Plant the Green Giant Arborvitae instead of Leyland Cypres
Leyland cypresses, XCupressocyparis leylandii, are not fairing
well in many landscapes. It is a fast growing tree used in
boarders and screens that had relatively few pest problems. Now
is has been suffering from branch dieback. Sadly it can cause
the death of the tree. Seiridium canker is the cause. This
disease is not to the point of wiping out this tree, but I would
recommend not planting this tree as it likly will in the future
be a major concern.
Thus landscape designers should seek a replacement for the
Leyland Cypress. One great choice is the Green Giant Arborvitae.
Green Giant arborvitae is becoming a superstar in the plant
world. It is the most popular arborviate next to the Emerald
Green Arborvita. The reason for its success is that it fills
landscape needs that are important. It will help block large
unsightly neighbors quickly and is basically pest free. It is
also a plant that is in the public domain and not protected by a
patnent. Thus anyone can propagate this plant.
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 a new "strain," a new species,
introduced by the Minnesota Valley Canning Company in 1925. You
see, these were huge peas when compared to the previously
marketed baby peas early-picked in June (that's sure early in
co-o-o-old Minnesota). LeSueur baby peas are still sold today in
their classic silver can as a gourmet vegetable.
Founded back in 1903, Minnesota Valley Canning was a pea company
located along the Minnesota River, which was the Dakota Sioux
name for "cloudy water," just southwest of Minneapolis and St.
Paul, the state capital. This is where there's a bottomland
"confluence" with the even cloudier, soil-rich, muddier
Mississippi River. The whole area, including surrounding towns
like LeSueur, got the title, the "Minnesota Valley." Ohhh. And
where did THAT name, LeSeur, come from you may be wondering?
Lesueur is the name of the original explorer of the area, a
Frenchmen of the early 1700's.
Minnessota is amidst the land of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox
Babe, tall tales about them a part of he culture. Maybe the
stories gave rise to ideas for how to advertise Green Giant Peas.
The "Jolly Green Giant" became incredibly popular as the way to
advertise those Green Giant Peas and by 1950 he was an "icon" as
we say today. There was a cartoon character created, ubiquitous
TV commercials and print advertising, even "giant-sized" highway
billboards, so the company changed its name to his.
So that is where the "Green Giant" comes from, 20th century
modern marketing, not ancient lore. The Green Giant Thuja
Plicata is in the same Juniper family as the original "tree of
life" Arborvitae, but with growth rates as fast as three feet
per year (gee, bamboo's the fastest grower at five feet per, but
it's just grass). Thuja Plicata trees grow to heights beyond 200
feet in the Pacific Northwest, this Western RedCedar is indeed
worthy of also taking the Green Giant name.
http://www.seedlingsrus.com , http://www.zone5trees.com , and
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.
Funny that the eastern cedar was given the Latin name for
"west" which is "occidental." You see? As I have observed
before, what's in a name? Highland Hill Farm is not located in a
town called Highland Hills, or, on Highland Hill Road, etc.
Scottish Highland Hills cows that we grazed on our first
property provided our company with a distinctive name when we
sold our first trees in 1978.
Green Giant Arborvitae ranges naturally all across the United
States from Massachusetts, southwesterly to Texas and New
Mexico, through northern Arizona, up the Sierra Nevada Mountains
to the state of Washington, and British Columbia beyond.
What does arborvitae mean anyway? Now that we know about the
derivation of "Green Giant," here's how the Latin name
Arborvitae, or "tree of life," came about. As the first
explorers of Canada were mapping the St. Lawrence River in 1536,
the tree was used for medicine which saved their leader and most
of the men too. Jacques Cartier explored the islands off eastern
Canada, and then sailed westward where he entered the St.
Lawrence River and found Quebec and a Royal Mountain (Mont Real,
which is now called "Montreal"). Cartier was searching for the
passage to China so many other explorers would also fail to
find. Cartier and his men had to spend a long winter inside a
little fort, away from the any sun, where they subsisted on
meat, fish, and bread, eating no fruits or vegetables. As scurvy
was killing most all of them, a friendly Huron Indian gave
Cartier's crew tea made from the needles and bark of a tree
which looked like the white cedars of Europe. So Cartier took
some trees back to France with him, these Thuja Occidentalis
Eastern White Cedars, naming them "Arborvitae," the tree of
life. How about that?
Arborvitae are native to the pacific northwest where they grow
to 200 feet tall, usually 50 to 70 feet is the common height,
even including here in Bucks county. Arborvitae do best in wet
forests and swamps. The Green Giant appearance is due to this
specie's wide 15-25 foot wide base, the slightly tapering
conical shape, and the dense branches and leaves casting great
dark shadows. The Arborvitae grows in zones 6 to 8, environments
with temperatures that get as low as 10 degrees below 0
Fahrenheit, such as in Missouri or Pennsylvania, to environments
where winter temperatures get only as low as 20 degrees above 0
Fahrenheit, such as mid-Texas and northern Florida.
Green Giant Arborvitae have pretty, yet surprisingly tiny
yellow flowers. The "pine cones," the fruit actually, of the
tree, follow the budding of the flowers and are also
surprisingly small compared to the size of a mature tree, being
no more than a half-inch in size. There are no problems with
tree litter understandably, and so few animals are attracted to
the Green Giant Arborvitae, perhaps because of this description.
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 do
have better deer resistance than most arborvitae. These trees
have been planted in high deer population areas. On our farm in
Doylestown we have lots of deer and do have damage the Emerald
Green Arborvitae. The Green Giants are eaten by deer only an
occasionally, a nibble here and there. Based on our own
observations over the years we feel that the Green Giants will
only be eaten by deer if there is no other feed available.
Now that you know all about 'em, Highland Hill Farm has at
least 50 or more Green Giant Arborvitae in our nursery ready for
pickup at any time. They will range from 1.5' to 12' and be
balled and burlapped or potted. We also have field liners and
seedling Green Giant available. There are many more varieties of
arborvitae available which we have in stock. If we don't stock
the variety you want we will find it for you if possible. See
Bills other web sites at http://www.seedlingsrus.com and