24 Different Types of Arborvitae Trees for Your Yard (With Pictures)

If you’re looking for the perfect tree to plant in your yard, you should consider an arborvitae. Arborvitae trees come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making them a great option for any landscape.

In this blog post, we will discuss 24 of the best types of arborvitae trees to choose from. We’ll also provide information on care and maintenance so you can make sure your tree thrives!

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How many types of arborvitae trees?

Well, that all depends on how you define “type.” If we’re talking about species, then there are only three: Japanese thuja (T. plicata), western red cedar (T. plicata var. occidentalis), and common arborvitae or northern white-cedar (T. occidentalis). If we broaden our definition to include subspecies and varieties, then the number of types of arborvitae trees grows to around 30.

Arborvitae tree identification

Arborvitae tree identification can be tricky, because there are so many varieties. But with a little knowledge and some careful observation, you can ID an arborvitae tree with ease. Here are some tips:

-Look for the evergreen needle-like leaves. All arborvitae trees have these.

-Observe the shape of the tree. Arborvitae trees can be either cone-shaped or columnar.

-Note the size of the tree. Arborvitae trees can range from very small (under two feet tall) to very large (over 100 feet tall).

-Pay attention to the color of the leaves. Arborvitae leaves can be green, yellow, or even blue-tinged.

With these tips in mind, go forth and ID those arborvitae trees! You’ll be a pro in no time.

Arborvitae Leaves.

Arborvitae leaves are actually the leaves of the Thuja occidentalis, or northern white cedar tree. The name “arborvitae” comes from the Latin for “tree of life,” which is fitting given that these leaves have been used for centuries in traditional medicine.

The leaves of the arborvitae tree are rich in compounds that have been shown to have medicinal properties. For example, one study found that a compound in arborvitae leaves was effective at killing cancer cells.

Arborvitae Height.

Arborvitae are one of the most popular trees for landscaping in North America. They are known for their dense, evergreen foliage and ability to tolerate a wide range of conditions, including heavy pruning.

While there are many different species of arborvitae, they all share a similar growth habit. Arborvitae typically grow slowly, adding only a few inches of height each year. However, they can reach heights of 40 feet or more over the course of their lifetime.

When it comes to choosing an arborvitae for your landscape, height is an important factor to consider. If you want a tall tree, look for one of the faster-growing varieties, such as Thuja occidentalis ‘Sky Pilot’ or T. plicata ‘Atrovirens.’ For a smaller tree, go with a slower-growing species like T. standishii or T. occidentalis ‘Nana.’

Types Of Arborvitae Trees, Shrubs, and Hedges

1. ‘Danica’ Globe Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Danica’)

‘Danica’ Globe Arborvitae is a slow-growing, compact evergreen that is perfect for small spaces. It has a dense, globe-shaped form and bright green foliage that make it an eye-catching addition to any landscape.

This tough little plant is drought tolerant and deer resistant, making it a great choice for low-maintenance gardens. ‘Danica’ Globe Arborvitae is a great choice for gardeners who are looking for a compact evergreen that is easy to care for.

2. ‘Little Giant’ Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Little Giant’)

‘Little Giant’ Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Little Giant’) is a dwarf evergreen that is perfect for small gardens and spaces. It has a compact, pyramidal form with dense, green foliage.

This tough little tree is resistant to deer and rabbits, and it tolerates salt spray making it an ideal choice for coastal areas.

‘Little Giant’ Arborvitae grows slowly to about 15 feet tall and wide. Plant in full sun to part shade. It is hardy in zones four through eight.

This is a great plant for anyone looking for a low-maintenance, easy-care tree. ‘Little Giant’ Arborvitae is an ideal choice for foundation plantings, hedges, and screens. It can also be planted in containers. Add this versatile tree to your landscape today!

3. ‘North Pole’ Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘North Pole’)

‘North Pole’ Arborvitae is a compact, slow-growing evergreen that is perfect for small spaces. It has dense, rich green foliage that provides year-round interest and privacy. This tough plant is resistant to deer, drought, and disease.

It can be planted in full sun or partial shade and prefers well-drained soil. ‘North Pole’ Arborvitae is a low-maintenance plant that will thrive with minimal care. Add this versatile plant to your landscape for year-round beauty and privacy.

4. ‘Woodward’ Globe Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Woodwardii’)

‘Woodward’ Globe Arborvitae is a compact, globular form of Arborvitae that is perfect for small gardens and tight spaces.

This slow-growing evergreen only reaches about two feet in height and four feet in width, making it an excellent choice for foundation plantings, hedges, and specimen plantings.

