From time to time breakthroughs occur in gardening that open up new possibilities and bring us plants that give us new options for color and interest in our gardens. The Forever Goldy Arborvitae is one of those plants. This is the first form of this tree to be truly golden all year round. It is a lime-gold in summer, and then when colder temperatures arrive it turns a dramatic and vibrant golden yellow for the winter, until spring and new growth turns it back to lime-gold. This gives us the opportunity to have a golden column of color as an accent in our garden. It can be used as a focal point, or to give height in a bed of mixed shrubs. Plant a pair on either side of a doorway, or among rounded evergreens in the foundation planting around your house. It looks great among blue-foliage evergreens such as Blue Spruce, where the two colors form a dramatic contrast with each other. It will turn a group of ordinary green-leaved shrubs into a interesting arrangement, bringing contrast and accent to any boring planting you want to make exciting.
The Forever Goldy Arborvitae also gives us the opportunity to make a dramatic golden hedge or screen to give exciting color instead of a plain background. This would be especially useful where we have a hedge with a simple lawn or driveway beside it. You could even mix together this golden form with plain green arborvitae, like Thuja Green Giant, or Thuja Emerald Green, to create a unique ‘tapestry hedge’ with contrasting areas of green and gold. This will definitely create a different and attractive feature in any garden.
The Forever Goldy Arborvitae forms an upright tree reaching perhaps 20 feet, and staying less than 5 feet wide. It is evergreen, with sprays of foliage covered with tiny leaves that cling to the stems. It has no significant flowers or cones, and remains attractive all year round. The foliage is held right to the ground for many years, so the trunk and stem – which are covered in a fibrous reddish-brown bark – are normally not seen. It will naturally grow dense and compact, with an upright habit, without any trimming needed. For an even denser plant, or to control its size, it can be trimmed once or twice a year, in early spring or early summer. Never cut back to branches that have no foliage on them, as these will not re-sprout.
This tree grows best in the damper, milder parts of the country. It thrives in areas that are not extremely cold in winter – although it is hardy all the way down to minus 20 – and that do not become very hot and dry during summer. It will grow 8 to 12 inches a year to soon become a beautiful and unique specimen in your garden. It is free of any significant pests and diseases and it needs no trimming to maintain its beautiful upright, columnar form.
The Forever Goldy Arborvitae is a form of the western redcedar, Thuja plicata. This tree is also known as the giant arborvitae, to distinguish it from the hardier Thuja occidentalis, called arborvitae or ‘tree of life’. Western redcedar is a native tree to the Pacific northwest, growing in extensive forests in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and in British Columbia. It forms a large tree, up to 200 feet tall, but in gardens it remains much smaller. As the hybrid tree Thuja Green Giant, it is widely grown as a hedging plant across much of the country.
This tree was found growing in a nursery in Steensel, The Netherlands, in 2002. It was a single plant in a field of ordinary green forms of western redcedar, spotted by Andreas Luijten, at the Boomkwekerij Dries Luijten nursery. This unique tree was grown and tested before being give the official name of ‘4EVER’.
Clearly such a special tree cannot be grown from seed, and it must be carefully reproduced under license from the original grower. Our trees are grown by experts and conform exactly to the original tree in all their characteristics, especially in its unique golden coloring. Other forms will not have this unique feature, so be careful – we will definitely give you the correct plant and not a cheaper ‘alternative’.
Choose a sunny spot for your tree, to develop the golden color well. In hotter areas, some shade from afternoon sun will be beneficial to your tree. Plant it in any well-drained garden soil, with the addition of a good amount of organic material when preparing the planting area. Use organic mulch in spring, especially for the early years, to conserve moisture and provide nutrients for your tree. A fertilizer designed for evergreen trees can be used in spring to give the best growth and keep your tree healthy and vigorous.
This special tree is destined to become a great favorite with gardeners, adding a new color choice in this type of evergreen tree. Here at the Tree Center we are thrilled to be able to offer this great new introduction to our customers. We predict that this tree will be very popular with many gardeners, and because this is a new tree the supplies are limited. Don’t hesitate and order right away, so that you can enjoy being among the first to grow this terrific new plant.