Thuja occidentalis

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Thuja occidentalis
Volume 2, Issue 14
May 11, 2011
Thuja occidentalis
Conifers at Lockerly, Part VII
The Northern White-Cedar, Thuja occidentalis, is a
popular and very widely used evergreen conifer. This is one
of the species known as arborvitae. The name
arborvitae means “tree of life” and it is a reference to the
high vitamin C content in the foliage, used by the early
explorers of the New World to prevent or treat scurvy.
True to its common names (Swamp-Cedar is another), this
species often found growing in swampy locations and along
the banks of streams, where the soil is deep and humusy.
It is also found at higher elevations, notably on limestone
outcroppings, along the Appalachian Mountains. It is native
to Labrador and Nova Scotia west to Manitoba and south to
Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota. It can live 200 to 300 years.
Table of Contents
Thuja occidentalis pg. 1
Melissa Wilburn
pg. 2
What’s in Bloom?
pg. 2
‘DeGroot’s Spire’
In the wild, the Northern White-Cedar can reach a height of 30 to 60 ft. tall, often
with a forked trunk, but in cultivation it rarely exceeds 30 ft. It is a dense tree with an
attractive pyramidal shape. The branches are arranged in flat, fan-shaped sprays, and are
commonly maintained to the ground. The scale-like leaves are pleasantly aromatic. They
are yellow-green and turn slightly bronze in the winter. Because of this, cultivars that stay
green all seasons are particularly valued.
Thuja occidentalis was one of the earliest plants introduced from the New World to
‘Emerald Green’
Europe and was growing in France before 1550. It is moderately fast-growing and very
hardy. It does best in full sun in moist, well-drained soil. In too much shade, the plants will thin out and look shabby. It is
not regarded as particularly heat-tolerant or deer-resistant, and not all cultivars of the species do well in the Southeastern
United States. We have many Thuja occidentalis cultivars in our conifer collection, and many have performed well over
the years. Some of the best cultivars include:
‘DeGroot’s Spire’ – A columnar cultivar with rich green foliage, growing to 20 ft. tall
‘Emerald Green’ – A narrow cultivar that performs well and grows to 15 ft. tall
‘Hetz Midget’ – A ball-shaped dwarf cultivar that grows to only 2 ft. tall
‘Pumila Sudsworth’ – A conical selection that performs well and grows to 10 ft. tall
‘Rhinegold’ – A rounded dwarf cultivar with fine textured foliage, growing to 3 ft. tall
Melissa Wilburn
This past week, Lockerly hosted an art
exhibition in our former Woods Museum titled “Wild
Whiskers & Dusty Paws”. The show was part of the
senior art exhibition by graduating GC&SU senior,
Melissa Wilburn. Melissa has a vivid imagination
which aided her in creating the unique paintings that
lined the walls of the Woods Museum. The paintings
portray cats as cowboys and historic figures of the Wild
West, with such titles as “The Cat with No Name” and
“A Handful of Catnip”. Each painting brought a smile
to the face of all who attended the exhibition. Melissa
hopes to teach English in Japan next year and continue
expressing herself creatively through her artwork.
Melissa was recently featured in an article in the
Colonnade, which quoted her as saying “I really enjoy
the creative process of art”. That attitude shows in all
her work, including murals at the Milledgeville
Farmer’s Market site. We wish Melissa the best of
luck with all her future endeavors!
What’s in Bloom?
Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)
Papaver somniferum (Opium Poppy)
Phlox 'Minnie Pearl' (Hybrid Phlox)
Tradescantia virginiana (Spiderwort)
Achillea x 'Moonshine' (Hybrid Yarrow)
Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint)
Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)
Gaura lindheimeri (Wand Flower)
Oenothera speciosa (Evening Primrose)
Phlox 'Chattahoochee' (Hybrid Phlox)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (Oxeye Daisy)
Petunia x hybrida (Petunia)
Coreopsis grandiflora (Tickseed)
Arum italicum ‘Pictum’ (Italian Arum)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Salvia farinacea (Mealycup Sage)