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Arborvitae Trees, Thuja, are native to eastern Asia and North America. Arborvitae Trees are evergreens from the cypress family. Easy to grow and maintain, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, like the American arborvitae tree that is wide and cone shaped, while the pyramidalis, are skinnier. The globe arborvitae is a rounded shrub that will only grow to a few feet off the ground. Arborvitae trees have scale like leaves that are soft to the touch, rather than prickly. Arborvitae trees prefer colder climates to warmer ones.
With the Thuja Tree an annual pruning keeps them in the desirable shape; pruning is best done once in the fall or early winter. Arborvitae trees can also be pruned into the shape of hedges, and make wonderful year round privacy screens, and wind blocks. It is important to provide an Arborvitae Tree with some winter protection against damage from ice and snow. While Arborvitae Trees prefer slightly acidic soil, they will grow in a variety of soils, from clay to sandy loam. Preferring moist, well drained soil, they will tolerate extremes. Thuja trees will grow well in full sun of partial shade and are extremely popular as a fencing or hedgerow plant.
Found in zones three to eight, arborvitae trees will not thrive in southern regions, and should be given afternoon shade in areas that have hotter summer months.