American arborvitae, White cedar, or Thuja occidentalis, is an evergreen conifer with a neat, conical form that can be trimmed into geometric shapes. It has a tremendous variation in foliage texture and color, and in ultimate size. The taller ones make superb screens and hedges, either clipped or informal. The smaller ones are ideal around foundations, walks, or walls and are good for low hedges. Always keep in mind ultimate height however as Thujas can get quite large. Additionally, they fill another role as garden anchor, a planting against which other more varied and colorful plants contrast well. Every garden needs a permanent evergreen to provide stability and the handsome foliage of a trouble-free Thuja is a traditional choice.
American arborvitaes are native to the cooler regions of eastern North America and now thrive across the UK, temperate Australia and New Zealand as well.
Dozens, perhaps scores, of cultivars exist. This was one of the first, if not the first American tree brought back to the Old World, so selection has been ongoing for a long time. And there is also the Western red cedar, or Thuja plicata, a giant from the forests of British Columbia. It is, however, the American arborvitae that is more adaptable to home landscapes since it only reaches 40 feet after a very long time. And American arborvitae does well in full sun or partial shade, wet or dry soils, acidic or alkaline.

As usual, these special trees will not be found in the popular landscape nurseries but more likely in a specialty, mail-order, plant nursery.


American arborvitae

Trees for:  Acid soils     Clay soils      Poor soils      Seashore      Dry soils     Cold soils      Wet soils     Alkaline soilsTrees_for_acid_soils.htmlTrees_for_clay_soils.htmlTrees_for_poor_soils.htmlTrees_for_seashore.htmlTrees_for_dry_soils.htmlTrees_for_Cold-exposed_areas.htmlTrees_for_wet_soils.htmlTrees_for_alkaline_soils.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0shapeimage_4_link_1shapeimage_4_link_2shapeimage_4_link_3shapeimage_4_link_4shapeimage_4_link_5shapeimage_4_link_6shapeimage_4_link_7
Trees by size                               Special features                                Forms of treesTrees_by_size.htmlSpecial_features.htmlForms_of_trees.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1shapeimage_5_link_2