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Thuja

Arborvitae
Cupressaceae
Evergreen, Trees

Neat, symmetrical plants often trimmed into geometrical forms—globes, cones, cylinders. Juvenile foliage is feathery,with small, needlelike leaves; mature foliage is scalelike, carried in flat sprays. Foliage in better-known varieties is often yellow green or bright golden yellow. Small (1–3/4-in.-long) cones are green or bluish green, turning to brownish.

Thuja occidentalis

Upright, open growth to 30–60 ft. tall, 10–15 ft.wide, with branches that tend to turn up at ends. Bright green to yellowish green leaf sprays. Foliage turns brown in severe cold,will scorch badly in winter in coldest, windiest Rocky Mountain gardens unless plants are shaded,watered. Needs moist air to look its best. Basic species is seldom seen, but smaller garden varieties are common. Among these, the taller ones make good informal or clipped screens, while lower kinds are often used around foundations, along walks or walls, or as hedges. Some have gold colored foliage.

Thuja plicata
Thuja plicata

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Thuja plicata

Plants grown from inland seed are hardy anywhere in the West; those from coastal seed are less hardy to cold. Can reach over 200 ft. high in coastal belt of Washington, but more typical garden size is 50– 100 ft. tall, 25–60 ft.wide. Slender, drooping branchlets are closely set with dark green leaf sprays. Single trees are magnificent in large lawns. Many compact varieties available, some with gold to yellow foliage.

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