VIEW THE MOBILE VERSION of Informational Site Network Informational
Home - Origin of Arbor Day   Arbor Day Readings   Arbor Day Celebrations   Arbor Day Programs       Tree Species   Studies of Trees   New England Trees  

Arbor-vitae; Northern White Cedar (thuja Occidentalis)

Distinguishing characters: The *branchlets* are extremely *flat and

fan-like*, Fig. 13, and have an agreeable _aromatic odor_ when

bruised. The tree is an evergreen with a _narrow conical form_.

Leaf: Leaves of two kinds, one scale-like and flat, the other keeled,

all tightly pressed to the twig (see Fig. 13).

Form and size: A close, conical head with dense foliage near the base.

Usually a small tree, but in some parts of the northeastern States

it grows to medium size with a diameter of two feet.

Range: Northern part of North America.

Soil and location: Inhabits low, swampy lands; in the State of Maine

often forming thick forests.

Enemies: Very seldom affected by insects.

Value for planting: Is hardy in New England, where it is especially used

for hedges. It is also frequently used as a specimen tree on the


Commercial value: The wood is durable for posts, ties, and shingles. The

bark contains considerable tannin and the juices from the tree have

a medicinal value.

Other characters: The _fruit_ is a cone about 1/2 inch long.

Other common names: Arbor-vitae is sometimes called _white cedar_ and


Comparisons: The arbor-vitae is apt to be confused with the true _white

cedar_ (_Chamaecyparis thyoides_) but the leaves of the latter are

sharp-pointed and not flattened or fan-shaped.

Tree Studies

How To Identify Trees
Group I The Pines
The White Pine (pinus Strobus)
The Pitch Pine (pinus Rigida)
The Scotch Pine (pinus Sylvestris)
Group Ii The Spruce And Hemlock
The Norway Spruce (picea Excelsa)
Hemlock (tsuga Canadensis)
Group Iii The Red Cedar And Arbor-vitae
Red Cedar (juniperus Virginiana)
Arbor-vitae; Northern White Cedar (thuja Occidentalis)
Group Iv The Larch And Cypress
The European Larch (larix Europaea)
Bald Cypress (taxodium Distichum)
Group V The Horsechestnut, Ash And Maple
The Horsechestnut
The White Ash (fraxinus Americana)
Sugar Maple (acer Saccharum)
Silver Maple (acer Saccharinum)
Red Maple (acer Rubrum)
Norway Maple (acer Platanoides)
Box Elder (acer Negundo)
Group Vi Trees Told By Their Form: Elm, Poplar, Gingko And Willow
American Elm (ulmus Americana)
Lombardy Or Italian Poplar (populus Nigra, Var Italica)
Gingko Or Maidenhair Tree (gingko Biloba)
Weeping Willow (salix Babylonica)
Group Vii Trees Told By Their Bark Or Trunk: Sycamore, Birch, Beech,
Blue Beech, Ironwood, And Hackberry
The Sycamore Or Plane Tree (platanus Occidentalis)
Gray Or White Birch (betula Populifolia)
American Beech (fagus Americana)
Blue Beech Or Hornbeam (carpinus Caroliniana)
Hackberry (celtis Occidentalis)
Group Viii The Oaks And Chestnut
White Oak (quercus Alba)
Black Oak (quercus Velutina)
Red Oak (quercus Rubra)
Pin Oak (quercus Palustris)
Chestnut (castanea Dentata)
Group Ix The Hickories, Walnut And Butternut
Shagbark Hickory (hicoria Ovata)
Mockernut Hickory (hicoria Alba)
Black Walnut (juglans Nigra)
Group X Tulip Tree, Sweet Gum, Linden, Magnolia, Locust, Catalpa,
Dogwood, Mulberry And Osage Orange
Tulip Tree (liriodendron Tulipifera)
Sweet Gum (liquidambar Styraciflua)
American Linden (tilia Americana)
The Magnolias