Thuja occidentalis 'Jantar' / Jantar arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis 'Jantar' is a narrow upright selection of arborvitae with invigorating, cheerful yellow foliage, with pointier tips at the terminals, especially at the top of the plant. Compared to other yellow selections of arborvitae, it has many more lateral branches which result in a much denser look. As cold weather approaches, a color change begins which results in a mellow orange-yellow for winter. After 10 years in the landscape, one can expect a mature specimen to stand about 6 feet (2 m) tall and 18 inches (50 cm) wide, suggesting an annual growth rate of slightly less than 1 foot (30 cm) a year in most locations.

This cultivar originating as a branch mutation found in 2000 by Jakub Jablonski of Lysomice, Poland on a specimen of T. occidentalis 'Smaragd.' "Jantar" translates into "amber" in the polish language and is an accurate description of the plant's captivating winter color. Breederplants, Inc., Reeuwijk, The Netherlands introduced it to the nursery trade and Iseli Nursery, Boring Oregon is credited with the U.S. introduction. This plant was granted U.S. plant patent number PP22296 in 2011.

'Jantar' was one of three plants selected in 2016 for the ACS Collectors' Conifer of the Year program.

Thuja occidentalis 'Jantar' at the Jean Iseli Memorial Garden, Boring, Oregon.
Photo by Iseli Nursery, Inc.
Thuja occidentalis 'Jantar' in production at Iseli Nursery, Boring, Oregon.
Photo by Frans van Gils



The yellow 'Smaragd' I hear. Let's add more photos to this page. I'm guessing that many of you have it since it was 'Conifer of the Year'.

Web Editor

I have some lovely 'Jantar' that are decent-sized. Unfortunately I am a horrible photographer but I'll try my best!

Laura Jull

Is the winter color brown? Amber colored sounds more orange-brown. I am not keen on having a brown tree in winter.

Maxwell Cohn

no, the winter color is orange-brown-bronze; more so in colder climates.

Alek Roslik

I just planted some in a line in my yard, and they are browning significantly. Shock from planting them or going dormant in Zone 4 September?

Maxwell Cohn

given the information in your question, all I can say for now is that you'll have your answer in the spring.
p.s. ... summer is the absolute worst time of year to try to plant a tree.

Jason Rekker

For bare root perhaps, but for conifers grown in containers spring is best, followed by summer, followed by fall. Fall is good for many plants such as flowering shrubs and herbaceous perennials but it is very poor for conifers in cold climates ie. USDA zone 6 or colder with exposure to dry winter winds like central/eastern canada/US. Conifers don't have time to root and they desiccate heavily in colder climates.

Maxwell Cohn

I've lost 100% of all woody plants that I've planted in spring. In many parts of the country, "arctic tundra winters" don't exist, but instead have hot, bone-dry summers. Plants put in the ground in spring simply don't have the time to establish before onset of the dry season.

Web Editor

Yeah that is true here (Mediterranean 9b), also. I plant woody plants in November and December, period. Since I rip the roots apart and discard much of the planting medium from the pot, the plants have to be dormant when I plant.