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Thuja occidentalis ‘Mr. Bowling Ball’ (American Arborvitae)

Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae, White Cedar 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Northern White Cedar 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Swamp Cedar 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Thuja occidentalis 'Linesville', Thuja occidentalis 'Bobozam'

Thuja Occidentalis 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae, White Cedar 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Northern White Cedar 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Swamp Cedar 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Dwarf Thuja, Small Thuja,  Thuja occidentalis 'Linesville', Thuja occidentalis 'Bobozam'
Thuja Occidentalis 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae, White Cedar 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Northern White Cedar 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Swamp Cedar 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Dwarf Thuja, Small Thuja,  Thuja occidentalis 'Linesville', Thuja occidentalis 'Bobozam'
Thuja Occidentalis 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae, White Cedar 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Northern White Cedar 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Swamp Cedar 'Mr. Bowling Ball', Dwarf Thuja, Small Thuja,  Thuja occidentalis 'Linesville', Thuja occidentalis 'Bobozam'

Thuja occidentalis ‘Mr. Bowling Ball’ (American Arborvitae) is a distinctive, low-maintenance shrub that adds unique form and texture to landscapes. Its compact size and spherical shape make it a popular choice for a variety of garden designs.

Thuja occidentalis ‘Mr. Bowling Ball’: An In-depth Look

‘Mr. Bowling Ball’ is an Arborvitae cultivar notable for its unique, spherically-shaped, dense growth habit. It resembles a bowling ball, hence its name, and is prized for its soft, fine-textured foliage.

Native: Thuja occidentalis is native to North America. It is predominantly found in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. This species naturally occurs in wet forests, swamps, and along lake shores, thriving in cool, moist, well-drained environments.

Plant Type and Habit: This evergreen conifer is dwarf and compact, maintaining a naturally round shape without regular pruning. It’s ideal for adding structure to small garden spaces.

Size: It grows to a modest size, typically reaching about 2-3 feet in height and spread (60-90 cm). Its compact nature makes it suitable for a variety of garden settings.

Foliage: The foliage is soft and feathery, a blue-green color that remains consistent throughout the year. The fine texture of the leaves adds a soft appearance to the landscape.

Bark: The bark is reddish-brown, relatively smooth, and becomes more textured with age.

Uses: Ideal for foundation plantings, rock gardens, borders, and as a specimen in mixed beds. Its unique shape makes it a great choice for formal and informal gardens alike.

Hardiness: Hardy in USDA zones 3-7, it can withstand cold winters and a range of environmental conditions.

Wildlife: Provides limited shelter for small wildlife.

Toxicity: Generally considered non-toxic to humans and animals.

Deer and Rabbit: May suffer some damage from deer and rabbits, especially in areas where these animals are prevalent.

Invasiveness: This cultivar is not considered invasive and typically stays within its planted boundaries.

Benefits: The main benefits of ‘Mr. Bowling Ball’ are its unique shape, compact size, and ease of maintenance. It’s a versatile shrub that adds year-round interest to the garden.

American Arborvitae Growing Tips

Light: Thrives in full sun but can also grow well in partial shade. Full sun exposure leads to denser foliage growth. Usually appreciates some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Protect from drying winds, especially when young.

Soil: Adaptable to a wide range of soils but prefers moist, well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral soil. Tolerates clay soils.

Water: Regular watering is important, especially for young plants and in dry conditions. Avoid extreme dry soil in the fall, which can cause the evergreen foliage to dry out in winter.

Fertilizer: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring. Over-fertilization can harm the plant, so follow the recommended rates.

Pruning: Little to no pruning is required. Prune for shaping or size control in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Avoid heavy pruning.

Mulch: Provide a generous root zone mulch.

Propagation: Propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer.

Pests and Diseases: Watch for bagworms, spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Leaf tips may suffer damage from leaf miners. Canker can sometimes pose a problem. Fungal diseases like root rot can occur in poorly drained soils. Good air circulation and proper planting depth help prevent these issues.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 7
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, A2, A3, H1, H2
Plant Type Conifers, Shrubs
Plant Family Cupressaceae
Genus Thuja
Common names Northern White Cedar, American Arborvitae, Arborvitae, Eastern White Cedar
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 24" - 36"
(60cm - 90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers, Small Gardens
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’ (Western Arborvitae)
Thuja plicata ‘Whipcord’ (Western Arborvitae)
Thuja plicata Spring Grove® (Western Arborvitae)
Thuja orientalis (Oriental Arborvitae)
Thuja orientalis ‘Nana Aurea’ (Oriental Arborvitae)
Thuja occidentalis ‘Tiny Tim’ (American Arborvitae)

Recommended Companion Plants

Hosta ‘Autumn Frost’ (Plantain Lily)
Erica carnea ‘December Red’ (Winter Heath)
Geranium Rozanne (Cranesbill)
Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (Montbretia)
Sedum (Stonecrop)
Azalea and Rhododendron
Hydrangea paniculata (Panicle Hydrangea)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

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Thuja (Arborvitae)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 7
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, A2, A3, H1, H2
Plant Type Conifers, Shrubs
Plant Family Cupressaceae
Genus Thuja
Common names Northern White Cedar, American Arborvitae, Arborvitae, Eastern White Cedar
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 24" - 36"
(60cm - 90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers, Small Gardens
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Thuja (Arborvitae)
Guides with
Thuja (Arborvitae)
Not sure which Thuja (Arborvitae) to pick?
Compare Now

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