Thuja occidentalis – lesser known cultivars

June 14, 2009

t.o.Sherwood Plumespire, Degroot's Spire, T.o. 'Norm Evers'

t.o.Sherwood Plumespire, Degroot's Spire, T.o. 'Norm Evers'

Compared to Thuja orientalis, there many more cultivars of Thuja occidentalis represented in the landscape at least in the southern  US.  There are many that have become regular elements in the landscape – ‘Emerald’ Arborvitae for example and they have performed well. Bag worms can be a problem, but few plants have no insect problem at all, and if you grow your plants well, and have a diverse pallet of plants, you have reduced the insect problem greatly. There are two newer cultivars that I have come across that are not well known yet. Thuja occ. ‘Norm evers’ is  a moderate growing fine textured upright with a soft grey green summer color. Winter color is harder to describe. Plum and pink are represented but in a subtle manner. Thuja occ. ‘Sherwood plumespire’ has a similiar color and habit. It’s foliage is even softer in appearance. Both root easily from winter cuttings with mist and bottom heat. A plant that has been around for years is ‘Degroot’s Spire arborvitae. Originally, this cultivar was extremely narrow, with only one leader. I think the plant has degraded some, as some nurseries sell a form that is broader, and forms one dominant leader with a satellite of secondary leaders. We have obtained some stock of the original form and plan on switching out to that form exclusively in the future.

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