Information about Arborvitae Trees

Information about Arborvitae Trees
Arborvitae trees are evergreen trees that have established themselves in American gardens. Let us have a look at the information of some varieties of these trees that will help you take care of it white it is in your garden, in a better way.
Arborvitae trees are considered as favorite landscaping plants among contractors. These trees are known for their deep-colored leaves. They are grown as shrubs or trees in Canada as well as United States. These trees need very little pruning as they will not regrow the part that has been removed. These evergreen trees belong to the cypress family. In the following paragraphs, we shall learn a bit about these trees and their types.

Information about Arborvitae Trees

These trees have soft-to-touch scaly leaves. These trees find colder regions more favorable than the warmer regions. These trees are a favorite food for many species of animals like the deer (during winter). They have a really dense canopy that helps provide cover for many birds and mammals. These are coniferous trees whose taxonomical name is Thuja occidentalis. The arborvitae is a Latin term, which means tree of life. These trees can live for centuries and are a symbol of strength.

Arborvitae trees are classified into five types. They are as follows:
  • Korean Thuja - Thuja koraiensis
  • Eastern Arborvitae, Northern White cedar - Thuja occidentalis
  • Western Red Cedar - Thuja plicata
  • Japanese Thuja - Thuja standishii
  • Sichuan Thuja - Thuja sutchuenensis
They grow about 10 to 60 feet in length. They have a reddish-brown bark, flat shoots, and scale-like leaves. These scale-like leaves are arranged in alternative decussate pairs on the twigs in four rows. As these are conifers, they develop solitary flowers. They have pollen cones that contain 2 to 4 pollen sacs.

Arborvitae tree planting is generally carried out in moist soil that is well-drained. They are usually drought-resistant trees that need alkaline soil pH for a healthy growth. You can even add aluminum sulfate to the soil when carrying out planting. The most important part of their care is the pruning. These trees naturally maintain their borders neat and even. However, pruning slightly will help keep the trees healthy. The lower branches will receive more sunlight that will make them grow further. You just need to cut the weak limbs, closely spaced branches, limbs that grow inwards, etc. A young arborvitae tree recovers better than one that is larger. If you begin pruning on a young tree, you can soon have it grow in a certain shape. Thus, it will require very little pruning in the future.

Problems Faced

There are certain problems that will lead to these trees dying. If you have a complain of arborvitae trees turning brown, then it may be due to a number of reasons, one of which is environmental stress. The trees turning brown may be due to drought conditions. These trees prefer moisture in the air and soil. When this is not available, they turn brown. Other reasons of the leaves turning yellow or brown may include the freeze and thaw cycles. The plant may be under stress and suffer from tissue damage due to freezing. When the top foliage is exposed to the sun, it cannot immediately take up moisture from the roots. This causes damage, and the leaves yellowing or browning is an indication of trees dying. Arborvitae trees dying within one year of planting indicate that the root ball has dried out. This is because the root ball takes about a year to grow out into the soil and find moisture. Therefore, you need to grow the sapling in a dense clay soil. This is especially true for balled and burlapped trees. Water the plant thoroughly so that the root balls do not dry out. Aphids may cause the leaves to turn yellow and brown. Other pests like spider mites, bagworms, scale insects, and fungal diseases may cause discoloration of leaves.


There are quite a few uses of arborvitae trees. They are generally used for gardening purposes like ornamental trees and hedges. They are usually grown as privacy trees in homes. Its wood is very light, soft, and aromatic. It is resistant to decay and can be used to make chests, fence poles, and rails.

You can grow these trees as hedge plants in your garden and get some privacy from your neighbors. These trees have a really long life and will add some value to your yard for many years to come.