and the top is significantly less, so the whole thing can get some sun.

A trapezoid with the narrower side on top, not a rectangle.

  • Thank you @Ecnerwal. 50 ft tall would be more than I need. I get the point of the shape narrowing towards the top. I opened these 2 species because I can get either of these at normal price for 20 plants + planting them...
    – aerijman
    Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 16:21

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