American Arborvitae Thuja occidentalis 'Amber Glow'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
white cedar 'Amber Glow'


The Amber Glow Arborvitae is a visually pleasing coniferous plant characterized by its evergreen foliage and unique color variations. The plant showcases foliage with a radiant blend of soft yellow and gold hues, which stand out against the typical green of most coniferous plants. The leaves of the Amber Glow Arborvitae present in a scale-like fashion, overlapping closely on the branches to create a dense, textured appearance. Throughout different seasons, the foliage can exhibit varying shades, sometimes showing brighter tones under the full sun and developing a warmer, amber color as the seasons change. The plant has a natural pyramidal to conical shape, with a somewhat upright and slightly rounded habit that adds structural interest to garden landscapes. Branches are neatly arranged, and the overall presentation of the plant is both lush and tidy, providing a vibrant and soft appearance due to the feathering of the foliage. The Amber Glow Arborvitae is a favored choice for both formal and informal gardens, as it can serve as an attractive standalone specimen or be incorporated into hedges and screens when planted in groups. Its foliage not only adds year-round color but also texture to garden designs, making it a valuable addition to any planting scheme.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      American Arborvitae, Eastern Arborvitae, Northern White Cedar, Yellow Cedar, Tree Of Life, White Cedar

    • Common names

      Thuja occidentalis 'Amber Glow'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Eastern White Cedar, a cultivar known as 'Amber Glow', can be toxic if ingested. This toxicity primarily affects the gastrointestinal system, potentially causing symptoms like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In some cases, larger amounts can lead to more severe reactions including muscle spasms, seizures, and potentially harmful effects on the heart and breathing. It is important to avoid ingesting parts of this plant.

    • To pets

      The Eastern White Cedar is also toxic to pets if they consume it. Symptoms of poisoning in pets can include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, lethargy, and lack of appetite. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to muscle weakness, seizures, and other neurological symptoms. If a pet is suspected to have ingested parts of this plant, it is important to contact a veterinarian immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters)

    • Spread

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: The 'Amber Glow' cultivar of Eastern White Cedar offers unique gold to amber foliage that adds vibrant color to landscapes across seasons.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, it requires minimal care, making it suitable for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Drought Tolerance: It can withstand periods of low water availability once mature, which is valuable in regions with water restrictions or less frequent rainfall.
    • Cold Hardy: Able to survive and thrive in colder climates, which is beneficial for gardeners in northern regions.
    • Privacy Screen: Due to its dense growth habit, it can be utilized to create privacy screens or living fences between properties.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Provides shelter and nesting sites for birds and other wildlife, enhancing the ecological value of a garden or landscape.
    • Adaptable: It can grow in a variety of soil types, though it prefers well-drained soils, making it versatile for different gardening situations.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Traditional remedy for bronchitis: Used in herbal medicine for respiratory conditions.
    • Wart removal: Applied topically in traditional practices to help remove warts.
    • Rheumatism relief: Historically used to alleviate rheumatic pain.
    • Stimulates blood circulation: Believed to improve circulation when used in herbal preparations.
    • Antiseptic qualities: Known for its cleaning properties, used to prevent infections.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Woodworking: The wood of Eastern Arborvitae is naturally resistant to decay and is often used for small woodworking projects like carving or for making boxes and nest houses.
    • Privacy Screens: Due to its dense foliage, Eastern Arborvitae can be planted in a row to create a natural privacy screen for homes or gardens.
    • Windbreaks: The species can be planted in multiple rows to serve as windbreaks, protecting soil from erosion and shielding smaller plants from harsh winds.
    • Topiary and Ornamental Shaping: Because it responds well to pruning, Eastern Arborvitae is suitable for ornamental shaping and topiary work in landscape designs.
    • Hedge Borders: Gardeners often use Eastern Arborvitae to form tidy hedge borders along property lines or walkways, as it maintains its shape with minimal maintenance.
    • Wildlife Habitat: The dense branches provide shelter and nesting sites for birds, while the seeds serve as a food source for local wildlife.
    • Christmas Decorations: Branches of Eastern Arborvitae can be cut and used as greenery in holiday wreaths and other Christmas decorations.
    • Aromatic Filler: The leaves can be crushed to release a pleasant fragrance and used as a natural aromatic filler for sachets and potpourris.
    • Insect Repellent: The natural oils found in the foliage can act as a mild insect repellent when the leaves are crushed and rubbed on the skin.
    • Cultural Significance: Indigenous cultures have used Eastern Arborvitae for ceremonial purposes and consider it a tree of life due to its evergreen nature.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Arborvitae is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Arborvitae is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Everlasting Life: Thuja occidentalis, commonly known as Northern White Cedar, is an evergreen conifer which stays green throughout the year, symbolizing immortality and eternal life.
    • Protection: Historically, the wood of Northern White Cedar was believed to possess protective properties, often used to ward off evil spirits and used in the construction of long-lasting structures, thus symbolizing protection and durability.
    • Health: Parts of the plant have been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, representing health and healing.
    • Purification: In some cultures, the Northern White Cedar is associated with cleansing rituals and the purification of both space and spirit, symbolizing cleanliness and purity.
    • Consecration: Due to its use in purification ceremonies, the plant is sometimes connected with sacred rites, signifying consecration and setting something apart as holy.
    • Privacy: Because these trees can form dense hedges when planted close together, they commonly symbolize privacy and boundary-keeping.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not applicable
Late winter
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Eastern arborvitae, commonly known as Amber Glow, should be watered deeply and thoroughly, providing about 1 gallon of water per foot of plant height each week. Newly planted Amber Glow trees need to be kept consistently moist, so watering may be necessary 2 to 3 times a week, depending on the climate and soil drainage. It's important to ensure water reaches the root zone, which can be several inches below the soil surface. Once established, Amber Glow is more drought-tolerant and may require watering every other week, particularly during dry spells. Overwatering can be as harmful as underwatering, so it is essential to check the soil moisture before watering.

