The Arborvitae is a smaller evergreen belonging to the Cupressaceae family. Native to parts of North America, China, Korea and Japan, it has become a group of plants used often in the western landscape. Known for their dense foliage, the arborvitae is often used as a visual screen in garden beds. They can serve as a backdrop to more colorful specimen plants, and are also used as hedges. More recent cultivars with gold-tipped foliage or other interesting attributes have made some varieties worthy of being a specimen plant in a garden.
Arborvitae tend to prefer full sun wherever they are, but can tolerate some amounts of shade. As with other evergreens, they tend to get a bit leggy and less dense when they are in a low sunlight area. They prefer moist soils but can do well in dryer soils; that being said, care should be taken before situating arborvitae on a windswept hill or other place where they will receive little moisture.
Varieties can be found living from USDA Zone 2 through 8, and their selection is sometimes driven by a client's desire to have a large visual screen that does not have "pickers", as Junipers are considered to have by many of our clients. Foliage color can vary from bluish tones to green, through yellow.
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