White Cedar BareRoot tree
White Cedar BareRoot tree
Native to the northeastern regions of North America, this elegant evergreen stands out with its soft, fan-like foliage and distinctive bark. Often chosen for ornamental purposes, it doubles as a natural hedge or screen, enhancing privacy and beauty simultaneously. The tree's wood, known for its decay resistance, has deep roots in indigenous and early settler history, being used for crafting canoes, shingles, and durable posts. It has long been recognized as well for its medicinal values as well.
Scientific Name: Thuja occidentalis
Hardiness Zones: 2-7
Alternative Names: Northern White Cedar, Eastern White Cedar, Arborvitae (meaning 'Tree of Life')
Mature Size: Generally reaches heights of 40-60 ft. with a spread of 10-15 ft., though it can occasionally grow taller in the right conditions.
- Origin: Native to the northeastern part of North America.
- Transplanting: Transplants easily, especially when young.
- Sunlight: Prefers full sun to partial shade.
- Soil: Grows best in moist, well-drained soils but is adaptable to various soil types.
- Tolerance: Notably tolerant of wet soil conditions and can handle occasional flooding.
- Foliage: Produces soft, flat, fan-like sprays of scale-like green leaves that can turn a yellowish-green or brownish-green in winter.
- Bark: Light gray and fibrous, becoming more ridged and furrowed with age.
- Cones: Small and elongated, approximately half an inch long.
- Wood: Lightweight, durable, and resistant to decay, traditionally used for posts, shingles, and canoes.
- Uses: Often planted as an ornamental tree or used for hedging. Its natural resistance to decay makes it an excellent choice for outdoor construction.
- Medicinal: For centuries, various indigenous tribes of North America have recognized the medicinal properties of the White Cedar, or Thuja occidentalis. The tree's leaves, bark, and twigs have been traditionally used in herbal preparations. Native communities often brewed teas from the leaves to treat ailments like fevers, coughs, and rheumatism. The essential oil derived from the tree possesses antifungal and antibacterial qualities, which have been utilized in treating skin conditions and respiratory issues. Furthermore, it has played a role in preparations meant for relieving headaches and inducing sleep.
White Cedar provides vital habitat and food for various wildlife. Birds, including the cedar waxwing, consume its seeds, while deer and other mammals may browse its foliage, especially in winter. The dense canopy offers shelter and nesting sites for birds and small mammals. Moths and butterflies are also attracted to White Cedar for its nectar and as a host plant.