12 Different Kinds Of Arborvitae Trees, FAQs, and More

Types of arborvitae

Different types of Arborvitaes are trees and shrubs widely employed as windbreaks and hedges for privacy. Typically fast-growing, these are low-maintenance and versatile shrubs that can solve your wind and privacy issues without digging a hole in your pocket.


Almost all Arborvitae varieties are evergreen and durable. You can find many varieties of these trees in the market that grow up to be structurally unique in shape.


You can conveniently grow a couple of Arborvitaes in a row, and only in a few years, the Arborvitae’s lush and dense foliage blesses you with a living fence for the yards and gardens. These trees have delicate and soft scale-like leaves and reddish-brown bark arranged in fan-shaped branchlets. Almost all varieties of Arborvitae trees are soft to touch and aromatic.


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Is Arborvitae The Same As Thuja?

Arborvitae and thuja are used interchangeably as all arborvitae trees belong to the genus Thuja. There exists different varieties of Arborvitaes within this genus.


Popular Arborvitae Tree Types

Here is a list of popular varieties of Arborvitae trees:


1. Emerald Green Arborvitae

It is one of the most widely seen Arborvitae trees. Among all kinds of Arborvitae trees, Emerald Green Arborvitaes are planted mainly in rows. They have an upright but narrow accent and dense foliage.


These types of Arborvitae trees maintain their green color around the year. They are adaptable and hardy. It is one of the dwarf conifer Arborvitaes, renowned for its columnar shape.


Please remember these are high-maintenance varieties. So, they seek regular upkeep and care. But, when you indulge in pruning, trim only the current or the new growth from the season.


2. Globe Arborvitae Varieties


The Globe arborvitaes are the ones with the most distinctive appearance among different types of Arborvitaes. They have a natural globe shape and golden yellow foliage, and together the two make these trees one of the most standout varieties of Arborvitae trees.


Of the different kinds of Arborvitae, it is indeed one of the most beautiful varieties, which can amplify any outdoor space. People widely use these Arborvitae trees as a screen or hedge.


You can find both tall and short Arborvitaes in this category. You can find several Arborvitaes under the Globe category, but two of the most popular ones include Golden Globe and the Woodward Globe.


3. American Arborvitae

Different types of Arborvitaes trees are native to America, but the American Arborvitae varieties are one of the first North American trees brought into Europe. Famous for their long life expectancy, these Arborvitae trees can live for over 1000 years.


Such plants have a standard conical, narrow shape, and the trees are about sixty feet high. Hence, amongst the different varieties of Arborvitae, these enjoy massive popularity as windbreaks.


Also, amongst the different Arborvitae trees, American Arborvitae can survive the coldest climate. However, they are not very drought tolerant. During the fall, their foliage turns brown or yellow, but it regains its color back to green during the spring season.


4. Narrow Arborvitae Types

It is another one of the most widely seen types of Arborvitae trees. Such varieties are popular as hedges and screens. As is apparent from the name, they have a narrow shape. Hence, you can accommodate them in the cramped landscape, where it does a brilliant job at offering four-season privacy.


From the different kinds of Arborvitae, if you need one of the fast-growing alternatives, this can be your go-to pick. They also retain their color through winters. The plant thrives in USDA hardiness three through seven. Different types of Arborvitae have specific growing requirements. These need partial to full sun. Usually, such varieties grow between 12 to 15 feet.


5. Techny Arborvitae Types

From the different varieties of Arborvitae, if you wish to opt for the one that helps grow a full shield in only a few years, then Techny Arborvitae can be your go-to choice. It is a slender and sleek Arborvitae with a six feet spread. It reaches twenty feet in height. Anyone who lives in an environment with harsh winters will appreciate these Arborvitaes.


6. Rheingold Arborvitae

Do you want to add some color to your landscape? If yes, we have found the perfect types of Arborvitae trees for you – The Rheingold Arborvitae. Also known as the Thuja occidentalis ‘Rheingold,’ it is an attractive shrub famous for its golden foliage.


Upon maturity, the Rheingold Arborvitae is between three to six feet. It is the perfect tall accent shrub, which can add color and appeal to the bland and empty corners of the yard.


While young, the shrub has a showy pink tint on its foliage, making it the perfect landscape specimen. It enjoys full sun and good drainage and is an excellent low-maintenance shrub.


