Common Name: American arborvitae
Type: Needled evergreen
Zone: 2 to 8
Height: 25.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 12.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Clay Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Somewhat wide range of soil tolerance, but prefers moist, 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. Plants may open up in too much shade, however. Site in locations protected from cold winter winds.
Although the species is a native American needled evergreen tree which grows 40-60’ tall, ‘Lutea’ is a more compact, narrow, upright cultivar that typically matures to 25-30’ tall and 15’ wide. Plants will add a foot or more of new growth per year, with 10-year height typically being in the 10-12’ tall range. As the cultivar name suggests, ‘Lutea’ is noted for its bright golden foliage which holds well in winter. Foliage is scale-like and appears in flat, fan-shaped clusters. Urn-shaped cones to 1/2” long mature to reddish brown. Synonymous with and sometimes still sold as Thuja occidentalis ‘George Peabody’.
No serious insect or disease problems. Bagworms and spider mites are occasional visitors. Foliage may show some winter burn in cold, exposed sites. Susceptible to damage/stem breakage in winter from ice and snow accumulations.
Golden foliage provides accent to the landscape. Good specimen. Also effective as a background plant or screen.