northern white-cedar Cupressaceae Thuja
Leaf: Evergreen, scale-like, on main shoots, 1/4 inch long with long points. Lateral shoots are flattened, 1/8 inch long with short points.
Flower: Species is monoecious; solitary, females green with 4 to 6 scales; males are green tipped with brown and globose.
Fruit: A cone, 1/2 inch long, oblong, borne upright on the branches, scales are leathery, red-brown and rounded, with a small spine on the tip.
Twig: New growth is green and scale-like, turning brown, occurring in very flattened foliar sprays.
Bark: Fibrous, red-brown, weathering to gray; diamond-shaped patterns are usually apparent.
Form: A small to medium sized tree shaped like an arrowhead - a pyramid with a broad base and a small, round top, often with several main trunks.
Looks like: Atlantic white-cedar - Sawara-cedar - western redcedar - Oriental arborvitae
Additional Range Information: Thuja occidentalis is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
More Information: Landowner Factsheet
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information