Bright and colorful shrubs really bring your garden alive, and the great advantage to foliage color over flowers is the many months of the year you get to enjoy that color. With evergreens you have that color every day – reliable, low-maintenance and a real garden asset. Not every garden has the space for bigger plants, but everyone has a spot in their garden that is calling out for the compact flash of brightness the Golden Tuffet Arborvitae brings. This unique evergreen is guaranteed to bring year-round gold and orange accent to your beds, or in planters and pots.
The Golden Tuffet Arborvitae grows slowly into a broad dome of foliage, shaped like a mushroom cap. It grows between 3 and 5 inches a year, so that in ten years it will be about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide, with a bold presence that exceeds its compact size. The unique foliage changes color through the seasons, and it is always interesting. The spring foliage is a bright, cheerful yellow color. As it matures it becomes a rich orange, darkening during the coldest winter months to a reddish-purple. Deeper inside, and around the base, the leaves are lime-green, so that the color of the outer leaves is lifted and enhanced by that contrast. This unique coloring is enriched by the attractive foliage, which looks like braided threads, giving the plant both a visual and tactile softness.
Use the Golden Tuffet Arborvitae around your garden wherever you want a splash of bold color. A single plant looks great in a planter or pot, where it will thrive for many years. A pair could be used to give a formal accent at the top of bottom of a flight of stairs. Plant it among a collection of colorful evergreens for a wonderful garden feature that brings year-round interest for very little effort. These beds only get better and better over the years, as the plants develop into mature specimens. Planted in clusters or groups in the foreground of larger beds, the Golden Tuffet Arborvitae has a powerful presence. It also makes an interesting and colorful border along a path or driveway or edging a bed in a lawn. Wherever you need a bright accent mound, this is your go-to plant.
Growing Golden Tuffet Arborvitae Trees
Plant the Golden Tuffet Arborvitae in a sunny spot for the strongest color, as it will become more greenish when grown in a shadier spot. It grows well in any ordinary garden soil, preferring moist but well-drained ground. It will not grow so well in very dry and sandy soils, but otherwise this is a very easy plant to grow. This is a very cold-hardy plant, and it grows well even in zone 4, so it’s a great color-asset for gardeners in colder zones, where the choices can be more limited. It will also grow well into zone 8, but it does not like very hot and humid summers. It has no significant pests or diseases.
It needs no trimming to keep its ‘mushroom cap’ form, but if you want a very dense and neater mound, it can easily be done. An occasional trim every few years will ensure its stays dense and well-shaped. Trim in early spring, before new growth begins, but after the last hard frost. For mass planting and borders, space plants 2 feet apart for a dense cover, and 3 feet apart for a more open look, where each plant will retain its identity. Although this plant is a great choice for containers, you should be aware that the root system of almost all plants is not as winter-hardy as the top growth, and the Golden Tuffet Arborvitae is no exception. In containers it will not be hardy below zone 6. A simple solution is to slide it out of the pot in fall and plant it in the garden, and then return it to the pot in spring.
The Golden Tuffet Arborvitae is a special form of the eastern arborvitae, or white cedar, Thuja occidentalis. Also known as the American arborvitae, it grows at the margins of forests and around wetlands throughout south-eastern Canada and the north-eastern states. Trees can live for hundreds of years, and they may eventually grow to 60 feet tall. An interesting feature of this plant is that young seedlings have different leaves to mature plants. This ‘juvenile foliage’ is spiny, with the wedge-shaped leaves coming off the stems at an angle. This is believed to protect the seedlings from grazing animals. The leaves of ‘adult foliage’ lie flat and scale-like on the young stems.
History and Origins of Golden Tuffet Arborvitae Trees
There are many different selected forms of arborvitae, and the one called ‘Golden Tuffet’ is an example of a plant that keeps its juvenile foliage throughout its life. This gives it thread-like leaves that look braided, and not the flat fans seen on many other types of arborvitae. This tree was found some years ago at the famous Iseli Nursery in Boring, Oregon, founded by Jean Iseli in 1975. This Swiss-American collector and breeder of dwarf conifers introduced many new evergreens, always of the best quality. The Golden Tuffet Arborvitae is no exception, and it is another tribute to his skills. Our plants are produced from stem pieces by specialist growers, not from seed, so that they remain identical to that original selection, which could have been a unique branch on another variety with juvenile leaves. This is never a readily-available plant, so our stock will soon be gone. To enjoy its unique beauty, order now, while our limited stock remains available.