Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’

emerald green cedar

  • © David Jones

Outstanding Qualities

Emerald green cedar is a consistent performer in the landscape. Tight, pyramidal, evergreen spires work well as a hedge or to create a punctuation mark in the garden. It is popular because it retains its bright emerald green color throughout the year and has an attractive pattern to its branches. Emerald cedars have a naturally tight growing habit, so the only pruning required is to even up the top of the hedge.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: pyramidal conifer

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 25 ft. 0 in. (7.62 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 3 to 8

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant once established

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: silver, burgundy, gold

Great Color Partners: dark green, chartreuse, blue

Culture Notes
Emerald cedars thrive in full sun in fertile, well-drained soil with summer watering for the first few seasons. In these conditions, they grow 8 to 12 inches a year. Then their growth slows dramatically at about 15 feet high by 4 feet wide. Do not allow a newly planted cedar to dry out completely as it may drop foliage and become bare and unattractive. A soaker hose and mulch are ideal for a new cedar hedge. Once established, cedars are drought tolerant. Set hedge plants 18 to 24 inches from center to center, depending on how large the plants are initially. When planting "b&b" (balled and burlapped) cedars, be sure to cut the burlap and twine away from the trunk once the root ball has been positioned in the planting hole. As plants are shaped somewhat like upside-down ice cream cones, the top of the hedge makes a zig-zag line until plants fill in completely.Even the tops of the plants as needed. Hedges can be kept between 8 and 15 feet.
Geek Notes
'Smaragd' means "emerald" in Danish, which is where this clone originated.