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Arborvitae

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An extremely hardy and rugged northern evergreen; the species is typically a tall, pyramidal tree with reddish peeling bark, very attractive, however foliage tends to yellow in winter; numerous and diverse cultivars are available

Characteristics

Species:
occidentalis
Other Species Names:
Eastern White Cedar
Average Landscape Height:
30 feet
Average Landscape Width:
20 feet
Genus:
Thuja
Branching:
excurrent
Evergreen:
1
Plant Form:
pyramidal
Canopy:
low
Density:
dense
Growth Rate:
slow
Pruning:
only prune new growth
Summer Foliage Color:
green
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Light:
partial shade
Maximum Moisture:
wet
Minimum Moisture:
average
Pollution Tolerance:
medium

Ornamental Features

Arborvitae is primarily valued in the landscape for its distinctively pyramidal habit of growth. It has rich green evergreen foliage. The scale-like sprays of foliage remain green throughout the winter. The shaggy antique red bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Arborvitae is a dense evergreen tree with a strong central leader and a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

Planting & Growing

Arborvitae will grow to be about 30 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.

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