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Arborvitae, AmericanThuja occidentalis

Arborvitae, American—Thuja occidentalis

The narrow, pyramid shape makes it a natural choice for windbreaks. Tall and elegant, it requires almost no care when used as a hedge or screen. Pairs of these hardy trees make great accents for doors and garden gates while single specimens soften house corners. Single specimens can grow to 40'-60' with a spread of up to 15' in the wild, but 20'-30' with a 12' spread in urban settings is more typical. Plant 3 feet apart for hedge. (zones 3-7)

Zones 3 - 7
Zones 3 - 7

Hardiness Zones: Zones 3 - 7
The American Arborvitae can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. (see map below)

Evergreen
Evergreen

Type of tree:
The American Arborvitae falls into the following type(s): Evergreens

40' - 60' High
40' - 60' High

Mature Height:
The American Arborvitae grows to be 40' - 60' feet in height.

10' - 15' Spread
10' - 15' Spread

Mature Spread:
The American Arborvitae has a spread of about 10' - 15' at full maturity.

Slow to Medium Growth
Slow to Medium Growth

Growth Rate:
This tree grows at a slow to medium growth rate. [More about this.]

Full Sun
Full Sun

Sun:
This arborvitae does well in full sun.

Various Soils
Various Soils

Soil:
The American Arborvitae grows in acidic, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam, well drained, wet, wide range, clay soils.

Pyramidal Shape
Pyramidal Shape

Shape:
This arborvitae has pyramidal shape.

More Info
More Info


The American Arborvitae can be expected to grow in the zones shown on this map.

Attributes:
A dense, often broad-pyramidal tree with short ascending branches to the ground which end in flat, spreading, horizontal sprays; usually one trunk, but multiple trunks may occur. Useful as a specimen or accent, good for hedges, shelter-belts, commonly used as a foundation plant.

Description:
The narrow, pyramid shape makes it a natural choice for windbreaks. Tall and elegant, it requires almost no care when used as a hedge or screen. Pairs of these hardy trees make great accents for doors and garden gates while single specimens soften house corners. In the wild single specimens commonly grow 40' to 60' with a spread of 10'-15'. In urban settings a height of 20' to 30' with a 12' spread is more typical. Plant 3 feet apart for hedge. (zones 3-7)

Wildlife Value:
Providing shelter in the winter and nesting sites for grackles, robins and house finches in the summer, this evergreen also provides food in the form of browse for deer, cottontail rabbits, snowshoe hares and occasionally moose. The seeds are eaten by red squirrels, and birds such as pine siskins.

History/Lore/Use:
The name arborvitae, is a Latin form of the French, "l'arbre de vie," which means, "tree of life." Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who assigned the Latin name to this species, picked up on other traits. The genus name, Thuja, is from a Greek word for perfume. Squeezing the evergreen leaves releases an aroma that is nothing less than nature's perfume.

The native North American tree, America Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), was useful in early canoes and medicines and became the first North American tree to be introduced to Europe. The specific name, occidentalis, means "west," the direction from Sweden where this tree was discovered.

Leaves:
Bright green foliage in summer changing to a multitude of rich yellow-brown-green hues in the winter.