The Golden Feather Arborvitae is a remarkable evergreen for moderate climates, capable of growing 9 inches a year when young, and soon becoming an attractive conical tree that is ideal as an accent or specimen plant. What makes it so outstanding? It’s simple – this tree is a rich shade of golden yellow, and it stays that way for every day of the year. There are other yellow evergreens, but most of them turn greenish in summer, or through the winter, so that they are only outstanding for a time n spring. Not the Golden Feather Arborvitae. Every day you step into your garden, there it will be, a striking golden yellow specimen, full of light and beauty.
The Golden Feather Arborvitae grows steadily into a narrow conical form. Left untrimmed it will be 8 to 10 feet tall in ten years, and about 2 feet wide. In time it will certainly reach 20 feet, but still, only be 6 to 8 feet wide. Like all other conifer evergreens, it will grow throughout its life, adding several inches each year, even as an older plant, but it will always stay conical and upright. The foliage is soft to the touch, with tiny leaves that cling tightly to the stems. These grow in feathery horizontal layers, with a graceful charm. If you crush the foliage you will release a powerful fragrance reminiscent of pineapple and forests. But what really wins us over is the rich golden-yellow color of the leaves, which penetrates deeply into the center of the bush, making the whole plant glow and shine. This color is perhaps freshest in spring when the new growth emerges, but you will see then how little the older leaves have changed over the year, and how golden yellow they still are. Every day is a golden day with this tree in your yard.
Growing Golden Feather Arborvitae Trees
Use the Golden Feather Arborvitae as a beautiful lawn specimen. Plant it among large shrubs for a gorgeous accent to their plain green leaves. Use it around your home in the foundation planting, perhaps between windows, or on either side of an entrance porch or door. Plant it in groups to fill the corners of your yard and provide year-round screening. It can also be planted as a unique golden hedge, along a boundary, or perhaps to separate one part of your garden from another. Space plants 3 feet apart to build that golden hedge and trim it once or twice a year. Trim once it begins to grow, and don’t wait until it reaches full size to start trimming. Removing an inch or so from it while it is developing will give you the densest and best-formed hedge possible, but don’t start trimming until your plants are established and growing well.
The Golden Feather Arborvitae is best grown in areas with moderate climates. It thrives in zones 5 to 8, across a large part of the country, but it prefers areas with mild winters and summers that are moist and not hot. Much of the north-east and north-west is an ideal area for it to grow in. It grows best in moist, well-drained soil, and it tolerates clay soils well. Do not plant in soil that is often dry, although once established it will tolerate brief periods of drought. Plant in full sun for the brightest foliage color, but it will also grow well in partial shade, especially in warmer zones, where some afternoon cooling shade can be beneficial.
History and Origins of Golden Feather Arborvitae Trees
The Golden Feather Arborvitae is a special form of the western red cedar, Thuja plicata, a native American tree. It grows from southern Alaska down the Pacific coast to northern California, and through the Rockies from British Columbia to Montana. Wild trees can reach 200 feet in height, and live for a thousand years, and it is an important tree in the northeastern forests. It grows well in much of northern Europe too, where it is used for hedges and specimen trees. In the 1980s a vigorous, narrower, upright variety called ‘Gelderland’ was developed in Europe.
That compact tree is a favorite choice for hedges in The Netherlands, and it was there, in 1997, that Albertus Fye Daniels spotted a unique branch growing on a plant of ‘Gelderland’ at his nursery in Nijerk. This branch had rich golden foliage, completely different from the deep-green foliage of the parent plant. When he grew new plants from that branch they developed into golden-yellow upright bushes, and he named his new plant ‘Daniellow’. In 2009 he patented it in America, and it is today produced by Monrovia Nurseries, California, with the name Golden Feather. We are excited to have been able to find some beautiful young plants of this very special evergreen. We know from experience how popular golden foliage is, and these plants will not be with us for long. Order now, and enjoy the bright, feathery, golden foliage of this beautiful tree in your garden. A wise choice.