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Starting Thuja Green Giants from seed

I just bought some thuja seeds and I have no idea what to do with them. I have about 400 feet of backyard that I need to privatize (just one side for now) and thuja’s at the local green house go for $25-35 each which to me is crazy. so I thought about trying my hand at starting some.

I have read about different ways to start them 1) soil in ziplock, in fridge for upteen years (not literally) 2) freezer, drown in water then plant 3) plant in a “greenhouse” and let’er fly or 4) plant where you want them outside and cross your fingers.

Has anyone ever tried started thuja’s by seed? and if so, what technique did you use and was it successful?

Right now I have two in a mini green house on my window sill that I planted yesterday so we will see what comes of it, if anything.

rusty_blackhaw

You can also buy seedling Green Giants (7-10 inches tall) online for $2.50 each.

I’m not going to put in a plug for the company offering this price, but I did buy my own Green Giants from them (a larger size from what I remember) over a decade ago, and they are doing well (the tallest is close to 20 feet). Nice trees, relatively carefree except for a little deer browse in their early years. They weren’t as fast-growing as advertised, but then again I didn’t go nuts fertilizing them.

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Comments (18)

hairmetal4ever

You can start Thuja from seed, but they won’t be ‘green Giant’, they will just be generic arbs.

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Embothrium

Would be expected to show a range of characters of the parent species, a resulting hedge might not be uniform. Would also be expected to need a cold treatment before being able to germinate, you should be able to find valid information on growing Thuja species from seed on the web. Otherwise maybe at a college library. You will have to decide which source seems to be giving you the straight dope and proceed from there. Where I live I think a typical routine in a commercial setting would be to plant the fresh seeds when mature in fall in a cold greenhouse and move on the resulting seedlings the following year. An important point in your case would be what harvest the seeds you were sent date from, it seems kind of early for this year’s crop to have been ready. In which case if they have been stored warm since last fall viability may have fallen markedly.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

buy one.. and propagate some thru rooting .

i filled a milk jug.. and got about 12 of 25 to root .. in perlite.. with rooting hormone.. on bottom heat .. in winter . in a gallon baggie . under lights . there.. the whole formula.. good luck . lol

thuja are one of the few CONIFERS. [there is such a forum].. that root rather freely .

check Dirrs manual propagation of woody plants for more info .

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mikebotann

They root so easy from cuttings, why bother to go the seed route?
Mike

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MrsBoutin

I live in a small town and we didn’t get any green giants this year.

I tried to order some online but I live in Canada and all the sites are American so they can’t ship them to me.

Seeds were really my last resort for this year.

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Smivies (Ontario – 5b)

Can you give us a hint to where in Canada you live? Might help to find you a source of Green Giant for next year.

When you do get your hands on one, propagating from cuttings is the way to go. From seed, you won’t get the true Green Giant and you’re putting yourself at a

3 year disadvantage over cuttings.

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brandon7 TN_zone7

It’s already been said, but I will try to make it clearer. You cannot propagate ‘Green Giant’s from seed.

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Embothrium

If the plant isn’t on the market in Canada then you will just have to use something else – including perhaps seedlings from your seed purchase, if you get any to come up. There is probably no particular reason why you need ‘Green Giant’ specifically – and if you do not want a “Giant” it might actually not be suitable anyway.

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jocelynpei

I grew some generic thuja plicatas, not green giants. I planted them in a flat in the porch, and the porch slightly freezes over winter. Seedlings appeared for 3 years and I just potted them on or planted them outside as each one appeared large enough. Perhaps green giants are the same that way.

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sam_md

Hi Mrs Boutin,
Get your small GG’s from this link for @ US$4.95.
They will ship to Canada but there is an added expense for that.

Here is a link that might be useful: US source Green Giants

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josephinekoorinjue

I love Thuja Green Giant! I live in Nairobi Kenya, Africa. How do i get some? Please help

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wisconsitom

Embo, I’m not sure Thuja requires any stratification or other treatment in order to initiate germination. To wit: I have two large T. occidentalis at my home, both voluminous seed producers. And yearly, there are numerous seedlings coming up all over the yard. They especially like a flat rock/gravel screenings pathway, where they come up in the between-the-rocks screenings with abandon.

Now it is possible that I see all the new seeds, then just a bit later, lots of new seedlings, and that the latter are coming from the previous year’s seeds, but it doesn’t seem so. IOW’s we get a ton of cones, two tons of seeds (no logical error there, lol) and then seedlings coming up all over. Hmmm? Might have to look it up later if I have time. Seems to me, they are ready to go right off the tree.

@ Ms Boutin: The primary cost of producing young plants is “bench space”. that is, at the earliest stages, these plants may be raised on either an indoor (greenhouse) or outdoor production facility. During the whole time this development is taking place, no other crop can be using that space. I think if you had a clue as to all the inputs involved in producing the myriad plants that growers do produce for our landscapes, that $30 or whatever would not seem “crazy” at all. In fact, most plants are really bargains in today’s marketplace.

But these are indeed easy plants to produce. I regularly harvest lots of these little seedlings for outplanting at one of my son’s places. To say it works well would be an understatement.

Hello! I just bought some thuja seeds and I have no idea what to do with them. I have about 400 feet of backyard that I need to privatize (just one side for now) and thuja's at the local green house go for $25-35 each which to me is crazy…so I thought about trying my hand at starting some. I hav… ]]>