American Arborvitae Thuja occidentalis 'Golden Tuffet'

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


The 'Golden Tuffet' is a type of arborvitae known for its unique and striking appearance. It has a dense, mounded habit with fine, feathery foliage. The leaves of the 'Golden Tuffet' are a vibrant golden-yellow to yellow-green, often with brighter tips during the new growth in the spring and summer, creating a luminous effect. As the seasons change, the golden hues can take on a more muted shade, sometimes acquiring bronze undertones in the colder months. The foliage of this arborvitae is arranged in flattened sprays that provide an attractive texture and form. The shrub is evergreen, retaining its colorful display throughout the year, which adds to its appeal in the garden. The overall impression of the 'Golden Tuffet' is one of a bright, cheerful plant that brings color and texture to the landscape. Its soft, finely textured leaves contrast nicely with more substantial, broad-leaved plants. This arborvitae's eye-catching appearance makes it a popular choice for gardeners looking to add a splash of color to their garden without overwhelming it.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      American Arborvitae, Eastern Arborvitae, Eastern White Cedar, Northern White Cedar

    • Common names

      Thuja occidentalis 'Golden Tuffet'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Arborvitae contains thujone, which can be toxic if ingested in large quantities. Although cases of human poisoning are rare, symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, asthma, seizures, and in severe cases, organ failure or death.

    • To pets

      Arborvitae is also toxic to pets, particularly cats and dogs, if ingested. The symptoms of poisoning in pets can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, drooling, and in severe cases, seizures or liver damage. It is recommended to prevent pets from ingesting this plant to avoid these potential health risks.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      1-2 feet [30-60 cm]

    • Spread

      1-2 feet [30-60 cm]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Thuja occidentalis 'Golden Tuffet', commonly known as White Cedar, adds aesthetic value to landscapes with its unique golden foliage and compact, rounded shape.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, White Cedar is easy to care for, requiring minimal pruning and resistance to most pests and diseases.
    • Year-Round Interest: With evergreen foliage, White Cedar provides visual interest throughout all seasons, keeping gardens lively even in winter.
    • Privacy Screen: When planted in rows or groups, White Cedar can serve as an effective privacy screen or living fence without taking up too much space.
    • Wildlife Habitat: White Cedar can provide shelter and nesting sites for birds, adding biodiversity to the garden environment.
    • Drought Tolerance: After establishment, White Cedar demonstrates a degree of drought resistance, making it suitable for xeriscaping and reducing the requirement for frequent watering.
    • Soil Adaptable: This plant is adaptable to a variety of soil types, allowing it to thrive in different garden conditions.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Woodworking: The wood of the Arborvitae is soft, lightweight, and aromatic, making it suitable for small woodworking projects such as crafting wooden boxes, ornaments, or small carvings.
    • Animal Bedding: Shavings of Arborvitae can be used as bedding for small animals like hamsters and guinea pigs, due to its absorbent nature and pleasant smell.
    • Hedge Creation: Arborvitae 'Golden Tuffet' can be planted in rows to create decorative, low-growing hedges for landscaping purposes.
    • Privacy Screens: The dense foliage of Arborvitae can be utilized to create natural privacy screens in gardens or on patios.
    • Topiary: Arborvitae can be pruned and shaped into various forms, making it ideal for creating topiary sculptures in gardens.
    • Garden Mulch: When pruned or trimmed, the foliage can be used as mulch to help retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth around plants.
    • Winter Garden Interest: With its golden foliage, Arborvitae provides a splash of color in winter gardens when most other plants are dormant.
    • Windbreak: Planting Arborvitae in rows can act as a windbreak, protecting smaller, more delicate plants from strong winds.
    • Erosion Control: The root system of Arborvitae can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes or banks.
    • Foundation Planting: Arborvitae's compact size makes it suitable for foundation planting around homes, adding aesthetic appeal to the landscape design.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Arborvitae is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Arborvitae is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Eternal Life: Thuja occidentalis, commonly known as Arborvitae, which translates to "tree of life," symbolizes eternal life due to its evergreen nature and longevity.
    • Protection: Arborvitae is often associated with protection because of its use in traditional Native American medicine to ward off illnesses and its sturdy nature that provides shelter for wildlife.
    • Privacy: The dense foliage of Arborvitae represents the idea of privacy, as these trees are commonly used for hedges and privacy screens in landscaping.
    • Resilience: Arborvitae is a symbol of resilience, as it can withstand harsh conditions, including cold climates and poor soil.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The American arborvitae 'Golden Tuffet' requires regular watering, especially during its first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. After establishment, water deeply and less frequently, providing about 1-2 gallons per week during dry periods. During hot summer months, increase watering slightly, but be careful not to overwater as this plant is sensitive to over-saturation. It's best to water this plant in the morning to reduce evaporation and give the foliage time to dry out, helping to prevent fungal diseases.

