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North Pole® Arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis 'Art Boe' (PP# 22,174)

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How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me

The North Pole® Arborvitae is an excellent evergreen for specimens, because of its very narrow, pyramidal form. It grows to 15 feet in about 10 years, and it will be just 5 feet wide at the base, and much narrower higher up. The rich green foliage is naturally dense, and this tree needs no trimming to stay neat and slender. It doesn’t burn or bronze in winter, and it needs no special care to make a beautiful specimen tree, alone or in groups, in beds or on a lawn area. Use it for natural screening, and to fill empty parts of your garden.

  • Elegant, narrow pyramidal form
  • Rich green foliage all year round
  • Grows tall, but stays slender without needing trimming
  • No winter burn or bronzing even in cold zones
  • Very cold hardy, to zone 3

Grow the North Pole® Arborvitae in full sun or partial shade. It is completely hardy into at least zone 3, and it grows in most soils, including wetter areas that can be problems to plant. It is normally free of pests and diseases and established plants are resistant to ordinary summer drought. Trim it for an even tighter look, anytime between late spring and early fall.

Plant Hardiness Zones 3-8
Mature Width 4-6
Mature Height 10-15
Soil Conditions Well-Drained Soil
Sunlight Full Sun to Partial Shade
Drought Tolerance Moderate Drought Tolerance
Zones 3-8

Eastern arborvitae, white cedar, Thuja occidentalis. Whatever you choose to call it, this evergreen tree, native to the north-east, is without doubt the most reliable evergreen for all the colder parts of the country. There are a whole range of garden varieties, but the most popular by far is the one called Emerald Green. This upright plant is incredibly useful for screening and hedges, but let’s face it, as a specimen it is a little graceless, with too much width and a slightly lumpy look. For a similar tree that is more svelte and stylish, choose the elegant North Pole® Arborvitae. Broader at the base for stability, this tree soars to 15 feet in about ten years, and while it may be 5 feet across at ground level, higher up it tapers gracefully into a slender green spire. You won’t need to clip it – it produces that effect naturally. For charming groups in beds or on lawns it is perfect, and its rich green stays that way all year round, with no browning or burning. Just as hardy as its older cousin, this is the evergreen to choose if you value elegance as well as utility.

Growing the North Pole® Arborvitae

Size and Appearance

The North Pole Arborvitae is a coniferous evergreen, with a straight central trunk and numerous ascending branches, which grows into an upright, vertical bush. It grows between 12 and 18 inches a year, so within 10 years it will be about 15 feet tall. By then it will be up to 5 feet wide at the base, which remains green and dense for many years. It tapers rapidly into a much more slender form, creating a tall, narrow pyramidal or spire-like tree, with a slender tip. In time it will grow taller, because like all evergreens it continues to add a few inches each year as long as it lives. The base will widen a little more too, but it will retain its graceful pyramidal form.

The foliage is carried densely all along the height of the tree, from top to bottom, clothing it completely is a rich, bright green color. The foliage consists of very small scale-like leaves that cling to the young branches. These grow in spreading, slightly curved but flattened fans, giving a shell-like and graceful form to the foliage. Each spray lasts for several years, keeping the bush lush and green all year round. In time, as new growth replaces them, these sprays drop neatly into the inside of the bush. The foliage color is a strong, rich green, and it stays that way 365 days of the year, with none of the winter bronzing or burning that other forms of this tree can have.

Using the North Pole® Arborvitae in Your Garden

Striking vertical specimens are an essential feature in every garden. Without them your yard looks dull and graceless – just a collection of round shapes. These verticals catch the eye and draw it upwards, lingering on the beauty and calm ‘greenness’ of the tree. When you want a single accent, or a group of 3, 5, or 7 (odd numbers always look best), then this tree is the ideal and perfect choice. It has a particularly satisfying and graceful pyramidal form – much better than a fat, lumpy column – and its green foliage is reliable all year round. Plant a pair flanking a doorway or entrance. Line a driveway with an elegant row on one or both sides. Scatter them at the back of larger beds or in the corners of your yard. Place them on lawns for height without taking up lots of width. When planting in groups space at least 5 feet apart, to keep them as individuals. Vary the spacing to give an eye-catching and more natural effect. Planted more closely, on 2 or 3-foot centers, you can also use the North Pole Arborvitae in a row for screening anywhere in the garden, clipped or unclipped.

Hardiness

The North Pole Arborvitae is hardy in zone 3, and all warmer zones except for zone 9. It can be grown almost everywhere.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Plant the North Pole Arborvitae in full sun or partial shade – it thrives in most locations except for very shady ones. It grows in most soils, including damper ones, but not so well in very hot, dry locations. Once established it will tolerate normal summer periods of dryness in cooler zones.

Maintenance and Pruning

The North Pole Arborvitae keeps its elegant, narrow pyramidal shape naturally, without trimming. If you want an even tighter shape, it can be trimmed at any time from late spring, after the new growth emerges, to early fall, allowing enough time for new growth to mature before winter comes.

This tree is normally free of pests or diseases. Some evergreen fertilizer in spring will give you the maximum annual growth and keep the foliage lush and green.

History and Origin of the North Pole® Arborvitae

The Eastern arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis, grows all through the north-east and up into Canada. There are numerous selected garden forms, and an older one is called ‘Hetz Wintergreen’. It was developed in the 1940s in Pennsylvania, and it is very fast growing, with a narrow, columnar form. In 1998, Arthur Boe, owner of the Northstar Nursery in Faribault, Minnesota, collected seeds from a tree of ‘Hetz Wintergreen’ and grew the seedlings for a while. In 2001 he selected one plant that did not burn or brown in winter, and that had good foliage color and a very narrow form. After further trials it was named ‘Art Boe’ and patented in 2011 by Spring Meadow Nursery, of Grand Haven, Michigan. They have released it with the trademark name of North Pole®.

Buying the North Pole® Arborvitae at The Tree Center

This is an exciting newer plant, with much better form than Emerald Green, or other fast-growing arborvitae. These plants will soon be shipped to clients, so order now, while they are still available.

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North Pole® Arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis 'Art Boe' (PP# 22,174)

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