Pronounciation: Plat-tee-CLA-dus or-ee-en-TAL-is
Sunset All zones
Landscape Use: Nostalgic gardens, parks, foundation and entry plantings, informal hedge. Overall, is dependent on cultivar selection.
Form & Character: Evergreen shrub, upright and rounded to somewhat open with age, conifer, dense, a conspicuous landscape plant for that formal mesic landscape appearance. Older specimens usually end up being trained into larger upright trees with densely foliated crowns.
Growth Habit: Slowly to moderate, eventual height varies from 3 to 30 feet with equal spread in either case.
Foliage/Texture: Mostly light green, appressed scale-like leaves to 1/8 inch long arrayed in a vertical plane; fine texture.
Flowers & Fruits: Flowers inconspicuous clusters, fruits clustered, grayish green small cones, scales closed until fruit fully ripe and ready to disperse seeds, monoecious.
Seasonal Color: Foliage turns brownish purple in cold winter areas.
Light: Full sun
Watering: Regular water best, tolerates little desert drought.
Pruning: Light shearing to none. Overgrown specimens after many decades will inevitable be crown raised into some form of arborescent habit revealing a complex trunk and schaffold branch architecture.
Propagation: Seed, though asexually by cutting is most common.
Disease and pests: Spider mites
Additional comments: There are many cultivars of different vigor and foliar color, some variegated. Some of the more notable cultivars include:
Oriental arborvitae is usually associated with older landscapes and older design themes in the Phoenix area. They are often found in an overgrown state having been planted decades ago as a foundation corner plant. In time, they become massive visual green blobs. And the take home message is.....USE DWARF CULTIVARS!