Thuja is a genus of gymnospermous evergreen conifers of the cypress family. In shape and size, thuja can be a tree or a shrub. The leaves of a young plant are soft, needle-like, and those of an adult are scaly. The fruits of thuja ripen closer to autumn and are small cones covered with several pairs of scales. Under them are oblong and strongly flattened seeds.
The thuja genus has five subspecies: western, eastern, giant, Japanese and Korean. In the conditions of the climate of the middle zone, the western thuja and its numerous cultural varieties are most widespread. Therefore, this review will focus on this particular species.
Thuja western has about 200 decorative forms, differing in the nature of growth, branching form and color. Let's highlight some of its varieties:
Eastern thuja (Thuja orientalis) grows in countries with warm temperate climates and mild winters. In natural conditions, it can be found on the heights of China. The height of the tree usually reaches 10 m (under favorable conditions 20 m). Crown width 3-4 m in diameter. The root system is superficial. Thuja branches grow vertically and form a wide cone-shaped crown. The needles are closely pressed to the branches, scaly light green in color (turns brown in winter). Alternative names of the species: Platyceae, Eastern biota.
Popular varieties of eastern thuja:
Giant thuja (Thuja plicata) refers to a type of gymnosperms of the Cypress family, which mostly grows in North America and East Asia. A plant with scaly needles is represented by trees 45-60 (up to 75) m high with a pyramidal or conical crown, large shrubs with a spreading crown. Alternative names of the species: Thuja folded, Thuja plikata, Western red cedar, Red cedar, Canadian red cedar.
Popular varieties of giant thuja:
Thuja japonica (Thuja standisha, Thuja standishii) is a tree 18 - 35 m high with a wide pyramidal crown. The natural area of distribution of this species is the islands of Japan Honshu and Shikoku. Thuja standisha has spreading branches growing upward with dull green needles. The bark of the tree is medium-fiber, brown in color with a red tint. The wood has a pleasant aroma and is highly regarded in Japan for its strength and moisture resistance.
Thuja koraiensis (Thuja koraiensis) is a shrub with a spreading or tree with a conical crown. The plant grows up to 10 m in height. Thuja branches gracefully bend, giving the crown a lace effect. The needles consist of flat needles of a dark green color (on the back of a light gray shade). Thuja Korean grows in the forests of Korea and China in cold, harsh winters.
Thuja is a plant that stands out for its durability and unpretentiousness. It tolerates the smoke of megalopolises well, retains dust and emits many phytoncides (volatile biologically active substances that kill or suppress the growth and development of bacteria, microscopic fungi, protozoa). In addition to endurance, decorativeness is also an important characteristic of thuja. The tree is beautiful and graceful all year round. Its young crown is initially narrow-pyramidal, and in the process of maturation it becomes ovoid, but does not lose its decorative effect.
Due to its characteristics, thuja has become widespread in landscaping gardens, parks and other landscape areas. Conifers are ideal for masking unsightly areas in the garden or for creating secluded nooks for relaxation. From the compositions of thujs, you can erect green walls, create ceremonial alleys, organize zoning and form geometric shapes on the site.