northern white-cedar
Thuja occidentalis

Northern white-cedar is a conifer of the Lake states, northern New England, and eastern Canada. It also occurs locally in the southern Appalachians. It is useful for timber, wildlife, and ornamental purposes.

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Light Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Northern white-cedar is commonly used for fencing, posts, lumber, poles, cabin logs, and shingles.


Wildlife Value
      Northern white-cedar is preferred browse material for deer and snowshoe hare. It also provides excellent shelter in harsh winter weather.
          Attracts: red squirrel, hares, porcupine, deer, warblers, sparrows, kinglets, pileated woodpecker

Regeneration methods
      Northern white-cedar's shade tolerance allows for regeneration by shelterwood and group selection methods. Seed-tree and clearcuts work as well, especially in wetter locations.

Fun facts
Another name for Thuja occidentalis is Arborvitae (the tree of life). Legend has it that Thuja was given this name because Native Americans used a tea made from the bark and foliage of this tree to save explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew from scurvy. Northern white-cedar is used widely as an ornamental tree. If pruned, it is capable of making a dense hedge.
Thuja: Greek "thyia" (for a juniper or a fragrant-wooded tree) from "thyo" (perfume) / occidentalis: western - Latin "occidere" (to set, as the sun)
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

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