American Arbour-vitae, Thuja occidentalis, although probably more commonly referred to as just Thuja, is part of a small but hardy group of evergreen conifers.
This North American species is common as a good hedging plant in the UK and is reckoned to be hardier that the very similar T. plicata , Western red cedar. The species has long been cultivated by the horticultural industry and as a result a great many cultivars have arisen. It is native Eastern parts of the USA where it is an important timber tree. It is reckoned to have first been brought into the UK as long ago as 1534, so well used to UK conditions.
This example was collected from a local enthusiast’s garden some years ago but has had only minimal styling carried out up till now. The photos show some rudimentary deadwood creation by way of jins, we feel that a lot more could be done with this tree by way of deadwood creation, both jin and shari terms to create a characterful and aged appearance, not needed, of course, if deadwood is not your thing, it can still look vert good without it ! The foliage has been allowed to grow freely for a couple of seasons to get vigour into the tree which has certainly worked, it has had a light prune this year. The height is 80cm. and it has a spread of 60 cm. There is some surface rootage which measures 20cm. across and above this the trunk diam. is 6cm. The training pot is a plastic Mica oval 47x34x12cm. This tree will make a very interesting project and we fell a good image can be achieved in quite a short time. Bear in mind that it is very hardy and easy to grow.