Family: Cupressaceae | Genus: THUJA
type : Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees
sun exposure : Partial Shade
water : Moderate Water, Regular Water
Plant Details

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.

american arborvitae

thuja occidentalis

  • 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.

Golden Globe

  • 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.

Hetz Midget

  • 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.

North Pole

  • Narrow, upright column to 1015 feet tall, 57 feet wide, with dense, dark green foliage.

Polar Gold

  • 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.

Yellow Ribbon

  • To 810 feet tall, 23 feet wide, with bright yellow foliage throughout the year.

oriental arborvitae

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

Aurea Nana

  • 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.
  • Berckmanii.


  • Compact, cone shaped, bright green.
  • To 58 feet high, 4 feet wide.

Blue Cone

  • 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.

fruitland arborvitae


  • Compact, upright, cone shaped, with deep green foliage.

dwarf blue arborvitae

Minima Glauca

  • 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

thuja plicata

  • 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.

Clemson Select

  • 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.

Green Giant

  • 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.

Spring Grove

  • To 810 feet high in five years; ultimately reaches 4060 feet tall, 1015 feet wide.
  • Can be sheared as a hedge.

Stoneham Gold

  • 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.

Search by Plant Name