Thujopsis dolobrata
Common Name: hiba 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Native Range: Central and southern Japan
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 30.00 to 50.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Somewhat wide range of soil tolerance, but prefers moist, neutral to alkaline, well-drained loams (especially of some limestone content). Intolerant of dry conditions. Best with consistent moisture in moisture retentive soils and high humidity. Best in full sun, but generally appreciates some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Avoid full shade. Avoid exposed, windy sites.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Thujopsis dolabrata, commonly known as Hiba arborvitae, is a dense, slow-growing, pyramidal, evergreen conifer that is native to moist forested areas in central Japan. Mature trees typically reach 30-50’ tall in cultivation, but grow to 100' tall in their native habitat. Trees typically develop a conical crown with close to horizontal branching that sweeps upward at the tips. Trees sometime take on a shrubby form and grow much shorter. This monotypic genus closely resembles Thuja (Greek -opsis means resembling), except the branchlets of Thujopsis are broader and flatter and the leaves are larger. Small scale-like leaves appear in flattened sprays held in horizontal planes. Foliage is emerald green above and silvery-white underneath. Globular seed cones are upright. Reddish brown bark exfoliates with age.

Genus name comes from the genus name Thuja and opsis meaning like for its similarity to the genus Thuja.

Specific epithet means hatchet-like in probably reference to the shape of the stomata.


No serious insect or disease problems. Leaf blight may cause some foliage to spot and drop. Watch for canker. Leaf miner may damage leaf tips. Bagworms, mealybug, scales and spider mites are occasional visitors. Foliage may show some winter burn (turns yellow-brown) in exposed sites. Susceptible to damage/stem breakage in winter from ice and snow accumulations.


This large tree needs a large space. It is noted for its excellent form and foliage.