Thujopsis dolabrata 'Variegata' / variegated hiba arborvitae

Thujopsis dolabrata 'Variegata' is a large, fast-growing, tree form of hiba arborvitae with species-typical form and branching, and attractive creamy white variegation that is fairly stable. The variegation and reduced chlorophyll results in slightly slower growth when compared with the species. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 6 feet (2 m) tall and 4.5 feet (1.5 m) wide, an annual growth rate of 6 to 8 inches (15 - 20 cm).

According to Arthur Jacobson in North American Landscape Trees, "extremely rare in North America; at least so in the maritime Pacific Northwest. Branchlets partly cream- or white-variegated. Much prone to reverting to nearly all green. Record: 52' x 2'5" Seattle, WA (1987)."

This cultivar originated long ago in Japan. The first plants were imported to Holland in 1859, by P.F. von Siebold, and to England in 1861, by Robert Fortune in 1861.

Thujopsis dolabrata 'Variegata' at J.C. Raulson Arboretum, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Photo by JC Raulston Aboretum
Thujopsis dolabrata 'Variegata' — photographed at The Gotelli Collection in The U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, D.C. during the first week of May, 2006.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Thujopsis dolabrata 'Variegata'
Photo by Clement Anthoine


Margo Reynolds

I need info on pruning
Thujopsis dolobrata variegata
Probably judicious & Winter
Have several specimens 8’ ,4’, 3’

Maxwell Cohn

Hi Margo ... a lesson on aesthetically pruning large landscape trees is beyond what anyone can provide in a paragraph or two. Essentially this kind of work is more of an art form than a task. I highly recommend seeking out a local bonsai enthusiasts group. The skill set for working on small plants in containers is directly transferable to big trees in the landscape. Good luck.