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'DeGroot's Emerald Spire' Thuja occidentalis 'Degroot's Spire'

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
THU-ya ock-sih-den-TAH-liss
Description

'Degroot's Spire' is a dwarf cultivar of the evergreen, conifer named American arborvitae or eastern arborvitae. It is a compact and slow-growing small tree or large shrub with a narrow conical habit. The leaves are flat, twisted sprays of scale-like rich green foliage and have a citrus or fruity fragrance. It is the perfect evergreen for small vertical spaces in the garden. Pruning of its side shoots when the plant is young may be necessary to maintain its narrow habit. It is a member of the Cupressaceae or cypress family.

The genus name, Thuja, is Greek and is the name of a type of juniper. The species name, occidentalis, means of the "western world." The cultivar is named for Constant DeGroot, who was propagation and production manager for a nursery in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The plant was first introduced in 1980.

'Degroot's Spire' grows best in full sun to partial shade and loamy, moist, well-drained soils. It prefers acidic to neutral soils.  Mulching is required to maintain moisture at the plant's roots. The plant is intolerant to dry conditions and should be planted in sheltered sites to prevent exposure to winter elements and wind damage. This plant is susceptible to damage from snow and ice. The foliage may turn yellowish-brown or greenish-brown from cold exposure.

It is tolerant of clay soil, air pollution, and black walnut. Pruning should be completed in the early spring before the new growth appears.

Consider Degroot's Spire' as a specimen, accent, container, or patio planting. It serves well as a foundation planting or shrub border. This evergreen would add winter interest to a cottage or rock garden. Wear gloves and protective clothing when handling this plant. The foliage may cause some skin irritation.

Seasons of Interest:

Foliage: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter

Quick ID Hints:

  • majestic, dwarf, slow-growing, upright, pyramidal habit
  • twisted, feathery-sprays, scale-like, medium green foliage
  • foliage fragrance of citrus when leaves are crushed or bruised

Pests, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: 'DeGroot's Spire' has no serious insect or disease problems. Spider mites, leaf miners, bagworms, mealybug, and scale may be seen. Leaf blight will cause spotting of the foliage and leaf drop. It may also be affected by canker.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

 

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Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#small spaces#easy to grow#slow growing#pyramidal#conifer#fragrant leaves#low maintenance#winter interest#dwarf#hedges#needled evergreen#foundation planting#rock garden#screening#evergreen shrub#evergreen tree#green leaves#humidity tolerant#wet soils tolerant#shrub borders#contact dermatitis#pruning tolerant#container plant#showy#erect#full sun#narrow form#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#small spaces#easy to grow#slow growing#pyramidal#conifer#fragrant leaves#low maintenance#winter interest#dwarf#hedges#needled evergreen#foundation planting#rock garden#screening#evergreen shrub#evergreen tree#green leaves#humidity tolerant#wet soils tolerant#shrub borders#contact dermatitis#pruning tolerant#container plant#showy#erect#full sun#narrow form#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Thuja
    Species:
    occidentalis
    Family:
    Cupressaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The species foliage was used by Native Americans as a medicine to treat scurvy.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
    Fragrance
    Screening
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Columnar
    Erect
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    Non-flowering
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are fragrant, twisted, feathery sprays of scale-like medium green foliage. The leaves may be purplish-tinged during the winter months. A fruity fragrance is noted when the leaves are bruised or crushed.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Patio
    Small Space
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Small Tree
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Urban Conditions
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis