Plant Encyclopedia

North Pole® Arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis

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North Pole® Arborvitae

Discover More Information On North Pole® Arborvitae

The North Pole® Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) stands as an elegant and hardy addition to any landscape. This evergreen shrub, with its tall, narrow, and upright columnar habit, is an ideal choice for those looking to create a natural screen or a striking specimen in their garden. With a potential garden height of 10 to 15 feet and a spread of 3 to 5 feet, it offers a significant presence without overwhelming the space.

Adapted to a wide range of hardiness zones, from 3a to 8b, the North Pole® Arborvitae thrives in various climates, enduring even the coldest winters. Its resilience is further highlighted by its resistance to winter burn, a common issue in many evergreens. The plant's foliage, a lush green throughout the year, provides continuous interest, making it an excellent choice for those seeking fall and winter interest in their garden.

When it comes to care, this arborvitae is low maintenance. It prefers part sun to full sun exposure, requiring at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight daily to maintain its vibrant color and health. While it generally does not require pruning, occasional shaping during the summer can enhance its appearance. A controlled release fertilizer applied in spring can support its growth and health.

Plant Attributes

The North Pole® Arborvitae, a variant of Thuja occidentalis, is distinguished by its array of appealing attributes, making it a standout choice for gardeners and landscapers. This evergreen shrub is characterized by its tall and narrow growth habit, reaching an impressive height of 10 to 15 feet and spreading 3 to 5 feet wide. Its upright, columnar form lends itself well to a variety of landscaping uses, particularly in spaces where a vertical accent or a natural privacy screen is desired.

In terms of foliage, the North Pole® Arborvitae boasts a rich green color that remains vibrant throughout the year. This consistent foliage color ensures that the plant maintains its visual appeal across all seasons, providing both fall and winter interest. The plant's evergreen nature means it keeps its foliage year-round, making it an excellent choice for maintaining greenery in a garden even during the colder months.

Landscape Use

The North Pole® Arborvitae offers a range of landscaping uses, making it a versatile choice for various garden designs and purposes:

  1. Privacy Screen: Its tall and narrow growth habit makes it an excellent choice for creating natural privacy screens. Planting these shrubs in a row can effectively block views and provide seclusion.
  2. Windbreak: The dense foliage of the North Pole® Arborvitae serves as a strong windbreak, making it suitable for landscapes in windy areas.
  3. Formal Garden Settings: Its upright and uniform growth is ideal for formal garden designs. It can be used to create symmetrical designs or as a backdrop for more colorful plants.
  4. Accent Plant: With its striking columnar form, the North Pole® Arborvitae can be a focal point in the garden, drawing attention to specific areas or features.
  5. Narrow Spaces: Its columnar habit makes it well-suited for narrow spaces, such as beside driveways, walkways, or in tight corners of the garden.
  6. Mixed Borders: It can be combined with other shrubs and perennials in mixed borders, adding height and evergreen texture.
  7. Container Gardening: Suitable for large containers, where it can add vertical interest to patios, balconies, or entranceways.
  8. Urban Landscapes: Due to its hardiness and low maintenance, it's a good choice for urban gardens, where space and time for care might be limited.
  9. Wildlife Garden: While not specifically known for attracting wildlife, its dense foliage can provide shelter for birds and small animals.
  10. Theme Gardens: It can be used in a variety of theme gardens, such as a winter garden, for its year-round green foliage, or in a native North American garden, given its origin.

These uses make the North Pole® Arborvitae a highly adaptable and valuable addition to many landscape designs, from residential gardens to larger public spaces.

Planting & Care

The North Pole® Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) is a robust and low-maintenance plant, but like all plants, it thrives best when given the proper care. Here are some guidelines for planting and caring for this evergreen shrub:


  1. Timing: The best time to plant the North Pole® Arborvitae is in the spring or fall, avoiding extreme temperature conditions.
  2. Soil Preparation: Choose a location with well-draining soil. Arborvitae do not thrive in overly wet conditions. Amend the soil with compost to improve drainage and nutrient content if necessary.
  3. Spacing: Given its mature size of 10-15 feet in height and 3-5 feet in spread, space the plants approximately 3-4 feet apart for a hedge or screen. For individual specimens, allow more room for the plant to grow to its full size.
  4. Planting Depth: Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Place the plant in the hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Backfill the hole, gently tamp down the soil, and water thoroughly.


  1. Watering: Water the plant deeply and regularly during its first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Once established, the North Pole® Arborvitae can tolerate some dryness but should be watered during prolonged dry spells.
  2. Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to retain soil moisture and regulate soil temperature.
  3. Fertilizing: Feed with a general-purpose fertilizer in early spring, before new growth begins.
  4. Pruning: This plant generally requires little pruning. However, if desired, prune in early spring before new growth starts. Avoid cutting into old wood, as this can prevent regrowth.
  5. Winter Care: In areas with heavy snow, gently brush off snow from the branches to prevent damage. If you are in a region with severe winter winds, consider providing a windbreak for young plants.
  6. Pest and Disease Management: Monitor for pests and diseases common to arborvitae, such as spider mites and leaf blight. Treat with appropriate methods if necessary.

By following these planting and care instructions, your North Pole® Arborvitae should grow into a healthy and attractive feature in your landscape.

Additional Information

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North Pole® Arborvitae


Plant Features

  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Watering Needs: Average water requirements; ensure consistent moisture but avoid overwatering.
  • Botanical Pronunciation: THOO-yuh ok-sih-den-TAY-lis
  • Deciduous/evergreen: Evergreen
  • Growth rate: Moderate
  • Average landscape size: Reaches a height of 10-15 feet and a spread of 3-5 feet.
  • Special features: Narrow upright columnar habit, ideal for narrow sites as a specimen or screen. Hardy and resists winter burn. Excellent for landscape use.
  • Foliage color: Green
  • Blooms: Grown for foliage, not for flowers.
  • Garden style: Suitable for formal and informal garden styles, particularly in urban and suburban landscapes.
  • Design Ideas: Ideal as a privacy screen or a windbreak. Can be planted in rows for a formal look or used as a singular specimen for a more naturalistic setting. Works well in mixed borders and can add vertical interest to flat landscapes.
  • Companion Plants: Compatible with a variety of shrubs and perennials that prefer similar light conditions, such as Boxwood, Hydrangea, and Hostas.

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