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Arborvitae

Botanical Name:

Thuja occidentalis

Common Name:

Arborvitae,Northern white-cedar,Thuier cèdre,Cèdre-thuya occidental,Eastern arborvitae,Northern white cedar,American Arborvitae,White Cedar,Eastern White Cedar,Thuja occidentalis f. malonyana,Thuja occidentalis var. fastigiata,Thuja occidentalis var. nigra,Thuja occidentalis var. pyramidalis

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Description

In a crowded environment, this tree is slender and not well-branched. In the open, it improves in form and density. The evergreen can be single- or multi-trunked and columnar or conical in shape. Eastern arborvitae can grow 40-60 ft. tall, but under cultivation will probably be no taller than 30 ft. Branches end in flat, spreading, horizontal sprays of fragrant, dark-green foliage which turns yellow-green or slight brown in winter. Resinous and aromatic evergreen tree with angled, buttressed, often branched trunk and a narrow, conical crown of short, spreading branches. Probably the first North American tree introduced into Europe, it was discovered by French explorers and grown in Paris about 1536. The year before, tea prepared from the foliage and bark, now known to be high in vitamin C, saved the crew of Jacques Cartier from scurvy. It was named arborvitae, Latin for tree-of-life, in 1558. The trees grow slowly and reach an age of 400 years or more. The lightweight, easily split wood was preferred for canoe frames by Native Americans, who also used the shredded outer bark and the soft wood to start fires. Today, the wood is used principally for poles, cross-ties, posts, and lumber. Cedar oil for medicine is distilled from the twigs.

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Taxonomy

Order

Pinales

Family

Cupressaceae

Genus

Thuja

Characteristics

Bloom Time

Spring, Apr

Plant Type

Conifers, Trees, Tree, Native Plant

Lifespan

Woody, Perennial

Plant Height

72-100 ft.

Flower

Conifer, non-flowering. Blooms from March to April

Fruit

Does not produce fruits has brown cones. Displays from April to May., Red, Brown

How to Grow

Water

Average, Wet, Wet Mesic, Mesic, Medium

Sunlight

Full Sun, Full Sun to Partial Shade, Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day), Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours), Sun, Part Shade, Shade

Soil

Moist, well-drained alkaline soils.

Benefits
Attracts

Birds

Small Mammals

Songbirds

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