Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae

Thuja 'Mr. Bowling Ball'

Family: Arborvitae

Type: Shrub

Other Common Name: Eastern White Cedar

Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae, scientifically known as Thuja occidentalis ‘Bobazam’, is a unique and charming evergreen shrub. It is highly prized for its distinctive, naturally round shape that resembles a bowling ball. This dwarf variety is ideal for gardeners seeking a low-maintenance plant that adds a touch of whimsy and structure to their landscape.

Compact and slow-growing, Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae reaches an average height and width of 2-3 feet, making it a perfect fit for small gardens, borders, or as a specimen plant in mixed beds. Its fine, soft foliage remains lush and green throughout the year, providing continuous visual interest. This plant is an excellent choice for those who desire an evergreen presence without the hassle of constant trimming or shaping.

Adaptable and hardy, Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae thrives in a range of conditions, from full sun to partial shade. It prefers well-drained soil and is drought-tolerant once established. This arborvitae variety is also resistant to common pests and diseases, adding to its appeal as a carefree addition to any garden.

Needs & Preferences

Hardiness Zone: 4a-4a

Pet Friendly: Yes

Moisture Preference: Average to moist

Sun Needs: Full sun to partial shade


Growth Rate: Slow

Average Height (feet): 2.5

Average Spread (feet): 2.5

Average Life Span (years): 30

Form: Round


Foliage Color: Green

Foliage Shape: Threadlike

Landscaping Your Yard With Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae

Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae is ideal for creating a low-maintenance, yet visually appealing landscape. Its compact, rounded form makes it a great choice for foundation plantings, accentuating architectural features without overwhelming them. Plant it in groups for a cohesive, structured look or use it as a solitary focal point in a garden bed.

Incorporate this arborvitae into rock gardens or alongside walkways and paths. Its unique shape and evergreen foliage provide year-round interest and contrast with other garden plants. Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae is also suitable for container gardening, bringing structure and greenery to patios, decks, and other outdoor living spaces.

Due to its slow growth and easy-care nature, Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae is a favorite among gardeners who prefer minimalist or low-maintenance garden designs. It pairs well with perennials, annuals, and other shrubs, offering a stable backdrop for more colorful plantings.


Suitable Garden Styles

Modern Garden

In modern gardens, Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae's neat, symmetrical form complements contemporary design elements, adding a touch of natural geometry.

Cottage Garden

For cottage gardens, this arborvitae adds structure amidst more informal plantings, providing a contrast in form and texture.

Formal Garden

In formal gardens, the uniform shape of Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae is ideal for creating symmetry and order, especially when planted in pairs or rows.

Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae Landscaping Ideas

Plant Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae in areas where its sculptural form can be appreciated. Use it to create rhythm and repetition in garden designs.

Seasonal Interest


In spring, Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae maintains its neat, spherical shape, offering a stable green presence as other plants begin to grow.


During summer, the shrub continues to display its dense, soft foliage, providing a consistent evergreen element in the garden.


In the fall, Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae holds onto its greenery, standing out against the changing autumn colors.


In winter, the arborvitae's unique form is highlighted, especially against a backdrop of snow, adding interest to the winter landscape.

Planting Tips

Where to Plant

Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae is best planted in areas with full sun to partial shade. Ideal locations include garden beds, borders, or as standalone specimens in open spaces where its unique form can be appreciated.


This arborvitae variety flourishes in full sun but can also tolerate partial shade, making it versatile for different garden settings.


Prefers well-drained soil but is adaptable to a variety of soil types. It tolerates a range of soil pH levels, from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.


For a solitary planting, give the plant ample space to maintain its shape. When planting in rows or groups, space them 2-3 feet apart to ensure proper growth and air circulation.

When to Plant

The best time to plant Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae is in the spring or fall, which allows the plant to establish its root system in moderate temperatures.

How to Plant

Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball, place the plant ensuring it’s level with the soil surface, backfill with soil, water well, and apply a layer of mulch to help retain moisture.

Plant Care Tips


Water regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Once established, Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae is relatively drought-tolerant.


Fertilize in early spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to encourage healthy growth.


Little to no pruning is required due to its natural round shape. If desired, prune lightly to maintain form.

By Season


Spring Care

Inspect the plant for any winter damage and prune if necessary. Apply fertilizer and start regular watering as new growth appears.

Summer Care

Continue regular watering, especially during dry periods. Monitor for any signs of pests or diseases.

Fall Care

Reduce watering as the plant prepares for dormancy. No additional fertilization is needed.

Winter Care

Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae is winter-hardy and does not require special care during the colder months.


How Fast Does Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae Grow?

This arborvitae has a slow growth rate, typically adding only a few inches per year.

Is Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae Deer Resistant?

Yes, it is considered deer-resistant, making it a good choice for gardens in areas with deer activity.

Can Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae Be Used in Topiary Gardens?

While naturally round, Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae can be incorporated into topiary gardens, especially where minimal shaping is desired.

Products That Feature This Plant

Gentle Bath
Beautiful Divide

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