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barplants123

Planting GREEN GIANT ARBORVITAE near old maple roots / spacing


Hi,

The RED X is where there was a ~30 year old large ~50' Silver Maple which was cut down a couple years ago (it was growing as 2 somewhat leaning trunks, and the crotch was decaying, so it was removed before it got bad). This is the fence corner of property. The stump was ground and I recently removed all the roots on this quadrant of the fence. But 3/4 of the previous Maple roots are surely under the two neighboring sheds which I can't remove. 1 shed was installed after the Maple was removed just in case you think Maples won't root much under an existing shed. And there's also a neighboring Spruce about 8' away (about 6 years old I'm guessing about 14' tall, so not such huge roots, but also has the old Maple roots there).



I want to plant a bunch of Green Giants in this location and just let them grow without topping them or anything. They can reach 50 ft which is large and must meant quite a large root mass but I'm not sure how much space these need to root. I read only about an 8 foot diameter which would mean I could space them 5 feet from the fence and be fine. I want them as close to the corner as possible but if I just have to plant them like 5 feet from the corner, that's cool. They grow to about 10-12 ft wide and read that should be their approx root allowance so I think I answered my own question but just posting this anyway. Others say they grow 20ft wide though but maybe that's if you top it and train it to grow short and wide.


Here says GGiants are safe for foundation plating against a house if given about 5ft:

https://www.thujagreengiant.net/thuja-green-giant-in-the-garden/


Here shows them around 20' tall planted on a retaining wall without very much space to root out, but maybe if their height is maintained by topping and won't root out much more:

https://www.thujagreengiant.net/thuja-green-giant-in-the-garden/


Here someone asked if planting Green Giant near foundation is safe but wasn't really clearly answered:

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/1841294/green-giant-arborvitae-next-to-house


It's common to plant GGiants as close as 5ft apart from each other but that probably assumes it has clear space to root front and back, and then side by side their roots will intermingle and each tree will help block the wind from each other from side to side - basically I don't want these trees coming down in a hurricane or something. It's zone 6.5 NJ BTW.


The soil is good rich dark compost-like for about 18" and then gets quite clay-like deeper than that. The maple apparently didn't bother rooting in the clay stuff, although maples don't root very deep anyway but I read neither do GGiants. GGiants are known to handle many soil types including clay-like. Do you think the GGiants will root under the old maple roots and into the clay-like soil in the areas where I can't remove the old Maple roots?


The absence of oxygen under the two sheds will make the decaying of the old maple roots even slower, although rain water does run to this corner which may help.


I want GGiants because they're basically bulletproof in terms of disease, aren't prone to windthrow (granted they have space to root and good soil), fast-growing, dense, good color, and grow large. I've decided not to plant any large trees like Maples, Oaks, Pines (pine especially since soft wood and lateral limbs prone to ice weight damage etc) anywhere near houses - IMHO Large trees belong in forests or fields etc well distanced from houses etc, so when they do decline and need removal they can sometimes be safely felled in one cut or just left along and become hollowed habitat etc, instead of the whole expensive dangerous removal process which sometimes requires chopping down other landscape to allow machinery through, lawn gets ruined by machines, sidewalks broken, etc, limbs fall now and then, etc, and then people say 'F trees' and don't want to plant anything thereafter, and say chop those med sized ones down too while you're at it.


50 ft Green Giant IS a large tree but I'm guessing even if one were to uproot from wind, the tops of these evergreens aren't very heavy like a large Maple of something. So if for example in this scenario, the house is about 35 feet from the X and if a 50' GGiant were to tip over, only the upper 15' would hit the roof and probably not do much damage if at all.


Another thing, and this maybe just sounds good on paper, but if a 50ft GGiant ever did need to be removed, and there's clear lawn space to drop it with enough margin of error, it doesn't seem like too hard or dangerous of a task: A $25 25ft telescopic painter pole, loop a rope around the base of the tree, raise the rope up with the pole about half way up the tree and place on the trunk, get a bunch of people to pull the rope where you want it to drop (GGiant seems light enough that even if it were leaning enough people could direct it otherwise, then chop the lower limbs for access to fell the base of the trunk.


Here's a pic of a 50ft spruce which is probably denser and heavier than a GGiant but still seems easily do-able with that method:

https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2019/11/19/san-antonios-50-foot-christmas-tree-to-arrive-at-travis-park/


As bullet proof and popular as GGiants are, I can't seem to find any pics or video of them at mature 50ft height just to get an idea, and I doubt the ones I plant will ever reach 50ft since max height is usually under perfect conditions.


I would be happy with something even 35ft max but the GGiant is so bullet proof I will probably go with those but am wiling to take other recommendations for smaller but very similar evergreens.

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