White cedar 'Smaragd' Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
White cedar 'Smaragd'
White cedar 'Smaragd'
White cedar 'Smaragd'


Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is an evergreen conifer that typically reaches a height of 8 to 10 feet and a spread of 4 to 6 feet when mature. The tree has an oval growth habit and maintains a pyramidal shape even without pruning or shearing. The needles are light green and are 0.5 to 0.75 inches long and 0.125 to 0.25 inches wide.
The needles are arranged in flat, fan-shaped sprays. Mature plants produce small, brown, round cones that are 0.5 to 0.75 inches in diameter.
The bark is reddish-brown on young branches, while older branches develop scaly, reddish-brown to dark, brownish-gray bark.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      White cedar 'Smaragd', Northern whitecedar 'Smaragd', Eastern white-cedar 'Smaragd', Arborvitae 'Smaragd', Swamp cedar 'Smaragd', American arborvitae 'Smaragd', Eastern arborvitae 'Smaragd'

    • Common names

      Cupressus arborvitae, Thuja odorata, Thuja procera, Thuja theophrastii, Thuja occidentalis 'Emeraude', Thuja occidentalis Emerald

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is not considered toxic to humans. This evergreen tree may cause skin irritation, due to its high essential oil content. The oil can cause contact dermatitis and skin irritation, which can occur when picking, handling, or pruning the plant. Additionally, if consumed, Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' may cause stomach upset with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

    • To pets

      Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is toxic to animals. Symptoms of poisoning may include gastrointestinal upset, depression, weakness, and a lack of coordination. In severe cases, seizures, tremors, and even death may occur.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      Up to 10 feet

    • Spread

      Up to 6 feet

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    Low Maintenance: Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is a low maintenance evergreen that requires minimum pruning and fertilizing to remain healthy and vibrant.
    Disease Resistance: Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is highly resistant to many fungal, bacterial and insect diseases, reducing the need for excessive pesticide use.
    Drought Tolerance: This plant is capable of withstanding prolonged periods of drought, making it an ideal choice for low-water landscaping.
    Fast-Growing: Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is a fast-growing evergreen shrub, capable of reaching heights of up to 10 feet in just a few short years.
    Easy to Shape: The dense foliage of Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' makes it easy to prune and shape into the desired form.
    Attractive Foliage: With its bright lime green foliage, Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' provides a pleasing visual contrast to other evergreen plants in the garden.
    Pollution Tolerance: This plant is capable of withstanding moderate levels of air pollution, making it well-suited for urban settings.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    Do not use this plant as a self-medication and without consulting a doctor, as it is poisonous and can cause serious consequences!
    Anti-inflammatory: Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' contains active compounds such as thujone and sesquiterpene, which can reduce inflammation in the body.
    Arthritis Treatment: The plant can be used to ease discomfort associated with joint pain.
    Asthma Relief: Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' has been found beneficial for the treatment and prevention of asthma.
    Antimicrobial: The plant is known to contain substances such as terpenes and flavonoids, which have the ability to fight microbes and infections in the body.
    Digestive Aid: The plant has been widely used to help reduce gastrointestinal complaints such as indigestion, nausea and stomachaches.
    Laxative: Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' can help to relax the intestines, aiding in a smoother bowel movement.
    Aromatherapy: Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' essential oils are used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation, stimulate circulation and provide relief from tension.
    Skin Care: The plant is used in topical products to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.
    Urinary Tract Infection Treatment: Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' has been used to help inhibit microbial growth associated with urinary tract infections.
    Stress Relief: The plant is known for its calming and soothing effects, assisting in the relief of stress.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is a type of evergreen tree that is known to help clean the air. The dense foliage of this tree helps absorb pollutants such as dust, smoke, and volatile organic compounds, making the air cleaner and fresher. In addition, the plant emits phytoncides, beneficial compounds that help purify the air and prevent the spread of harmful airborne microparticles.

  • leavesOther Uses

    Windbreaks: Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is an evergreen tree, making it ideal for creating windbreaks around backyards, patios, and other outdoor living areas.
    Privacy Hedges: The dense, bushy foliage of Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' and its rapid growth habit make it an ideal choice for creating privacy and creating attractive barriers in the garden.
    Topiary: This coniferous evergreen tree has a unique appearance, making it perfect for creating topiary - large hedges clipped into shapes or pruned into decorated trees.
    Winter colour: The bright colour and dense foliage of this tree makes it a great addition to any winter landscape, providing year-long interest and colour even during the colder months.
    Erosion Control: Because of its rapid growth, Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' can be used to combat soil erosion on steep slopes or hillsides with its deep root system.
    Wildlife Habitat: This coniferous evergreen tree provides habitats for a variety of wildlife, such as birds and squirrels, who enjoy resting and nesting in its dense foliage.
    Ornamental: With is attractive, vibrant foliage, Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' makes a great ornamental tree, adding eye-catching beauty to any garden or landscape.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' plant can be used in Feng Shui to promote a feeling of safety, security, and protection. Place it in your home to create a secure and stable energetic environment. Place it in the Wealth or Prosperity section of your home as it is believed to attract abundance, success, and good fortune.
    For best results, position the plant in the center of the room to bring balance and harmony. The vibrant green foliage of this plant can act as a natural cleanser, clearing stale energy and inviting in new, positive energy flow.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is best associated with the sign of Gemini in astrology. This is because Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is often used as a symbol of communication and exchange, and Gemini is the zodiac sign associated with connecting with others, communication, and gathering knowledge.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is a symbol of peace, growth, and good health.
    Its bright green and luscious foliage indicates strength and steadiness. Its densely packed leaves act as a protective cover, providing shelter, and also illustrating fertility, stability, and an abundance of love for those who adore it.
    Additionally, it was believed that Thuja occidentalis smaragd brought good luck to its owners, especially when it was given as a gift.
    As an emblem of protection, many people choose the Thuja smaragd to represent faith in the future and the belief that all will be alright, no matter what one faces.