7. Dwarf Arborvitae Types

From the different types of Arborvitaes, do you need something that thrives in smaller spaces and gardens? If yes, then Dwarf Arborvitae can be a good pick. These are popular varieties of arborvitae trees that typically have a height lower than three feet. They are slow-growing shrubs


Such variants have a pyramidal, compact form with green and dense foliage. One of the best things about such varieties is that they are rabbit and deer-resistant.


Moreover, they are the right pick for coastal regions, thanks to their salt tolerance. While most are about four feet tall, some can be 15 feet wide and high.


Overall, these arborvitaes are easy to care for as they are low-maintenance. These are perfect for screens, hedges, and foundation plantings. You can easily pot them in containers.


8. Western Arborvitae Varieties

These are giant evergreen conifers. Though there are different varieties of Arborvitae, you will find them rarely in residential landscapes. Such Arborvitaes can grow up to 70-80 feet. They have a needle-like flat but green foliage.


Western Arborvitae’s two most popular varieties include Western Red Arborvitae and the Zebrina Arborvitae. The former is an ornamental tree, a spectacular choice for hedges in residential gardens, and the latter is a variegated evergreen conifer.


9. Green Giant Arborvitae

It is a hybrid between the Japanese thuja and the western red cedar. It is a Giant Arborvitae that grows about sixty feet high and is one of the taller varieties among different types of Arborvitae trees. Such plants are grown in a row and work as a spectacular windbreak. Green Giants have dark green foliage and are fifteen feet spread.


They enjoy moist soil with part shade to full sun. The plants grow best in well-drained and fertile soil. You will see them thriving in USDA growing zones five through eight.


10. Yellow Arborvitae Trees

Next, we have a distinctive evergreen Arborvitae variety. As apparent from its name, Yellow Arborvitaes have dense yellowish golden foliage. These are evergreen plants and retain their color across the year. They thrive in partial and full sun.


Water them regularly, at least once a week. During the hot weather, water them more to keep the soil moist. These varieties grow best in USDA hardiness zones three through seven. It is a spectacular plant that can lighten any landscape and add a bright visual appeal wherever it grows. Yellow Arborvitae work excellently as a privacy screen, border, or any place you want to add color.


11. Holmstrup Arborvitae

Native to North America, amongst the different types of Arborvitae, these are evergreen conifers that retain their color across the year. Holmstrup Arborvitae is a slow-growing plant that takes a decade to reach 2.5 feet wide and 10 feet tall. It has beautiful green foliage and scale-like leaves. The plant has a narrow pyramidal shape and an attractive visual appeal.


Holmstrup Arborvitae is adaptable to different soil types but thrives in well-drained and moist loams. Though they are forgiving, Holmstrup Arborvitae is not drought tolerant. These trees are popular as a hedge and foundation plantings. The Holmstrup Arborvitae will always be a specimen if planted in the small gardens. They thrive in USDA zones three through eight.


12. North Pole Types Of Arborvitae Trees

North Pole Arborvitae grows through USDA three through seven. It is an upright, beautiful evergreen shrub. They are easy to maintain and care for. The North Pole Arborvitae are 3-5 feet wide and grows ten to fifteen feet tall.


In addition, their dark green foliage looks beautiful across the year, even in the winters. They are disease-resistant and extremely hardy. In narrow spaces, gardeners usually grow these plants as privacy screens.


You can also use them as a hedge. One of the best attributes about North Pole Arborvitae is that they do not consume massive space in their garden or yard. Hence, opt for the North Pole Arborvitae if you have a small yard.


Pyramidal Arborvitae vs. Emerald Green

Both these are different types of Arborvitae trees  with unique features. Pyramidal Arborvitae is a White Cedar variant that grows in the wild because of its solid characteristics. It is a medium to fast growing plant growing about one to two feet annually and has soft, dark green foliage. Pyramidal Arborvitae sheds its foliage from September to October and drops all its previous year’s leaves to the ground.


Native to America, it is also where you generally spot the plant in high numbers. You can also find some specimens on Mackinac Island. It has five feet spread and grows about thirty feet in height. The Pyramidal Arborvitae’s root system is shallow and stretches wide. The plant has a long life, and many species live as long as seven decades.


