The Tiny Tower® Arborvitae is an exciting smaller version of the famous Thuja Green Giant, with all that plant’s toughness and versatility, but slower growing to a smaller size, and with some extra features. The new spring growth is yellow-green, then fresh, bright green all summer. In winter it surprises us by turning a unique shade of chocolate brown, becoming a fascinating accent in the garden. Reaching only 20 feet, and just 4 or 5 feet wide, it makes a perfect hedge or screen, and it is so compact and dense it needs little or no trimming. It is ideal for accents on a lawn or in a bed, and small enough to use in planters, boxes and large pots.
- Compact version of Thuja Green Giant
- Golden-yellow spring growth
- Exciting chocolate-brown winter foliage
- Perfect for hedges, screens and specimens in smaller gardens
- Just as tough and easy as its parent, but slower-growing
A sunny location is perfect for the Tiny Tower® Arborvitae, although it will also tolerate little light shade for a few hours of the day. It grows in almost all soils, except for those that are always wet, or very dry, sandy soils. Once it is established it tolerates ordinary summer dry periods, and it has no pests or diseases. Unlike other arborvitae, this one is normally left alone by deer. For an extremely tight and neat finish, trim in early spring or early fall, but even without trimming it has compact and dense natural growth, so it always looks great.
Many gardeners have heard of, and grow, Thuja Green Giant. This famous hybrid Thuja is renowned for its rapid growth, vigor, and ability to grow very quickly into beautiful evergreen hedges and screens. For some uses and locations, everything about it is great – except for it growing so fast into such a big specimen. That’s why the arrival of the Tiny Tower Arborvitae was an exciting moment – a scaled-down, slower growing Green Giant, and with extra features. The spring foliage is golden yellow, and in winter the leaves turn a fascinating chocolate brown. This interesting twist on an old favorite is sure to win a place in your garden and heart, it is so versatile and useful, as well as incredibly easy to grow.
The Tiny Tower Arborvitae grows steadily into a slender, upright column of evergreen foliage, reaching no more than 20 feet in 10 years, and being only 4 to 5 feet wide. Dense, compact and slim – and all without any trimming. Yes, this is an upright accent plant you never need to fuss over, because its natural habit is dense and tight, needing no trimming to stay that way. In spring the new foliage is bright yellow-green, and all summer it keeps the same rich green foliage that we expect from the best evergreens. With colder weather something fascinating happens. The leaves begin to darken, and once winter has settled in, they are rich chocolate tones, bringing a unique touch to the winter garden. Planted among golden evergreens it will become the perfect color accent, standing out in the golden winter sun, and making everything around it look so much brighter.
Growing Tiny Tower Arborvitae Trees
Plant the Tiny Tower Arborvitae as a smaller screen or hedge – it can of course be trimmed to build a solid, perfectly flat and formal hedge – in places where other screening plants grow too large. Space plants 2½ – 3 feet apart, and they will soon fill in perfectly, giving you complete privacy and shelter. Use it as a specimen on a lawn, either alone or in a charming group of three plants. Group it in the corners of your property to give structure and form to your space, and to block noise and wind. As a bold vertical accent plant in a bed of mixed shrubs it is the perfect low-maintenance choice. It is, of course, ideal for containers, because with its smaller size it will live happily for many years in a planter box, tub, barrel or large pot. For a simple but bold look, plant it alone, plant flowers and smaller shrubs around it for a full, romantic look. These pots are great ways to bring structure to a terrace or patio, and they need almost no care at all.
The Tiny Tower Arborvitae will grow best in full sun, but a little light shade is also easily tolerated. It is as tough and reliable as its parent, so it will grow in almost any soil with ease. It only asks for some moderate drainage, and soil that is not constantly dry. Avoid soils that are constantly wet or flooded, or rocky, sandy soil, where other evergreens, like Junipers, make better choices. It is hardy through most of the country, from zone 5 to zone 9, and it is not affected by pests or diseases. Deer normally leave it alone too.
If you do want to trim – for a hedge, or for extra neatness – then this is best done in late winter or early spring, before the new growth begins. A second trim in early fall, if needed, will keep it perfect all through the winter. When grown in containers, make sure you have drainage holes, and don’t leave the pot standing in a saucer of water. Use a potting soil for outdoor plants, if possible, or any potting soil for regular plants. Potted trees should be fed with liquid fertilizer in spring and summer, or with slow-release granules on top of the soil once a year.
The Tiny Tower Arborvitae is a unique variant of Thuja Green Giant. That tree is a hybrid between Japanese Thuja (Thuja standishii) and Western Redcedar (Thuja plicata). It was a chance seedling found at the Poulsen nursery in Denmark in the late 1930s. War meant it received little attention, but in 1967 some plants arrived at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. By the 1990s there was excitement about this beautiful, fast growing plant and a nurseryman from Tennessee called Don Shadow suggested the name ‘Green Giant’. In June of 2010 Rigoberto Pineda, at the Dayton, Oregon production facility of Monrovia Nurseries, found an unusual plant among a group of Thuja Green Giant. It was reproduced by tissue culture, and it proved stable and reliable.
After testing, this exciting new plant was given the name ‘MonRig’, patented in 2016, and released with the registered trade name of Tiny Tower.