  • sunLight

    The American arborvitae 'Golden Tuffet' thrives best in full sun to partial shade. A location that provides at least six hours of direct sunlight is ideal, although it can tolerate light shade, especially in hotter climates. Avoid deeply shaded areas as insufficient light can lead to sparse foliage and a reduction in the plant's decorative appeal.

  • thermometerTemperature

    American arborvitae 'Golden Tuffet' is a hardy plant, able to withstand a range of temperatures. It can survive in conditions as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for its growth and health is between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows it to maintain vibrant foliage and a robust form.

  • scissorsPruning

    Light pruning can help maintain the desired shape and density of the American arborvitae 'Golden Tuffet'. It's best to prune in late winter or early spring before the onset of new growth. Limit pruning to removing any dead or damaged branches and shaping lightly, as this plant naturally maintains a tidy form. Pruning too heavily can damage the structure of the plant.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The American arborvitae 'Golden Tuffet' requires well-drained soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0. A mix of garden soil, compost, and sand is ideal to ensure proper drainage and fertility. It's essential to avoid waterlogged conditions to prevent root rot.

  • plantRepotting

    American arborvitae 'Golden Tuffet' being a slow-growing conifer, doesn't often require repotting. It is typically repotted once every 3 to 4 years, or when it becomes root-bound and the growth appears to slow down significantly.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    American arborvitae 'Golden Tuffet' is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels but does best in moderate outdoor humidity. It doesn't require special humidity considerations when grown in its natural outdoor environment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place near a sunny window; water when soil feels dry.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to part shade; mulch base; water regularly.

    • Hardiness zone

      2-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Thuja occidentalis 'Golden Tuffet', commonly known as American arborvitae, begins its life as a seed, typically produced after pollination of the female cones by wind-dispersed male pollen. Upon germination, the seedling emerges, establishing a root system and a juvenile shoot which will develop into its characteristic conical form. As a young plant, it undergoes a period of rapid vegetative growth, where its foliage expands and becomes denser, displaying golden-yellow to greenish-yellow leaves. Reaching maturity, the arborvitae enters a reproductive stage, developing small, upright cones which mature and release seeds, thus perpetuating the life cycle. Throughout its life, the plant undergoes seasonal changes with growth slowing in winter and resuming in spring. A mature Golden Tuffet arborvitae can live for multiple decades, undergoing cycles of growth, reproduction, and dormancy annually.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: The Thuja occidentalis 'Golden Tuffet', commonly known as Arborvitae, is primarily propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings. The ideal time to take these cuttings is usually late summer to early fall, once the current season’s growth has started to mature. To propagate, one should select healthy semi-hardwood branches and make cuttings about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) in length. Each cutting should have several sets of leaves. The bottom set of leaves is removed, and the cut end is often treated with a rooting hormone to encourage root development. The treated cuttings are then inserted into a well-draining rooting medium, such as a mix of peat and perlite. They are kept under high humidity conditions and out of direct sunlight until roots have established, which can take several weeks.