Emerald Green Arborvitae takes up a narrow appearance with moderate growth rate. You can grow this low-maintenance plant in several weathers and soil conditions. However, the plant loves a well-draining, loamy soil with consistent moisture. It can even survive the ice and snow.


Studies suggest that Emerald Green Arborvitae can maintain its color and shape, even in the coldest and the harshest winters. It has rich, dense foliage and can be a fine choice for row-shaped plantations. You can use Emerald Green Arborvitae as a formal screen.
Even though the plant has an incredible visual appeal, it needs regular pruning to maintain its visual appeal. It is an easy-to-grow plant that is highly disease-resistant.


Related: How to save brown arborvitae trees in summer?


Arborvitae As A Part of The Environment

Arborvitaes play an important role in the ecological balance. The larvae of a few common insect species like juniper pug and autumnal moth feed on different Arborvitae trees. Even the deer loves the foliage of different types of Arborvitae trees.


What Is The Best Time Of Year To Plant Different Varieties of Arborvitae?

Ideally, most Arborvitaes are evergreen. But, you can plant them when they do not actively grow. Depending on your geographical conditions, if the soil conditions are favorable, you can plant them even in the late winters. Alternatively, you can delay plantation until spring, so the ground thaws.


Growing Different Kinds Of Arborvitae Trees

Each of the Arborvitae varieties prefers moist and well-draining soil. They thrive in USDA hardiness zones two to seven. It implies that you can plant them effortlessly anywhere in Canada and North Dallas. Almost all the American zones are ok for the plant, but they are hardy to USDA hardiness Zone 3. Also, given their versatility, they can blossom in several different landscapes.


Spacing is a vital factor in growing different types of Arborvitaes. So, do plant your Arborvitae, leaving ample space between the two plants. Two plants should have space in-between, enough to accommodate their full size. On average, the mature varieties of Arborvitae trees are about ten feet wide. So, leave ample space between them to ensure growth.


Further, if you want to give a specific shape to different kinds of Arborvitae, bear the same in mind when spacing the plants. Also, as they grow, the plant starts competing with other large plants for water and nutrients. So, keep them about 20 feet from other larger greens.


Mostly all types of Arborvitae trees  require partial shade or full sun. As they enjoy sunlight,  they may struggle if you do not expose them to at least half a day’s light. In addition, you need to plant all varieties of Arborvitae trees in well-draining soil, sans clods, rocks, and giant weed trees or plants. These substances compete with the plant for water.


Fortunately, almost all Arborvitae varieties are resistant to every condition, but excessively arid conditions may curtail the plant’s growth. Hence, avoid areas with hot and dry winds while planting.


Also, if the soil retains moisture excessively, you can add grit to about 20.5 cm depth. Most different types of Arborvitaes grow well in soil with pH levels between six to eight. You can add substantial organic material to the soil to boost its nutrition value and structure.


FAQs About Different Kinds Of Arborvitae

Ques 1. Do popular types of Arborvitae trees have ornamental value?

Ans. Arborvitaes have so much ornamental value attached to them. They grow into such pretty trees with pyramidal shapes and add so beauty to the house fencing/privacy screen.


Ques 2. Which Arborvitaes grow the fastest? How tall do they grow?

Ans. Green Giant Arborvitae grows the fastest. They are fast-growing arborvitaes that are vigorous, large, and evergreen which grow about three feet annually until maturity.


Ques 3. What is the difference between Green Giant Arborvitae and Emerald Green Arborvitae?

Ans. The Emerald Green Arborvitae has a narrower growth than the Green Giant Arborvitae. They only acquire a fraction of the former’s height. Most home growers and gardeners employ Emerald Green Arborvitae as a privacy screen for the smaller properties or when growing a tall tree is impossible. But, amongst the different types of Arborvitae trees, Green Giants are massive and can be an exceptional privacy screen for larger spaces.


Ques 4. What is the best Arborvitae for privacy?

Ans. Emerald Green Arborvitae is the top choice for a dense privacy screen.


Ques 5. What is the hardiest Arborvitae?

Ans. North Pole Arborvitae and Thuja plicata or Western Red Cedar are two of the hardiest Arborvitae.


Ques 6. Which is the smallest Arborvitae?

Ans. Holmstrup is one of the smallest Arborvitae. They grow about five to six feet in a decade and only 10-15 feet in their lifetime.