Arborvitae Cost

How Much Does Arborvitae Cost?

Last Updated on January 31, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Arborvitae are extremely popular evergreen trees and shrubs for landscaping and gardens. With their lush green foliage that stays year-round, it’s easy to see why these plants are so widely used.

But before going out and buying arborvitae for your yard, it’s important to understand the costs associated with purchasing and maintaining these beautiful trees.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss average arborvitae prices, the different factors that influence cost, tips for selecting the right types of arborvitae, additional expenses to consider, and where to find the best deals.

You’ll learn everything you need to budget for, design with, and care for arborvitae on your property.

How Much Does Arborvitae Cost?

Arborvitae prices can vary quite a bit depending on the specific type, size, and source. However, here are some general price ranges you can expect:

  • Small starter plants in 1-2 gallon containers usually cost $15 to $30 each.
  • Medium sized arborvitae around 3-4 feet tall typically range from $50 to $80 per tree.
  • Larger specimen arborvitae trees 6 feet and up generally cost $150 to $300 each.
  • Mature arborvitae trees 10-20 feet tall can cost $300 to $1,000 per tree.

On the prices for different types of Arborvitae trees are listed as follows: Green Giant Arborvitae – $8.99 – $11.99; North Privet – $8.99 – $11.99; American Arborvitae – $9.99 – $12.99; Golden Globe Arborvitae – $9.99 – $12.99.

FastGrowingTrees also offers Arborvitae trees for sale, with prices listed as follows: Emerald Green Arborvitae – $15.95; Thuja Accidentalis Green Giant – $19.95; Full Speed A Hedge® American Pillar Arborvitae – $44.95.

Keep in mind that unique variegated or dwarf cultivars are often priced at the higher end. Installation and delivery fees can also add $50 to $100+ per tree.

What is Arborvitae?

Arborvitae refers to a group of about 50 different species of coniferous trees and shrubs in the cypress family. Some common types include:

  • American arborvitae – native to North America and very hardy. Often used for privacy screens and hedges.
  • Green giant arborvitae – faster growing variety that can reach 60 feet tall. Provides bold, structural elements.
  • Emerald green arborvitae – dense foliage with rich green color. Grows in a perfect conical shape.
  • Yellow tip arborvitae – bright yellow foliage that turns bronze in winter. Adds year-round color.
  • Dwarf arborvitae – compact cultivars perfect for rock gardens and containers.

Arborvitae have flat, fan-like branches covered in scale-like leaves. They are dense, but airy and delicate in texture. Most varieties grow in formal, columnar or pyramid shapes.

Thanks to their versatility and hardiness, arborvitae work beautifully as screening, hedges, specimen trees, foundation plantings, and more.

Factors Influencing Arborvitae Cost

Several important factors affect the price tag on arborvitae trees and shrubs:


The cost directly corresponds to the size and maturity of the arborvitae. Large trees that are 10-20 feet tall or more will be priced much higher than small starter plants.

Type and Variety

You might also like our articles about the cost of an oak tree, a lemon tree, or a pine tree.

Rare or unique varieties usually have a higher price point. For example, variegated foliage cultivars are often double the cost of green varieties.

Nursery Location

Arborvitae prices can vary regionally based on climate and growing conditions. Expect to pay more at nurseries located in colder climates further north.

Container vs. Balled & Burlapped

Container arborvitae are typically less expensive than balled and burlapped (B&B) specimens, which involve more complex harvesting and preparation.

Time of Year

Peak season prices in spring and fall are generally higher than buying off-season in summer or winter months. Shop sales for the best deals.

Choosing the Right Arborvitae

Selecting the right arborvitae species and cultivars for your site and needs is crucial:

  • For tall screens and hedges, choose fast-growing Green Giant.
  • For formal symmetry, narrow Emerald Green is perfect.
  • For year-round color, inject some Gold Tip or Little Giant.
  • For rock gardens and containers, pick dwarf Globe or Woodwarf.

Also consider the mature size to allow enough room to grow. And pick hardiness zones that match your region.

Planting and Maintenance Costs

Beyond purchasing the trees themselves, there are additional costs to factor in:

  • Delivery fees – $50 to $100+
  • Planting service – $150+ per tree
  • Mulch – $2 to $4 per bag
  • Fertilizer – $15 to $30 per year
  • Pruning – $50 to $150 per tree

Proper planting, mulching, watering, and pruning will keep your arborvitae healthy and looking its best. Maintain trees from the start to maximize growth and beauty.

Benefits of Arborvitae in Landscaping

Using arborvitae in your landscape design provides a wide range of benefits:

  • Provides year-round greenery with dense evergreen foliage.
  • Offers natural privacy with excellent screening ability.
  • Creates formal structure with beautiful shapes and amazing mature heights.
  • Provides noise dampening when planted densely.
  • Adds visual interest with varying color and textures for both the tree and its flowers.
  • Requires lower maintenance than deciduous trees and shrubs.

Where to Purchase Arborvitae

Arborvitae TreesYou can purchase arborvitae from:

  • Local nurseries – Offer wide selection and bulk order discounts.
  • Garden centers – Provide convenience and expert advice.
  • Big box stores – Affordable prices but limited options.
  • Online retailers – Order a variety of plants shipped to your door.

Always carefully inspect trees before purchasing and avoid root-bound plants.

Long-Term Considerations

When planning an arborvitae landscape design, keep these long-term factors in mind:

  • Allow for ample space as trees grow to full size.
  • Be prepared to prune and shape as needed over time.
  • Protect from harsh winds to avoid damage.
  • Monitor for signs of disease and pests.
  • Prepare to replace aging trees every few decades.

With proper care, arborvitae can last 50 years or more in the landscape.


Investing in quality arborvitae trees for your landscape involves careful planning and budgeting. But the long-lasting beauty and versatility of arborvitae makes the upfront costs well worth it. Focus on selecting the right varieties, sizes, and sources to create privacy, architecture, color, and year-round evergreen structure in your garden. With proper planting, care, and maintenance, you’ll enjoy the benefits of lush, healthy arborvitae for decades to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

How fast do arborvitae grow?

Most arborvitae grow at a moderate rate of 1-2 feet per year once established. Quick-growing varieties like Green Giant can reach 3 feet or more annually. With ideal conditions, an arborvitae can easily grow over 10 feet tall within 5-10 years. Patience is key, as juvenile plants start slower.

What is the lifespan of an arborvitae tree?

With proper growing conditions and care, arborvitae can live 50 years or longer. Some historic trees have reached ages of 100 to 150 years. Site factors like soil, full sun exposure, and climate all impact lifespan. Ensure trees stay healthy through pruning, watering, mulching, and pest control.

Are arborvitae poisonous to dogs?

No, arborvitae are non-toxic for dogs. The foliage and berries of these popular landscape trees contain no compounds poisonous to canines. Feel free to plant arborvitae without fear of accidental dog poisoning. Supervise pets around small trees they could damage from chewing or digging.

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