The glossy, dark green foliage of ‘Woodward’ Globe Arborvitae is dense and weather-resistant, providing good year-round interest in the landscape. This tough little plant is also quite drought-tolerant once established, making it a low-maintenance choice for busy gardeners.

5. American Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

American Arborvitae is a species of evergreen coniferous tree in the genus Thuja, native to eastern North America. It is an introduced species in western North America. The American Arborvitae is a popular ornamental tree for landscaping purposes due to its dense, pyramidal growth habit.

The American Arborvitae grows to a height of 15-30 m (50-100 ft) and a spread of 12-20 m (40-70 ft). The leaves are scale-like, arranged in opposite pairs, green to yellowish green in color. The cones are spherical, brown in color, and measure about 0.75 inches (19 mm) in diameter.

The American Arborvitae is a popular choice for hedges and privacy screens due to its dense growth habit. It is also used as a Christmas tree in some parts of the United States.

The American Arborvitae is not tolerant of salt or drought. It prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soils.

The American Arborvitae is susceptible to many diseases and pests, including aphids, scale insects, spider mites, bagworms, and root rot.

6. American Arborvitae ‘Yellow Ribbon’ (Thuja occidentalis ‘Yellow Ribbon’)

American Arborvitae ‘Yellow Ribbon’ is a compact, slow-growing arborvitae that is perfect for small gardens or as a hedge. It has bright yellow foliage that turns to chartreuse in the summer. American Arborvitae ‘Yellow Ribbon’ is deer resistant and drought tolerant once it is established.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers moist, well-drained soil but is tolerant of a wide range of soils. American Arborvitae ‘Yellow Ribbon’ is an easy plant to care for and is low maintenance.

7. Arborvitae ‘Filips Magic Moment’ (Thuja occidentalis ‘Filips Magic Moment’)

Arborvitae ‘Filips Magic Moment’ (Thuja occidentalis ‘Filips Magic Moment’) is a beautiful, low-maintenance evergreen that adds interest and color to the winter landscape. This hardy tree is perfect for small yards or gardens and can be used as a specimen plant or in mass plantings.

Arborvitae ‘Filips Magic Moment’ (Thuja occidentalis ‘Filips Magic Moment’) is a slow-growing, compact evergreen that reaches a height of only 15 feet at maturity. The dense, pyramid-shaped crown is covered with soft, green needles that turn bronze in winter.

This tree is also drought and salt tolerant, making it a great choice for coastal areas. Plant Arborvitae ‘Filips Magic Moment’ in full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil. This tree is low-maintenance and does not require pruning.

8. Baby Giant Arborvitae (Thuja plicata x standishii PPAF 61830744 ‘Virginian™’)

Baby Giant Arborvitae that was introduced in 2012 by Proven Winners. It is a compact, evergreen tree that reaches 15-20 feet tall and 12-15 feet wide at maturity.

The Baby Giant Arborvitae has dark green foliage that does not fade to bronze in the winter like many other evergreens. It is a fast grower and can add two to three feet of growth per year.

The Baby Giant Arborvitae is perfect for small yards or as a foundation planting. It is also deer resistant and drought tolerant once it is established. Plant the Baby Giant Arborvitae in full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil. It is hardy in zones four through eight.

The Baby Giant Arborvitae is a great choice for those looking for a fast-growing, compact evergreen tree. It has dark green foliage that does not fade to bronze in the winter and is deer resistant and drought tolerant once it is established.

9. Berckman’s Gold Arborvitae (Thuja orientalis ‘Berckman’s Gold’)

Berckman’s Gold Arborvitae is a beautiful, golden-hued evergreen that is perfect for use as a living privacy fence or as an accent in the landscape.

This tough and adaptable plant thrives in full sun to partial shade, and is tolerant of a wide range of soils.

Berckman’s Gold Arborvitae is a slow-growing plant, eventually reaching a height of 15 feet. This plant is deer resistant and low maintenance, making it an excellent choice for the home landscape.

10. Degroot’s Spire Thuja Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’)

  • Height: 15-20 feet
  • Width:
  • Foliage: Dark green
  • Sun: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: Well-drained soil.

Degroot’s Spire Thuja Arborvitae is a fast-growing, columnar evergreen that is perfect for creating privacy screens and windbreaks.

It has dense, dark green foliage that is soft to the touch. This Thuja prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Deer resistant and low maintenance, Degroot’s Spire is a great choice for the home landscape.

11. Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’)

Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’)) is a popular evergreen shrub that is known for its beautiful, deep green foliage. This versatile plant can be used as a hedge, screen, or foundation planting.

Emerald Green Arborvitae is easy to care for and requires little maintenance. This hardy shrub is tolerant of drought, salt, and wind. Emerald Green Arborvitae is an excellent choice for those looking for a low-maintenance, evergreen plant.

12. Fire Chief™ Thuja Shrub (Thuja occidentalis ‘Congabe’)

This Thuja is a dense, upright shrub that is perfect for hedges, screens, and foundation plantings. It has dark green foliage with a bronze cast in winter. ‘Congabe’ was selected for its resistance to deer browse.

Fire Chief™ Thuja Shrub is an excellent choice for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance plant that will provide years of beauty with little care.

This shrub is heat and drought tolerant once established, and it does not require pruning to maintain its shape. Fire Chief™ Thuja Shrub is a tough plant that will thrive in a wide range of conditions, making it a great choice for beginner gardeners or those with busy lifestyles.

13. Forever Goldy Arborvitae (Thuja plicata ‘4EVER’)

Forever Goldy Arborvitae (Thuja plicata ‘4EVER’):) is a slow-growing, dense, evergreen tree that is perfect for privacy hedges or screens.

It has a lovely golden-yellow color that brightens up any landscape and looks stunning in the winter against the snow. This hardy tree is also low maintenance and deer resistant!

14. Full Speed A Hedge® American Pillar Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘American Pillar’)

Full Speed A Hedge® American Pillar Arborvitae is a columnar, evergreen conifer that provides year-round interest and screening in the landscape. A fast grower, American Pillar can reach 15-20 feet tall and only four feet wide in ten years.

It is tolerant of wind, salt, and drought once established. Plant American Pillar in full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil. Fertilize in early spring with a balanced fertilizer.

Prune as needed to shape. American Pillar is deer resistant and makes an excellent choice for privacy hedges, specimen plantings, and foundation plantings.

15. Hetz Midget Thuja (Thuja occidentalis ‘Hetz Midget’)

Hetz Midget Thuja is a slow-growing, dwarf evergreen that is perfect for small gardens or as low hedges. This plant only grows to about two feet tall and wide, and its small size makes it easy to care for.

Hetz Midget Thuja is also very tolerant of cold weather and does not require much water once established.

16. Junior Giant Thuja (Thuja x ‘Junior Giant’ PP31,297p2)

Junior Giant Thuja is a giant evergreen shrub that can reach up to 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide at maturity. This massive Thuja is the result of a cross between two other giants, Thuja plicata x Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald Green’.

As you can probably guess from its parentage, ‘Junior Giant’ is fast-growing, reaching up to three feet per year.

It has a pyramidal shape with dense, emerald green foliage that does not brown in winter. This plant is also deer resistant and tolerant of Black Walnut trees (Juglans nigra).

‘Junior Giant’ Thuja is best used as a specimen plant or in mass plantings. It can be planted in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained soil. This shrub is relatively low-maintenance, only needing to be pruned if you want to control its size or shape.

17. Oriental Arborvitae (Platycladus orientalis or Thuja orientalis)

Oriental Arborvitae (Platycladus orientalis or Thuja orientalis)) is a species of tree in the genus Platycladus. The specific epithet orientalis refers to its origin in East Asia. It is also known as the Chinese arborvitae, Oriental thuja, or biota.

The tree grows to a height of 15–20 m (49–66 ft), with a trunk up to 60 cm (24 in) diameter. The bark is brown or black, and scaly. The leaves are scale-like, arranged in opposite decussate pairs, and green to yellowish-green in color.

The cones are oval, 15–20 mm (0.59–0.79 in) long and 12–15 mm (0.47–0.59 in) broad, ripening brown or blackish-brown in autumn, and containing four to six seeds. The cones are borne on short peduncles, and disintegrate when mature to release the seeds.

Oriental Arborvitae is native to northern China, Korea, and southeastern Siberia. It has been introduced to Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand as an ornamental tree. In some areas of the United States, it has become naturalized.

The wood of Oriental Arborvitae is soft and light, with a density of 310–550 kg/m³ (19–34 lb/cu ft). The timber is used for construction, pulp, and fuel. It is also a popular ornamental tree.

18. Rheingold Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Rheingold’)

Rheingold Arborvitae is a beautiful, golden-yellow evergreen that is perfect for use as a hedge or privacy screen. This tough and adaptable plant can tolerate a wide range of conditions, making it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners alike.

