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Common Name:

Oriental Arborvitae

Scientific Name:

Platycladus orientalis

Family Name:



Oriental Arborvitae is a large evergreen shrub or small tree. Crown shape is variable ranging from narrowly pyramidal to rounded. The plant looks deceptively small in youth, but can occasionally reach medium tree size. The tree tends to maintain multiple leaders and the crown tends to split under snow and ice loads. The foliage can develop a brownish cast in winter in cold climates.

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, large shrub, spreading conifer, tree, small tree, medium tree


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Not ornamental

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Small round woody cone


variable, 10 ft to 25 ft


8 ft to 20 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Very adaptable, tolerates heat, drought, salty soils and high pH. While Oriental Arborvitae is very drought tolerant, it is intolerant of soil disturbance and excess soil moisture. Bagworms and spider mites are the primary limitations, while juniper blight and leaf miners can be occasional problems.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.