Eastern arborvitae is a needled evergreen that usually has a pyramidal form and grows 20 to 30 feet tall. Its branches are arranged in horizontal sprays (unlike those of Thuja orientalis), which has vertical sprays). It's used widely as a specimen plant, in groupings, as screens, and as a corner plant in foundation plantings. In winter the normally green needles turn yellowish-brownish-green. Give this shrub or tree a moist, deep, well-drained site in full sun. Once established, it tolerates some heat and drought.
'Yellow Ribbon.' The new growth is yellow, maturing to green. Horizontal sprays seem topsy-turvy, so when the shrub is in full color, the fronds form interesting, curly patternings. Mature size is 10 feet tall by three feet wide.
'Sunkist'. Yellow variegation. Mature size is five to eight feet tall.
'Aurea'. Broad, short shrub with golden-yellow needles. Mature size is about three feet square.
'Techny'. Foliage is dark green all year, holding its color through winter. 10 to 15 feet tall.
'Chalet'. Lime-green foliage. 10 to 15 feet tall.
'Emerald'. Foliage is a bright, rich green year-round. Heat tolerant and coldy hardy to -40 degrees F. 10 to 15 feet tall by three to four feet wide.