19. Techny’ Cold Hardy Thuja (Thuja occidentalis ‘Techny’)

Techny’ Cold Hardy Thuja is a cultivar of the Arborvitae or White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis). It was developed and introduced by the Ball Horticultural Company in 1940. Techny’ is noted for its dense, compact growth habit, good resistance to cold and wind, and tolerance of partial shade. It is a popular choice for foundation plantings, hedges, and topiary.

Thuja occidentalis ‘Techny’ grows to a height of 15-20 feet (450-600 cm) with a spread of 12-15 feet (360-450 cm). The leaves are scale-like, arranged in flattened sprays, and green to yellow-green in color.

The flowers are small, white, and borne in clusters of 12-20 blooms. The fruit is a brown, woody cone. Techny’ Cold Hardy Thuja has no serious pest or disease problems and is relatively low maintenance.

20. Thuja Green Giant (Thuja plicata x standishii ‘Green Giant’)

Thuja Green Giant is a hybrid of two North American evergreens, Thuja plicata and Thuja standishii. A fast-growing tree, it can add three feet or more of height each year. Reaching a mature height of 50 to 60 feet, with a spread of 20 to 30 feet,Green Giant has become one of the most popular evergreens for use as a living privacy screen or windbreak.

Its rapid growth rate and dense, upright form make Thuja Green Giant an ideal choice for creating a living fence. When planted in rows, these evergreens will quickly reach their mature height, forming an impenetrable barrier that provides both privacy and noise reduction.

Thuja Green Giant is also popular as a specimen tree or focal point in the landscape. Its strong form and dense foliage make it a beautiful addition to any yard. Whether you’re looking for privacy, protection from the wind, or just a beautiful evergreen tree, Thuja Green Giant is an excellent choice.

21. Thuja occidentalis ‘Aurea Nana’

Thuja occidentalis ‘Aurea Nana’’ is a slow-growing, evergreen conifer with a dense, compact habit. It has golden yellow needles which gradually turn to lime green in summer.

This plant is perfect for adding year-round interest to small gardens and is best suited to growing in full sun.

Thuja occidentalis ‘Aurea Nana’ is a hardy plant that will tolerate most soil types, although it prefers well-drained soil. It is also drought tolerant once established.

This plant is low maintenance and does not require pruning. However, if you do wish to prune it, then this should be done in late spring or early summer.

22. Tiny Tower® Thuja (Thuja x ‘MonRig’ P.P.A.F.)

Tiny Tower® Thuja is a miniature evergreen that is perfect for use in small gardens or as a low-growing hedge. This slow-growing plant only reaches about 18 inches tall and wide at maturity, making it easy to control.

The tiny, dark green leaves of this plant are arranged in flattened, scale-like whorls around the stem. In late spring, small, white flowers appear in clusters at the tips of the stems. These flowers are followed by tiny, brownish-black fruits. The leaves of this plant are aromatic when crushed.

Tiny Tower® Thuja is a hybrid plant that was developed by crossing two species of thuja (Thuja occidentalis and Thuja plicata). This plant is a patented cultivar, which means that it cannot be propagated without a license from the breeder.

Tiny Tower® Thuja is an easy-to-grow plant that is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions. It prefers full sun but will also grow in partial shade. This plant is drought-tolerant once it is established. It is also tolerant of salt and clay soils. Tiny Tower® Thuja is an ideal plant for use in rock gardens, as a groundcover, or in mass plantings.

23. Weeping Eastern Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Pendula’)

Weeping Eastern Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Pendula’) is a slow-growing, deciduous conifer with a weeping habit. It has long, drooping branches that are covered in soft, green needles. Weeping Eastern Arborvitae is a beautiful tree that can be used as a specimen plant or as part of a hedge.

Weeping Eastern Arborvitae is a slow-growing tree that can reach a height of 20 feet (six meters) and a width of 12 feet (three meters). It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Weeping Eastern Arborvitae is tolerant of urban pollution and salt spray.

24. Western Arborvitae ‘Zebrina’ (Thuja Plicata ‘Zebrina’)

Western Arborvitae ‘Zebrina’ is a cultivar of the species Thuja Plicata, otherwise known as Western Redcedar. This particular cultivar was selected for its unique and striking coloration; the needles are variegated with creamy-white and golden-yellow stripes.

‘Zebrina’ is a relatively slow-growing arborvitae, eventually reaching a height of 15-20 feet (450-600 cm). It is best suited for use as an ornamental tree or shrub in the landscape, and does not make a good hedge plant due to its slow growth rate.

