September 15, 2018 Ed Stam

Emerald Green Trees are Perfect for Privacy Screens

Officially classified under the scientific name, Thuja Occidentalis, the “Emerald Green” tree is also part of the Arborvitae species; which means “tree of life.” This is due in part to the alleged medicinal value of its resin. While their medical value is debatable, Emerald Green trees are perfect for privacy screens and to add a touch of colour to your property all year-round.

Although commonly referred to as tall shrubs, this plant is technically a tree and will be referred to as such in this article.


The Emerald Green does great in full sunshine, although it not technically considered a drought-tolerant plant. However, during the hot summer months in BC you will not have to slave over this tree like you would more fragile plants. Also, in the winter you can expect the same beautiful green colour you enjoy in other seasons.

This tree usually reaches around 12-14 feet in height, with a spread of 3-4 feet that takes on a pyramid shape. It is a slow grower which makes in perfect for privacy screen that could outlive you. Arborvitae trees have an average life expectancy of 50 to 150 years, although they can start to look weathered in the later years of the life span. You can safely expect a good 20 to 30 years of use in your property.

Landscaping Uses

Emerald Green trees are perfect for privacy screens, windbreaks or simply to define a border. The tree is big enough to act as a screen, without being overwhelmingly massive like some other species in this category.

To create a dense privacy screen, proper spacing is important when planting. We recommend placing plants 2-3 feet apart to create the densest screens, however there is a potential drawback. Crowding these trees too much can damage the inner leaves due to lack of airflow, hurting the overall health of the tree. Spacing them four feet apart will allow better airflow, but less privacy.

Emerald Green trees are perfect for privacy screens in the northwest dur to their hardiness and resistance to cold, rainy weather. The popularity of these plants is increasing due to its practical uses and desirable traits. If you are interested in living privacy screens or other decorative borders, we encourage you to contact Blossom Hill Landscape & Design today!

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