Thuja (Platycladus) orientalis
Common name: 
Chinese Arborvitae
Oriental Arborvitae
THEW-ya o-ree-en-TAH-lis / plat-ee-KLAD-us o-ree-en-TAH-lis
Thuja orientalis
Platycladus orientalis
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Conifer, evergreen shrub or tree, 4-6 ft (1.2-1.8 m) high, 3-5 ft (0.9-1.5 m) wide, [as a tree it may reach 40 ft (12 m) tall], dense, globular to ovoid, with branchlets held vertically and nearly parallel in arrangement.  Bark thin, red-brown, separating into papery scales.  Leaves scale-like, bright green but may turn brownish in winter, nearly alike on both sides, those on a main axis glandular, ending in a free spreading point.  Cones ovoid, 1.5-2.5 cm long, fleshy, blue before they mature, scales thick and hooked.
  • Sun.  Tends to open up with age, and may have to be tied.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone (5)6       Native to Korea, Manchuria and northern China.
  • Taxonomy:  There is general consensus that this species,Thuja orientalis, does not belong in the Thuja genus and has been transferred to the genus Platycladus, hence Platycladus orientalis.  However, most horticultural nurseries and retail outlets continue to use the older designation.  
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • plant habit, older plants

    plant habit, older plants

  • branches with cones

    branches with cones

  • branchlets, immature cones

    branchlets, immature cones

  • branchlets, mature cones

    branchlets, mature cones

  • leaves


  • branchlets, comparison

    branchlets, comparison

  • leaves, comparison

    leaves, comparison

  • branchlets and cones, comparison

    branchlets and cones, comparison