Oriental White Cedar, Oriental Arbovitae, Chinese Arbor-vitae 'Aurea Nana'

Platycladus orientalis

Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Platycladus (plat-ee-KLAD-us) (Info)
Species: orientalis (or-ee-en-TAY-liss) (Info)
Cultivar: Aurea Nana
Additional cultivar information:(aka Berckmans Gold, Berkman's Gold)
Synonym:Thuja orientalis
Synonym:Platycladus stricta
Synonym:Biota orientalis
Synonym:Cupressus thuja
Synonym:Thuja acuta




Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Knights Landing, California

Wildomar, California

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Copperas Cove, Texas

El Paso, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

Newport News, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 19, 2015, syrinx109 from Las Cruces, NM wrote:

Here in southern New Mexico the hot dry winds off the cotton and chile fields strip spring flowers off very early in the season in my garden. I planted a windbreak row of 1 gallon Berckmans' Arbor Vitaes on both the east and west side of the property. That was 6 yrs ago and they are 5 ft tall already. Judging by other Berckman's in the area, they will get 10 ft around and 20 ft tall and they will be opaque, so great privacy also. I do have good flood watering for them. To give you an idea how well they are doing... other junipers and cypresses that I have planted in the same area have died. They love the full sun and don't seem to mind if I miss a watering once in a while. So I recommend them with the highest praise for similar conditions. My problem is that 2 have died. One was... read more


On Apr 18, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This cultivar is said to be a dwarf, reaching 5' tall in ten years.

The species is not reliably hardy north of Z6a. This cultivar is said to be less hardy than the species.

Subject to snow damage in winter.


On Apr 17, 2014, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I chose this conifer because I thought it was a dwarf. By that I had hoped it'd be no taller than 6 ft. Now it seems it may get taller and wider than I expected. Yikes! The tree gets mostly sun in a rather dry area of my garden. It has been an easy plant and while it is not golden, its nice chartreuse foliage contrasts well with nearby plants with darker green foliage.


On Apr 1, 2012, Sandwichkatexan from Copperas Cove, TX wrote:

Mine looks like a miniature cedar tree that grows wild here . I have it planted under a large live oak surrounded by round limestone rocks .