Eastern Arborvitae (White Cedar)

Thuja occidentalis
Related To:

Plant type: conifer
Zone: 3 to 7



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.

Selected cultivars:

  • '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.


  • Next Up

    Magnolia Tree Care Tips

    They’re the iconic flowering tree of the South, y’all, but magnolias can be grown all over the U.S. Here’s how to choose and care for a magnolia tree for your yard.

    Sawara Falsecypress

    Chamaecyparis pisifera

    Growing Tea Olive

    This highly fragrant fall bloomer knows how to put on a show.

    How to Grow a Bay Tree

    Season your garden with this culinary and ornamental delight.

    The Atlantic White Cedar

    Check out this swamp dweller that has great potential for landscape use.

    The Eastern Red Cedar

    Find out why you should grow this versatile juniper in your landscape.

    Help for Unhealthy Pine Trees

    Find remedies for common pine tree problems to keep them looking beautiful for years to come.

    The Eastern Arborvitae

    Not only attractive, this popular landscape tree has medicinal benefits as well.

    Redbud, Eastern

    Learn more about landscaping and gardening with the Redbud, the Cercis canadensis

    Magnolia Stellata Basics

    This spring bloomer is a real star.

    Go Shopping

    Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

    On TV

    Home Town

    6am | 5c

    Home Town

    7am | 6c

    Home Town

    8am | 7c

    Home Town

    9am | 8c

    Home Town

    10am | 9c

    Home Town

    11am | 10c

    Home Town

    12pm | 11c

    Good Bones

    1pm | 12c

    Good Bones

    2pm | 1c

    Good Bones

    3pm | 2c

    Good Bones

    4pm | 3c

    Good Bones

    5pm | 4c

    Good Bones

    6pm | 5c
    On Tonight
    On Tonight

    No Demo Reno

    8pm | 7c

    Flip or Flop

    9:31pm | 8:31c

    House Hunters

    10pm | 9c

    House Hunters

    11pm | 10c

    Flip or Flop

    12am | 11c

    Flip or Flop

    12:30am | 11:30c

    House Hunters

    1am | 12c

    No Demo Reno

    2:59am | 1:59c

    Flip or Flop

    4:30am | 3:30c

    Flip or Flop

    5:30am | 4:30c

    Follow Us Everywhere

    Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

    Related Pages