Thuja occidentalis, commonly known as Eastern white cedar or northern white cedar, belongs to the same family as cypresses and junipers. Thuja occidentalis is commonly cultivated as an ornamental tree in gardens and landscapes due to its attractive foliage and shape.
Origin: Thuja occidentalis is a species of coniferous tree native to eastern North America. Eastern white cedar is primarily found in moist or swampy areas. It has a broad range extending from southeastern Canada (including the provinces of Ontario and Quebec) to the northeastern United States. It thrives in areas with acidic, sandy or loamy soils and can tolerate shade.
Appearance: Eastern white cedars are medium-sized evergreen trees that typically grow to a height of 15 to 20 meters (49 to 66 feet) and have a conical or narrow pyramidal shape. The foliage consists of scale-like leaves that are arranged in flattened sprays. The leaves are dark green on the upper surface and have a yellow-green hue on the lower surface.
Bark: The bark of Thuja occidentalis is reddish-brown or grey-brown and has a fibrous, shreddy texture. As the tree matures, the bark becomes more furrowed and develops a stringy appearance.
Characteristics: The tree produces small, oblong cones that are around 1 centimetre long. These cones initially have a green colour but turn brown as they mature. Each cone contains numerous small winged seeds.