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bewildered_nmsu
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Location: Las Cruces, NM

Green Giant zone question

Just wondering if anyone on here has any experience growing Thuja Green Giants in a zone 9, or any information at all concerning them? I've been impressed by the information on the web about them, and would like to grow one somewhere in my yard.

TheLorax
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Eesh, lost my post to you and had to start over.

Although I grow thujas, I'm only growing the Eastern variety and two cultivars of same so take anything I type with a grain of salt. I took a peek at 'Green Giant' and found the parentage to be standishii x plicata. Its popularity stems from its rapid growth rate as well as its pyrimidical shape and narrow spread. I get real nervous when I see any tree with that type of a growth rate. Yes, they claim you can knock out noise from neighbors while creating privacy but it's not generally in one's best interests to create a soldier row of any plant and particularly one consisting exclusively of trees with that type of a phenomenal growth rate. Remember, information on the web is created to make you part with your money. They want you to be impressed with what you read so you buy the plant to create screening for your yard.

Barring your USDA zone of 8 which is very different from the USDA zone of 8 out east or even further west from where you are, I get this feeling that plant might not be all that happy where you garden even if you water it well on a regular basis. T. standishii is from the mountainous regions of Northern Japan which is probably why 'Green Giant' is stated as being able to withstand heavy ice and snow loads. I've seen it growing in Hokkaido and it is magnificent to say the least but when you think of Hokkaido, think Minnesota. That is a northern reach of Japan. T. plicata is from the PNW. I know about hybrid vigor and all and I read from the Botany Shop that they're shipping these trees to CA where they do well in warmer zones but that's not the desert. Makes me nervous that you might end up with an incredibly stressed tree. Maybe select a few other species that might be better adapted to your region and associated rainfall or lack thereof?

Speaking of the desert, we were just out your way for a few weeks. Although we had been to Taos to ski in the past, we'd never taken the time to explore anywhere else other than the shops of Santa Fe and surrounding area. We loved the Gila National Forest down your way. We also loved Los Alamos, Nageezi, Pecos, and Eagle Nest. Cimarron State Park is a native flora and fauna gem and so expansive. I had no idea your state was so diverse and beautiful. We were particularly enamored with the Tsankawi Ruins Trail of Bandelier National Park. NM blows my area of Illinois out of the water!

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bewildered_nmsu
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:39 am
Location: Las Cruces, NM

Thank you for your input. All of the places in NM you described are very beautiful and also very different from where I live in Las Cruces (7 in. annual rainfall and windy). I'm curious to know why you are wary of the growth rate. In my experience trees with a fast growth rate can also have a short lifespan (ex. globe willow). Is this what you are speaking of.

PS: Mimbres Valley in the Gila is one of my favorite places in the world.

TheLorax
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I grow Thuja spp. I am somewhat familiar with the water requirements needed to best establish the plant and I'm also somewhat familiar with the transpiration rate of that species. Although not as high as a species such as a Silver Maple or a Weeping Willow (both of which are water hogs), it's high enough that combined with your average rainfall of 7" and associated lack of humidity, I'm thinking you'd be out there deep watering that particular tree to death do you part. Then you've got some wildly fluctuating temperatures associated with your region and a soil structure that is inconsistent with that which is deemed ideal. Although this tree is allegedly adaptable to many conditions, I get this little voice that tells me you might be pushing it and I personally so hate losing money on a dark horse. Stress a tree with that type of a growth rate and all I began getting visions of was the tree embedded in your house. I'm certainly not a horticulturist but one thing I've learned from past mistakes (there are many) is that I can't forgo more than one or two of a plant's cultural requirements and still expect it to perform for me.

You've got a beautiful region there. To some, the conditions might be viewed as harsh. To others like me who would love to have a property in that area, those seemingly inhospitable conditions are opportunities to work with plants that would be better adapted to the region. Just a thought. I know I'd love to have a chance to have a go at gardening in that region. I love where I live but your native flora and fauna was really exciting to me.

The Botany Shop is advertising that plant for sale. I've had to call them before when ordering plants and they have been extremely generous sharing information with me even if it costs them a sale. Would you feel comfortable calling them and sharing what growing conditions you have to offer the plant along with what your average rainfall is? They grow the actual hybird you want and would be in the best position to help you decide if it's going to be able to survive and thrive where you are.

Yes, Las Cruces is very different than the north. Entirely different ecosystems. When we were in Camp Verde AZ, we were able to get a chance to see where desert met riparian. Way cool. Loved it.

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bewildered_nmsu
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:39 am
Location: Las Cruces, NM

I'll look up The Botany Shop and consider giving them a call. Thanks very much for your input. If I do end up planting a Green Giant I'll let you folks know how it fairs in a zone 9.

TheLorax
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https://www.botanyshop.com/

Botany Shop Garden Center
710 Minnesota Ave.
Joplin, Missouri 64801

Phone: 417-781-6431

I don't know the names of anyone over there but I order a lot of plants and had to call twice in the past. Both times I was treated professionally while being provided with enough information for me to make my own decisions. I was buying DED resistant elms and hydrangeas the last time I called. Come to think of it, I've bought a lot of DED resistant elms from them over the years.

Later on today I am going to dig through "stuff" I brought back from vacation. Somewhere I have the business card of a man who owns a sizable nursery who had an awesome inventory of plants for your region. Impressive to say the least. He had oodles of conifers. His English is good enough but better to communicate with him in Spanish if possible. We were there on a Sunday when he had dropped in and he said all of his employees were better with English than him if that matters to anyone. Kind and incredibly knowledgeable man who personally took the time to select a few plants for me take home on the plane. Nothing spectacular for me, just hanging succulents for my home that he believed would work well for me hanging inside year round in an eastern exposure... but the greenhouse after greenhouse and row after row after row of plants he had was impressive. He's got literally acres of nursery stock. That place had to be the largest nursery I've seen in the southwest and he's got more land where he grows his stock somehere. He carries both native and non-native plants and he appears to be both a retailer and a wholesaler. The plants I bought from him are pest free.

One thing is for sure, the people out your way are considerably more friendly, helpful, and down to earth compared to what one runs into out in the Chicagoland area.

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