  • sunLight

    The Amber Glow, or eastern arborvitae, thrives in full sun to partial shade. The ideal location for planting is one that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily, though it can tolerate some light afternoon shade. Avoid deeply shaded spots, as too little light can impede growth and weaken the plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Eastern arborvitae, or Amber Glow, is hardy to a range of temperatures and can survive minimum temperatures down to about -40 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal growing conditions are generally between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It is capable of withstanding temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but it prefers cooler climates and may require extra care in hotter regions.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the eastern arborvitae, or Amber Glow, is primarily done to maintain its desired shape and remove any dead or damaged branches. Pruning should be done in the early spring or late fall, and it can be pruned annually if needed. It's important not to prune too heavily, as these trees do not regenerate well if cut back to old wood.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for the American Arborvitae 'Amber Glow' consists of a well-draining potting mix with peat, compost, and some sand or perlite. It prefers a soil pH between 6.0 to 8.0, which is slightly acidic to neutral.

  • plantRepotting

    The American Arborvitae 'Amber Glow' does not require frequent repotting; it should be repotted every 3 to 5 years or when it has outgrown its current container.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The American Arborvitae 'Amber Glow' tolerates a wide range of humidity levels and does well in average outdoor humidity conditions typical of its growing zones.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light, ensure good airflow, not too overheated.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun to partial shade; shelter from strong winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Thuja occidentalis 'Amber Glow', commonly known as the American arborvitae or Amber Glow arborvitae, begins its life as a seed, typically germinating in moist soil conditions within a partially shaded area. Seedlings emerge and establish themselves with a robust root system before developing into juvenile plants, where characteristic scale-like leaves start to appear. As it matures into an adult, it undergoes vegetative growth, forming a dense, pyramidal shape with rich green to amber foliage that intensifies in color during the colder months. Throughout its life, the Amber Glow arborvitae may produce small cones after reaching maturity, which then disperse seeds for reproduction. The plant continues to grow and thicken, often living for several decades, and can withstand a range of temperatures and soil conditions once fully established. Eventually, like all living organisms, the arborvitae will enter senescence, experiencing reduced vigor and gradually declining until it dies.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late winter

    • Thuja occidentalis 'Amber Glow', commonly known as the American arborvitae, is typically propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings. The best time to propagate the American arborvitae via cuttings is in late summer, as this allows the plant material to have the ideal balance of maturity and growth potential. To propagate, a cutting between 4 and 6 inches long should be taken from the current year's growth. The lower leaves of the cutting are removed, and the cut end is often dipped in a rooting hormone to enhance the chances of root development. Afterward, the cuttings are inserted into a well-draining growing medium. It usually takes several weeks to a few months for roots to adequately develop. The cuttings should be kept in a humid environment with indirect light until the roots are established, after which they can be transplanted into larger pots or directly into the garden.