What do Arborvitae trees look like?

Arborvitae, often varieties of Thuja occidentalis, but also Thuja plicata or Platycladus orientalis, are most often conical- or cylindrical-shaped small trees or shrubs that come in various shades of green. Arborvitaes are hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 9, depending on variety.

How do I identify an arborvitae?

Arborvitae are relatively easy to identify as their tiny (1/16 inch to 1/8 inch), scale-like leaves are compressed to form fan-like branchlets that are very flat as compared to other evergreens with scale-like leaves.

How tall does arborvitae grow?

The American arborvitae grows to a height of 40–60′ and a spread of 10–15′ at maturity.

What is the best arborvitae?

Emerald Green – Probably the most commonly planted arborvitae in 30 years, ‘Emerald Green’ holds a rich green color even in winter. Growing to 12-15′ tall and 5-7′ wide, this evergreen makes a dense hedge and is used as an accent plant in foundation plantings.

What is the most hardy arborvitae?

Thuja occidentalis is hard to beat if you want an easy care privacy hedge. The tree is tolerant to all soil conditions and most climates including both hot summers and cold winters.

What happens if you top an arborvitae?

Topping is often done when a tree’s height becomes problematic. When the top of an arborvitae is cut off, however, it creates a very flat and unsightly appearance. No new growth will occur once the upward growing branch tips have been cut, and no horticultural benefit exists for topping an arborvitae.

Can you cut the top of an arborvitae?

Arborvitae will produce growth from dormant buds on old wood. The lower branches need sunlight and air flow to grow so you will need to continue to trim these trees. Both the vertical shoots at the top and throughout the tree should be trimmed so that they don’t shade and prevent air flow for the bottom branches.

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