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Nigra American ArborvitaeThuja occidentalis 'Nigra'

  • Nigra America Arborvitae
Nigra' arborvitae is an upright, cone shaped, narrow evergreen with flattened sprays of dense, deep green foliage and good winter color. It is a hardy, relatively low maintenance tree and takes pruning well. It makes an excellent vertical accent, wind or privacy screen, natural fence or hedge. A cultivar of our native North American arborvitae, 'Nigra' grows slowly to 20'-30' high with a spread of 4'-10 wide. Plant 3' apart for a hedge. It adapts to a wide range of soils, but prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well drained sites. Avoid dry soil and protect from drying winds. Zones 3-7.

Hardiness Zones

The nigra american arborvitae can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 3–7. View Map

Tree Type

This is an evergreen tree, keeping its foliage year-round.

Mature Size

The Nigra American arborvitae grows to a height of 20–30' and a spread of 4–10' at maturity.

Growth Speed Slow Growth Rate

This tree grows at a slow rate, with height increases of less than 12" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The Nigra American arborvitae grows well in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam, well-drained, wet and clay soils.


This tree:
  • Features tiny, scale-like leaves that are packed closely together in overlapping rows on branchlets, displaying in a flattened, fan-like spray.
  • Maintains its dark green throughout the winter.
  • Adapts well to pruning.
  • Yields seed cones that are not particularly showy.
  • Can be planted 3' apart for a low-maintenance hedge.
  • Tolerates air pollution.
  • Should be protected from drying winds and dry soil.
  • Grows in a pyramidal shape.