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Eastern Arborvitae Thuja occidentalis

Other plants called Eastern Arborvitae:

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

A slender evergreen tree native to eastern North America.  It is a low maintenance plant that tolerates clay soil, wet sites, black walnut, and air pollution. It grows best in moist, neutral to alkaline, well-drained loams.  It does not tolerate dry sites, and exposed windy sites should be avoided. Avoid full shade or foliage will thin out dramatically. Cultivars are typically globular, pyramidal, columnar to conical in growth form. Utilized as specimens, accenting, hedges, or foundation plants,

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious insect or disease problems. Leaf miners may damage leaf tips. Bagworms, mealybug, scales and spider mites are occasional visitors.  Canker can occasionally be a problem. It does not perform well in overly shady, dry, or windy sites.   Susceptible to damage/stem breakage in winter from ice and snow accumulations. Foliage can become winter burned (yellow-brown) in dry, exposed sites.

Quick ID

  • Evergreen gymnosperm
  • Branch sprays in flat planes
  • Leaves scale-like with blister-like, pustular gland

VIDEO Created by Elizabeth Meyer for "Trees, Shrubs and Conifers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

More information on Thuja.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Courtyard Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Aurea Nana', 'DeGroots Spire', 'Emerald Green', 'Filiformis', 'Golden Ball', 'Hetz's Midget', 'Hetz's Winter Green', 'Holmstrup', 'Linesville', 'Little Gem', 'Nigra', 'Pumilia Sudworth', 'Pyramidalis Compacta', 'Rheingold', 'Smaragd', 'Smart Guard', 'Spudwellii' , 'Sunkist', 'Techny'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#bark#conical#interesting bark#specimen#wildlife plant#large tree#native tree#fragrant leaves#medicinal#cover plant#low maintenance#air pollution tolerant#playground#black walnut#wet sites#food source#cpp#NC native#exfoliating#children's garden#foundation planting#screening#Braham Arboretum#fantz#nesting sites#food source summer#dendrology#food source herbage#coastal UPL#Piedmont Mountains FACW#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Aurea Nana', 'DeGroots Spire', 'Emerald Green', 'Filiformis', 'Golden Ball', 'Hetz's Midget', 'Hetz's Winter Green', 'Holmstrup', 'Linesville', 'Little Gem', 'Nigra', 'Pumilia Sudworth', 'Pyramidalis Compacta', 'Rheingold', 'Smaragd', 'Smart Guard', 'Spudwellii' , 'Sunkist', 'Techny'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#bark#conical#interesting bark#specimen#wildlife plant#large tree#native tree#fragrant leaves#medicinal#cover plant#low maintenance#air pollution tolerant#playground#black walnut#wet sites#food source#cpp#NC native#exfoliating#children's garden#foundation planting#screening#Braham Arboretum#fantz#nesting sites#food source summer#dendrology#food source herbage#coastal UPL#Piedmont Mountains FACW#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Thuja
    Species:
    occidentalis
    Family:
    Cupressaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The essential oils from this plant have been used in cleaners, insecticides, soaps, room sprays and hair care products. The young, inner bark of the new stems is known to have been used to make soup by the Ojibwa tribe. The wood is used in fencing and posts, cabin logs, lumber, poles, shingles, paneling, piling, lagging, pails, potato barrels, tubs, ties, boats, tanks, woodenware. Twigs have been used in some teas for relief of constipation and headache.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & E. Canada to N. Central and Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    SC west to TN north through IL, IO,Minnesota and Manitoba east to Nova Scotia,
    Wildlife Value:
    Northern white cedar provides nesting sites for songbirds, as well as cover, especially in the winter, for white-tailed deer, which both feed on the branches and use them for shelter from the cold.
    Play Value:
    Fragrance
    Screening
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Nesting
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Tolerates clay soil, wet sites, black walnut and air pollution.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Conical
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • 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)
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Description:
    Does not produce fruits has brown cones. Displays from April to May.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Conifer, non-flowering. Blooms from March to April
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Slippery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are scale-like in adults, ovate, obtuse to bluntly acute, yellowish-green to gray-green below bearing a pustular gland near apex, appressed to branchlets in opposite pairs, each pair overlapping the adjacent pair above.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Bark Description:
    Attractive red-brown bark exfoliates on mature branches and trunks.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Pollution
    Wet Soil