American Arborvitae Tree Seeds

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About & Species

American Arborvitae
(Thuja occidentalis)

The American Arborvitae is a slow growing evergreen tree that reaches 25 to 40 feet tall. Known as the 'Tree of Life' it can live for 400 to 800 years. Recommended as a hedge tree, buffer strips around parking lots and screens. The American Aborvitae prefers high humidity and tolerates wet soils.  

Other Names: White Cedar, Eastern White Cedar, Yellow Cedar, Northern White Cedar, Atlantic Cedar, Eastern Arborvitae

Soil Type: Prefers cool, moist, nutrient rich sites. Soils: clay, loam, sand, acidic, slightly alkaline, well-drained. Grows well along rivers.

Zones: 2 to 7

Germination Range: 50-70%

Stratification Requirement: None required.

Indoor Planting: If your seeds require stratification or scarification – do the recommended pretreatment before planting indoors. Planting Instructions: Fill a container with seed starting mix to about ½ inch from the top. Place your seeds 1 inch to 1 ½ inches below the soil surface. Gently water your seeds to keep moist, not soaking wet. Heat & humidity is critical for germination. Germination may occur in 1 week or as long as 3 months (depending on the species). Place the seed container on a heat mat under growing light(s). Keep your growing lights on 14 hours per day. Keep your heat mat on 24 hours per day. Once your seeds germinate, move each seed into its own container under the growing lights and on the heat mat. Keep your seedlings indoors for 2-3 months before transplanting outdoors in the spring (May to June).

Outdoor Planting: If your seeds do not require stratification: the best time to plant tree and shrub seeds outdoors is after the last frost in your area (spring). In the Northern states – the best time to plant seeds outdoors is from May to June. If your seeds require pretreatment: you should plant your seeds outdoors before the ground freezes in your area (late September to early November). Your seeds will naturally stratify during the cold winter. Germination usually occurs in May or during the spring season.