Thuja standishii
Common Name: Japanese arborvitae
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Native Range: Central Japan
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Fragrant, Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Black Walnut


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, neutral to alkaline, well-drained loams. Intolerant of dry conditions. Best in full sun, but generally appreciates some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Avoid full shade where foliage density will substantially decrease.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Thuja standishii, commonly called Japanese arborvitae, is a small to medium evergreen conifer that is native to subalpine forests on the Japanese islands of Honshu and Shikoku. In cultivation, it typically grows to 20-30' tall with a broad-pyramidal crown, slender trunk, fibrous reddish-brown bark and aromatic (lemony) scale-like leaves in flattened sprays. Leaves are bright green above and glaucous beneath. In their native environment, these arborvitaes may grow to as much as 100' tall.

Genus name is the Greek name for a kind of juniper (Juniperus.)

Specific epithet honors English nurseryman John Standish (c. 1809-1875).


No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Interesting and uncommon evergreen for the landscape. This tree is uncommon in commerce and may be difficult to locate.