Thuja occidentalis 'Gold Drop' / Gold Drop Arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis 'Gold Drop' is a dwarf conical selection of Arborvitae with rich golden foliage which will adopt orange highlights in winter. Typical rate of growth in most areas is 6 inches (15 cm) per year creating a symmetrical cone 5 feet (1.5 m) tall and two-thirds as wide after 10 years in the landscape. The plant's low chlorophyll content causes the yellow color and makes it a slower grower. In the full sun it is a bright golden yellow and develops a more golden yellow color during the winter months.

This cultivar originated as a golden seedling from Thuja occidentalis 'Holmstrup' from seed collected by Dr. Clark West at the Bernheim Forest, Kentucky in 1985. The original plant at age 20 was 5.5 feet (1.3 m) tall and 4 feet (1.2 m) wide.

[ACS Bulletin Fall 1997 14(4) pp 146-151] . . . an excellent article written by Dr. West on the genius Thuja. The cover on the ACS Fall Bulletin has a color photo of this plant. "This plant on the cover is from a cutting by Randy Dykstra and during it's five years of existence it has grown in northern Illinois while the original seedling has always lived in southern Ohio. There is no question about it's hardiness or it's ability to tolerate hot, humid summers." Clark West.

Thuja occidentalis 'Gold Drop' This plant was donated by Randy Dykstra and was purchased at the ACS auction in 2000. Estimated age 5 years when the photo was taken.
Photo by Dennis Groh
Thuja occidentalis 'Gold Drop' —at Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton, Iowa in the Heartland Collection of Garden Conifers, May 2004.The plant was 8 years of age when the photo was taken.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Thuja occidentalis 'Gold Drop' in a private garden in Kansas.
Photo by David Stegmaier