Neat, symmetrical plants often mistakenly trimmed into odd geometrical formsglobes, cones, cylinders. Juvenile foliage is feathery, with small, needlelike leaves; mature foliage is scalelike, carried in flat sprays. Foliage in better-known selections is often yellow-green or bright golden yellow. Small (12- to 34 inches-long) cones are green or bluish green, turning to brownish. Although arborvitaes will take both damp and fairly dry soils, they grow best in well-drained soil. Bagworms and spider mites are common pests on all species.
- Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
- Native to eastern U.S. Upright, open growth to 3060 feet tall, 1015 feet wide, with branches that tend to turn up at ends.
- Bright green to yellowish green leaf sprays.
- Foliage turns brown in severe cold.
- Needs moist air to look its best.
- Basic species is seldom seen, but smaller garden selections are common.
- Among these, the taller ones make good informal or clipped screens, while lower kinds are often used around foundations, along walks or walls, as hedges.
- Be sure to check on the ultimate height of selections used for foundation plantings; plants are too often seen wedged under an overhang at the corner of a house.
- Also keep in mind that deer find them very tasty.
- The following are some good choices.
- Fast growth to 1215 feet tall, 68 ft wide.
- Useful as screen.
Degroot's Spire'. Narrow column with spirally arranged branchlets for a full look. Grows slowly to 1520 feet tall, 45 feet wide.
- Dense, rounded growth to 35 feet tall and wide.
- Bright golden yellow foliage contrasts beautifully with deep green or blue-green evergreens.
- Does not sunburn even in full sun.
- Globe-shaped plant with rich green foliage.
- Not likely to exceed 34 feet tall and wide.
- Dense, dark green cone to 2030 feet tall, 45 feet wide.
- Narrow, upright column to 1015 feet tall, 57 feet wide, with dense, dark green foliage.
- Narrow cone grows 1215 feet tall, 46 feet wide, with dense, fine-textured golden foliage.
- Resists winter burn.
- Cone-shaped, slow-growing, bright golden plant with a mixture of scale and needle foliage.
- Even very old plants seldom exceed 6 feet tall and wide.
- ('Emerald', 'Emerald Green').
- Neat, dense-growing, narrow cone to 1015 feet tall, 34 feet wide.
- Holds its color throughout winter.
- Compact, broad-based pyramid to 1520 feet tall, 1012 feet wide.
- Dark green, soft-looking foliage resists winter burn.
- Widely grown, dense, globe-shaped shrub with rich green color.
- May attain considerable size with age but stays small over a reasonably long period; to 4 feet high and wide in 10 years.
- To 810 feet tall, 23 feet wide, with bright yellow foliage throughout the year.
thuja platycladus orientalis (Thuja orientalis)
- Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11.
- Native to northern China, Manchuria, Korea.
- Species (to 25 feet tall, 15 feet wide) is rarely grown; nurseries offer more attractive, shrubbier selections.
- Widely used around foundations, by doorways or gates, in formal rows.
- Less hardy to cold than Thuja occidentalis but tolerates heat (grows all the way to Key West).
- Has survived well in nematode- infested soils.
- Give good drainage; protect from reflected heat of light-colored walls or pavement.
dwarf golden arborvitae, berckman's golden arborvitae
- Golden-foliaged, compact globe.
- Usually 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide but can grow as high as 5 feet Sometimes sold as Thuja o.
- Compact, cone shaped, bright green.
- To 58 feet high, 4 feet wide.
- Dense, upright, conical; good blue-green color.
- To 8 feet tall, 4 feet wide.
- ('Bonita Upright', 'Bonita Erecta').
- Rounded, full, dense cone to 3 feet tall, 2 feet wide.
- Dark green with slight golden tinting at branch tips.
- Compact, upright, cone shaped, with deep green foliage.
dwarf blue arborvitae
- To 34 feet tall and wide.
- Blue-green foliage.
- Resembles 'Aurea Nana' but is smaller, with denser growth and brighter color.
- To 3 feet tall, 2 feet wide.
- Green foliage has yellow tips throughout the growing season.
western red cedar
- Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
- Native from coastal Northern California north to Alaska and inland to Montana.
- One of the West's most beautiful and imposing native trees.
- Can reach 200 feet tall in the temperate rain forests of coastal Washington.
- Does surprisingly well in the lower Midwest and Upper and Middle South if planted in moist, fertile, well-drained soil; it can grow at least 23 feet per year.
- Makes a magnificent lawn tree, but give it plenty of roomin gardens, it may reach 75 feet tall and 25 feet wide.
- Selections include the following.
- Narrow pyramid to 70 feet tall, 25 feet wide, with gracefully drooping limbs.
- Good tolerance of heat and cold.
- To 2530 feet tall, 810 feet wide.
- Bright green foliage; new growth has creamy highlights.
- Narrow, erect growth to 8090 feet tall, 2025 feet wide.
- Very dense foliage; fine for tall screen.
- Hybrid between Thuja plicata and Thuja standishii, a Japanese species.
- Can grow 35 feet a year, ultimately reaching 3050 feet tall, 1020 feet wide.
- Shear as a tall hedge or use as a tall screen.
- Good substitute for Leyland cypress.
- Irregularly shaped, dense plant to 610 feet high and wide, eventually larger.
- To 810 feet high in five years; ultimately reaches 4060 feet tall, 1015 feet wide.
- Can be sheared as a hedge.
- Dense, slow-growing dwarf to 6 feet tall, 2 feet wide.
- Orange-yellow new growth.
- Slow grower; same size as species.
- Foliage is banded in green and golden yellow.
- Often sold as 'Aurea', a less commonly seen selection with green foliage tinted golden.