Hiba arborvitae is a slow-growing, refined evergreen warranting more use in the northwest. While similar to our western red cedar, it has bolder foliage that is glossy, deep forest green above, with beautiful, startling white markings beneath. Leaves are held in wide, flat branchlets and the overall effect is richly textural. The distinctive foliage has inspired two curious common names: deerhorn cedar and battle axe cedar. (Dolabra means hatchet in Latin.) This tree grows in shady, moist forests in its native Japan and suffers if planted in a dry location. Give Thujopsis dolabrata plenty of space to develop its uniform, pyramidal habit. Its texture is fine enough for a formal garden, but equally at place in the casual landscape.
Colors & Combos
Great Color Contrasts: silver, burgundy, gold
Great Color Partners: dark green, chartreuse, blue
Culture NotesHiba arborvitae grows best in full sun or light to open shade in well-drained soil. Frequent to regular watering is best during prolonged periods of drought. The soil can be of an average type, but should be well-drained. No pruning is required for proper growth.
© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks
Plant Type: pyramidal conifer
Foliage Type: evergreen
Plant Height: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 m.)
Plant Width/Spread: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 m.)
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8
Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade
Water Requirements: frequent to regular watering