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The Plant Guide

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American arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis 'Emerald'

THOO-yah oks-ee-den-TAL-is

This cultivar is a compact, evergreen, pyramidal tree that retains its glossy, bright green foliage throughout the year, making it a valuable hedge plant or specimen.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsThis plant tolerates a wide range of soils and likes humid weather with regular rain. The foliage becomes less dense if planted in too much shade.

CareThis cultivar is easily grown in average, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Water deeply in hot and dry weather and mulch the root zone. Prune in early spring before onset of new growth. If grown as a hedge, trim in spring and late summer if desired. Keep trained to a single leader to avoid ice and snow damage.

PropagationInsert semi-ripe cuttings in late summer.

ProblemsCaterpillars, bark beetles, weevils, mites, and scale insects are common, as are butt rott, twig dieback, Botrytis, mushroom root rot, and needle blights.

  • Genus : Thuja
  • Zones : 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Height : 6 to 10 feet
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Type : Trees
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Winter Interest
View Comments


  1. kcjmc 04/07/2016

    "Plants of the Metroplex" says this about arborvitae: "Every insect known to man either eats or lives in this plant." -- Howard Garrett (author)

  2. rosiehowardbard 05/25/2016

    i have four of these Emerald's...unfortunately they did not get planted last fall, and are brown now, but insides showing green...is there any chance i came bring them back?

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