This arborvitae is native to the western coast of North America, from Alaska south to Oregon. It prefers to grow in moist, well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade, but is quite tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions. ‘Zebrina’ is an adaptable plant that is not particularly susceptible to disease or pests.

This arborvitae makes a beautiful and unusual addition to the landscape. It is best used as a specimen plant or in small groupings, where its unique coloration can be fully appreciated. If you are looking for a low-maintenance tree or shrub with year-round interest, ‘Zebrina’ is an excellent choice!

FAQs

What is the smallest upright arborvitae?

The smallest upright arborvitae is the Dwarf Korean Arborvitae. It grows to a height of only six feet and has a spread of three feet. This arborvitae is perfect for small gardens or as a low hedge.

It is also one of the most cold hardy varieties, able to withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are looking for a small, compact arborvitae that is still able to provide some privacy, the Dwarf Korean Arborvitae is a great choice.

Is Thuja the same as arborvitae?

No, Thuja and arborvitae are not the same. Though they may look similar, they are actually two different species of tree. Thuja is a coniferous tree that belongs to the Cupressaceae family, while arborvitae is a deciduous tree that belongs to the Taxaceae family.

Though they are both evergreen trees, they have different growing habits and requirements. So, while you may be able to get away with planting Thuja in place of arborvitae, it’s best to choose the right tree for the job to ensure optimal growth and health.

What is the difference between Green Giant and emerald green arborvitae?

It’s a common question, and it’s one that we can help answer. Both Green Giant and emerald green arborvitae are evergreen trees that are popular choices for landscaping. However, there are some key differences between the two that you should be aware of before making a decision.

First, let’s take a look at Green Giant. This popular tree is a hybrid of two other evergreens, the Thuja standishii and the Thuja plicata. It was created in the 1960s by nurseries in the Pacific Northwest and has become a go-to choice for many homeowners and landscapers.

Green Giant is known for its fast growth rate; it can add up to three feet of height per year. This makes it a great choice if you’re looking to create privacy or achieve a certain look in a hurry. It’s also relatively low-maintenance, as it doesn’t require much pruning or trimming.

Emerald green arborvitae, on the other hand, is a species of tree that is native to North America. It’s closely related to the cedar and can grow up to 40 feet tall. Emerald green arborvitae is a popular choice for landscaping because it is low-maintenance and drought-tolerant.

One key difference between Green Giant and emerald green arborvitae is their growth rates. Green Giant grows much faster than emerald green arborvitae, so if you’re looking for a tree that will quickly achieve a certain height or provide privacy, it’s the better choice. However, emerald green arborvitae is more drought-tolerant, so if you live in an area with low rainfall, it may be the better option.

Another key difference is their maintenance needs. As we mentioned, Green Giant is relatively low-maintenance; it doesn’t require much pruning or trimming. Emerald green arborvitae is also low-maintenance, but it’s important to note that it doesn’t tolerate being pruned as much as Green Giant does. So, if you’re looking for a tree that is easy to care for and requires little upkeep, Green Giant is the better choice.

Are arborvitaes Cedars?

No, arborvitaes are not cedars. Arborvitaes are actually a type of juniper, while cedars are part of the pine family. Both trees are evergreens and have needle-like leaves, but that’s about where the similarities end.

Arborvitaes have scale-like leaves and cedars have needles. Arborvitaes grow in a pyramid shape and cedars can be either pyramid-shaped or columnar. Cedars also tend to be taller than arborvitaes. So, while they may look similar, arborvitaes and cedars are actually quite different!

Are Arborvitaes native?

The short answer is: no, arborvitaes are not native to North America. These evergreen conifers are actually native to parts of Asia and Europe. However, they have been widely cultivated in North America for many years, and are now a common sight in many landscapes.

Are arborvitae trees poisonous to dogs?

It’s a common question we get asked here at the nursery. The simple answer is no, they are not poisonous to dogs. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you have a dog and an arborvitae tree.

Arborvitae trees are evergreens, which means they have needles instead of leaves. These needles can be sharp, and if your dog likes to chew on things, they could end up with a mouth full of needles. Additionally, the tree produces a sap that can be irritating to your dog’s skin and coat.

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Conclusion

These are the 24 best types of arborvitae trees for your yard. They are all different and have unique features that make them ideal for specific situations. Choose the right one for you and enjoy the beauty and benefits an arborvitae tree can bring to your property. Thanks for reading!