Once a week
20000 - 50000 Lux
Spring - summer
Every spring - late summer
  • water dropWater

    Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' should be watered on a regular basis, but not too often. When watering, it is important to thoroughly moisten the soil at the base of the plant without making it soggy.
    The plant should be watered about once a week, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' requires about 1-1.5 inches of water per week, depending on the weather and soil conditions.

  • sunLight

    For Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd', the best light conditions are full sun exposure to partial shade. A spot that offers indirect light with some direct morning sun is ideal.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is a cold-hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. It is suitable for hardiness zones 2-7, which means it can survive temperatures as low as -50°F to 5°F.
    However, it prefers cooler temperatures and grows best in temperate climates with cool summers and mild winters.

  • scissorsPruning

    Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' should be pruned in early spring to late summer, by cutting back the current year's growth to shape the plant and encourage bushier growth. It's important to avoid pruning into the older, woody growth as it may not regenerate. Regular maintenance pruning can also help to prevent the plant from becoming too dense and congested.

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' should consist of equal parts loam, perlite, and peat moss to allow for the most optimal drainage, aeration, and moisture holding capacity.
    The ideal soil pH should be slightly acidic with a range between 5.5 and 6.5. Additionally, adding an appropriate amount of fertilizer and organic mulch will help to increase the nutrient levels, promote root growth, and protect the roots from extreme temperature changes.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The best humidity conditions for Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is a relative humidity between 50 to 75%.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Not growing

    • Outdoor

      All year round

    • Hardiness zone

      USDA 2 - 10

  • circleLife cycle

    The plant starts its life as a seed. Seed germination occurs in late spring or early summer, typically around temperatures of 45 to 50°F. The process can take anywhere from one to three months, with seeds typically sprouting when the soil is kept damp and temperatures warm.
    Once established, the sapling grows at a slow to medium rate, increasing in height by 2-3 feet per year.
    By the time it is 10-12 years old, the Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' is fully mature and will bear seed as part of its reproductive cycle.
    As part of the aging process, the Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' will begin to experience die-back in its oldest branches, typically the interior ones, leaving bare stems. To help the plant stay healthy and vibrant, it is important to remove dead or diseased branches as soon as possible.
    Ultimately, the Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' will slow in its growth and enter into a period of senescence. During this phase, it is important to continue caring for the plant in order for it to remain healthy for as long as possible. When the plant dies, its branches may die prematurely, leaving bare stems.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring - summer

    • Seed Sowing: Seed sowing is best done in a seed tray in late spring. Fill seed trays with a peat-based potting compost and lightly sprinkle the seeds into the tray and cover with a thin layer of compost. Make sure that the temperature is around 68-75˚F. Seeds should germinate within 3-4 weeks. Once the seedlings appear, transplant them into a nursery bed or individual pots filled with a good quality potting compost.
      Softwood Cuttings:
      Softwood cuttings should be taken from the new growth of the Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' in late spring to mid-summer. Take 5-10 inch and ¼ inch thick cuttings with a sharp knife and remove the leaves from lower three-quarters of each cutting. Make sure that the temperature remains around 68-75˚F by providing bottom heat if needed. Dip the cut end of each cutting into a rooting hormone and plant the cutting in trays or small pots filled with a well-draining potting compost. Cover the container with a plastic bag and place it in a bright location away from direct sun. Cuttings should root within 4-6 weeks.
      Semi-hardwood cuttings:
      Semi-hardwood cuttings should be taken from the new growth of Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' in summer to early autumn. Take 5-10 inch and ¼ inch thick cuttings with a sharp knife. Make a 45 degree cut at the base of the cutting, dip the cut bottom into a rooting hormone and plant the cutting in trays or small pots filled with a well-draining compost. Cover the container with a plastic bag and place it in a bright location away from direct sun. Make sure that the temperature remains 68-75˚F by providing bottom heat if needed. Cuttings should root within 6-8 weeks.

  • insectPests

    Scale insects, Aphid

  • microbeDiseases

    Root Rot, Fire blight, Canker, Honey fungus