It is a small, slow-growing tree, to 1,5-2,4 m tall and 0.5 m trunk diameter. The foliage forms in flat sprays with scale-like leaves 2-4 mm long. The cones are 15-25 mm long, green ripening brown in about 8 months from pollination, and have 6-12 thick scales arranged in opposite pairs.
The common name 'arborvitae' is from Latin, 'tree of life', and is based on its association with long life and vitality in Buddhist thought in China. This is probably based on the tree's unchanging evergreen nature in the cold dry climate of northwest China, and its longevity; some of the larger specimens planted around Buddhist temples in China are said to be in excess of 1,000 years old..
It is very widely used as an ornamental tree, both in its homeland, where it is associated with long life and vitality, and very widely elsewhere in temperate climates. The wood is used in Buddhist temples, both for construction work, and chipped, for incense burning
Genus - Thuja
Species - Orientalis
Common name - Oriental Arborvitae
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 6 - 10
Height - 5'-8' / 1,50 - 2,40 m
Spread - 4'-8' / 1,20 - 2,40 m
Plant type - Shrub / tree
Vegetation type - Evergreen
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Slow
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, loam, sand
Water requirements - Average
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Hedges, Screening / Wind Break
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green, Dark Green / Brown
Start the cold stratification process in January-February.
1. Pour 1/4 cup of vermiculite or sand into a plastic sandwich bag. Add 3 tablespoons of water. Set the bag aside for 30 minutes to allow the vermiculite or sand to soak up the water.
2. Drain excess water from the bag. Place arborvitae seeds in the planting medium or moist vermiculite. Seal the bag, and place it in the refrigerator for 60 days.
3. Pour moist seed-starting soil into a nursery flat. Insert craft sticks into each corner of the flat.
4. Sprinkle the contents of the plastic bag over the surface of the planting medium in the flat. Cover this layer with a 3 mm (1/8") layer of sand or vermiculite. Place the flat into a plastic bag, and adjust it so that the sticks hold the plastic away from the planting medium. Set the flat in an area sheltered from direct sun. Keep the temperature between +18-+23C (65-75F). The arborvitae seeds will germinate in 14 to 40 days.
5. Open the plastic bag when the seeds sprout. They need air circulation at this time, so make sure the bag is opened completely, but keep the flat inside the bag. Remove the flat from the bag when the seedlings have two sets of leaves. Place the flat in bright, but indirect, sunlight. (info source: eHow.com)
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