On of the many faces of Platycladus orientalis 'Morgan'

dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)October 1, 2012

In spring this great Chinese arborvitae has wonderful sprays of chartreuse new growth set atop the darker green older foliage. In winter it puts on a show that is even more dramatic when the entire outer edges of the plant turn a rusty bronze color. Pretty much its seasonal color as shown here 10-1-12. Zone: 5-8.


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Fantastic tree! I lost my platicladis 2 years ago - he did not like our heavy wet snow:( It struggled for several years, while the left so ugly that it had to be eliminated. But at least I can delight my eyes with your tree:) Thank you for sharing.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 4:50PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

what .. no pic of the winter purple???

thx for the beauteous pic


    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 6:25PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Really nice, a little like my Goldcrest!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Nice plant, I love the lime green color. I also would be interested to see the winter appearance of this plant. Maybe you could update the thread once the cold weather rolls in.

I've never been a big fan of arborvitaes, but 'Morgan' looks really nice. On to the wish list it goes, and it will be the only arborvitae on the wish list. As a matter of fact I just got my first arborvitae ever, Thuja occidentalis 'Zmatlik'.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:54AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

In a couple months I will resurrect this thread showing the beautiful Winter color.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:53AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Always great to see the grown-ups. I just have a little baby that can't wait to put on some growth.

Alex, where did you get Thuja occidentalis 'Zmatlik'? I always like that one as its a C. obtusa look alike that you don't have to worry about wind protection in zone 5.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:09PM
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Hi Will,

I got it at "Two Green Thumbs" (see the link below). I had searched it out after a photo was posted as part of one the Morton arboretum tours. It went out of stock, then I ordered it when they got it back in.

The plant is from Iseli, about 5 in. tall in a 3 in. pot. I'm quite satisfied with it, considering the $15 price tag.


Here is a link that might be useful: Zmatlik

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 9:28AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i have it under Thuja orientalis 'Morgan' .. probably one of the names that joy has told me to change.. that i never got around to ... i swear to God.. if you give me the right name this time.. i will make the correction on the dB .. please????

below are pix of my plant over the various years ...

i gotta tell you.. that first winter.. when it turned that color.. lol.. i thought for sure it was dead as a door nail ...

cant wait for daves follow up on a mature plant ...





    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 12:20PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Pure De ja vu

Here is a link that might be useful: DJV

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:07PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Yep, Ken, Thuja orientalis is changed to Platycladus orientalis.
This is because it doesn't have noting to do with Thuja, especialy when you look at it's cones which are way differend from the true Thujas...

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 4:34PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5



now i have to figure out what to do with mislabeled pix .. it will be a nightmare to go thru all these name changes in my photos ... i dont mean these few.. i mean the hundreds of other name changes ...


    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 6:51PM
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Garen Rees(6a)

Thought I would add a few pics of my tiny 3 to the post

I received them from maplestoneornamentals.com in spring 2012 as tiny little single sprig cuttings just like in the picture below from their website.

They exploded with growth this spring and never stopped growing even though I planted them in clay. The hill side probably helped with drainage and I watered them a lot during the drought.

The picture below is from October 2012. I really like this picture. It has two of my favorite things. Conifers and the best little ball of white fluff chicken buddy in the world, my Japanese Silkie named Wonton. I wish I could clone her like a conifer. I never new some chickens could have so much personality and be so personable. I think I saw once that Henk had some Chicken buddies in his Garden too.

This pic below was taken Dec. 2012 showing the beautiful or ugly, depending on how you look at it, bronze/orange color. They do look like they are dead but I like it. I call them my winter zombies. I wasn't expecting them to grow so fast. They were exactly like the first picture when I planted them. Does anyone have a picture of a large mature specimen. I'm worried that in 10 years they might be huge and block my view of the coop unless they tend to stay a little narrow.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 10:44PM
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Garen Rees(6a)

Well, it looks like Ken's is growing quite slow so maybe they won't grow that fast every year.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 10:55PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you know .. when i started around 2000 ... i didnt have the web resources.. meaning pix.. and i was POSITIVE.. it was dead.. each of the first 3 winters.. lol ...

i am wondering about the ID on your plant ... IMHO.. it should not be growing that fast .... unless you are burying it in chicken excrement .. lol ...

perhaps joy will chime in.. when he gets back from gallivanting around the globe ...

regardless... they are way cool.. bringing you such joy ... no matter what the name is ..


ps: that brown winter coloration should be indicative.. i cant recall any other variety which does such ... but its early in the morning ...

pps: i see landscape cloth.. is that permanent?? ... or temp erosion control ....

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 8:02AM
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Garen Rees(6a)

Oops, sorry, I'm stupid. I should have checked my records first. I planted them in 2011. That makes more sense. I guess they were so small when I planted them that in my mind they weren't even there until 2012. My silly brain could never keep track of how much time passes. I can rarely even remember how old I am. I think I'm 31 or 32. I'll have to ask the wife if she even remembers.

Ken, The landscape cloth is just temporary to keep the grass and weeds from growing in that area until I get around to pulling it out and spreading mulch. Before I new any better my wife and I put it down in quite a few locations and we tried several different kinds. I now believe that It can't be good for your soil and have since removed almost all of it. No matter what type you use, weeds are going to find away. They either grow through it or eventually grow on top of it. lots of mulch, some good old weed pulling, and a we bit of spot weeding with round up for the tough ones is what I do now. The weeds are insane and an endless battle but it actually relaxes me to walk around my garden after a stressful day at work, pick weeds, and daydream about arranging and sculpting my hillside.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 7:35PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

What a gorgeous looking conifer. I really love the lime green coloring. The winter colors look fairly interesting as well. Too bad it is only a zone 5 plant. I wonder if it would make a good potted plant? I have the perfect spot for one.

Garin...time flies. If I would not have my photos dated...I would never know when I planted things. :)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:49PM
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