Is It Possible To Pick An Arborvitae That Does Not Produce Cones

Question From: New Britain, Connecticut, United States
Q: Is it possible to tell if an arborvitae tree will produce the little tan pine cones before planting? I do not like the looks of them and prefer the non cone type. The cones I have are about 1/8 to1/2 inch in size and I would like to avoid them in future plantings Thankyou . Vincent

A: Arbs produce both male and female flowers so all produce cones. To my knowledge there are no sterile varieties. That said, the amounts vary from year to year. Following a dry year you may see a huge crop. Once they turn brown you can dislodge them by running a gloved hand down branches. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.