|Thuja occidentalis subsp. var.||American arborvitae, Eastern arborvitae, White cedar|
Thuja occidentalis (Eastern Arborvitae, Northern Whitecedar) is an evergreen coniferous tree, in the cypress family Cupressaceae, which is widely cultivated for use as an ornamental plant. The endemic occurrence of this species is a north-eastern distribution in North America. It is thought to be the first tree of that region to be cultivated in the area in and around Europe.
An evergreen tree with fan-like branches and scaly leaves. Unlike the closely related species, Thuja plicata (Western Redcedar), it is only a small tree. Growing to a height of 10-20 m tall with a 0.4 m trunk diameter, exceptionally to 30 m tall and 1.6 m diameter, the tree is often stunted or prostrate. The bark is red-brown, furrowed and peels in narrow, longitudinal strips. The foliage forms in flat sprays with scale-like leaves 3-5 mm long. The cones are slender, yellow-green ripening brown, 10-15 mm long and 4-5 mm broad, with 6-8 overlapping scales. The branches may take root if the tree falls.
Eastern white-cedars found to be growing on cliff faces in Southern Ontario are the oldest trees in Eastern North America and all of Canada, growing to ages in excess of 1653 years old.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Thuja occidentalis, Linn. Common Arbor-vitae. Erroneously but commonly called White Cedar (which is properly Chamaecyparis). Tree, attaining 60 ft. and more, with short horizontal branches ascending at the end and forming a narrow pyramidal rather compact head: lvs. ovate, acute, usually glandular, bright green above, yellowish green beneath, changing in winter usually to dull brownish green: cones oval to oval-oblong, about 1/2 in. long, brownish yellow with usually 2 pairs of fertile scales; seeds 1/8 in. long. New Bruns. to Man., south to N. C. and Ill.—Much used for telegraph poles. A great number of garden forms, about 50, are in cult. The best known are the following: Var. alba, Nichols, (var. albo-spica, Beissn. Var. Queen Victoria, Hort.). Tips of young branchlets white. Var. argentea, Carr. (var. albo-variegata, Beissn.). Branchlets variegated silvery white. Var. aurea, Nichols. Broad bushy form, with deep yellow foliage; also var. Burrowii, Douglas' Golden and Meehan's Golden are forms with yellow foliage. See also var. lutea. Var. aureo- variegata, Beissn. (var. aurea maculata, Hort.). Foliage variegated with golden yellow. Var. Beteramsii, Schwerin. Copper-colored, gradually changing to green. Var. conica densa, Hort. "Dense conical form." Var. Columbia, Hort. "Strong habit; foliage broad, with a beautiful silvery variegation." Var. compacta, Beissn. (var. Froebeli, Hort. Var. globularis, Hort.). Globose, light green form with rather thin branchlets. Var. cristata, Carr. Irregular dwarf, pyramidal form with stout, crowded, often recurved branchlets. Var. Douglasii pyramidalis, Spaeth. Dense pyramidal form with short densely branched fern-like branches often cristate at the ends. Var. dumosa, Hort. (var. plicata, dumosa, Gord.). Dwarf and dense form of somewhat irregular habit; in foliage similar to var. plicata. Var. Ellwangeriana, Beissn. (var. Tom Thumb). A low broad pyramid, with slender branches clothed with two kinds of foliage, adult lvs. and primordial, acicular spreading lvs.; it is an intermediate form between the var. ericoides and the type. Var. Ellwangeriana aurea, Spaeth. Like the preceding but with yellow foliage. Var. ericoides, Beissn. & Hochst. (Retinispora dubia, Carr. R. ericoides, Hort., not Zucc.). Dwarf, globose or broadly pyramidal form, with slender branchlets clothed with needle-shaped soft spreading lvs., dull green above, grayish green beneath and assuming a brownish tint in winter. A juvenile form. See, also, Retinispora. Var. globosa, Beissn. (Var. compacta globosa, Hort.). Dwarf globose form, similar to var. compacta, but lower and smaller. Var. fastigiata, Beissn. (var. pyramidalis, Hort. Var. columnaris, Hort.). Columnar form with short branches. Var. filiformis, Beissn. (var. Douglasii, Rend.). Bushy form, with long and slender sparingly ramified branches nodding at the tips, partly 4-angled and clothed with sharply pointed lvs. A very distinct form, somewhat similar to Chamaecyparis pisifera var. filifera. M.D.G. 1901:357. Var. Harrisonii, Hort. "A neat little tree with the entire foliage tipped almost pure white." Var. Hoveyi, Veitch. Dwarf, dense, ovate-globose form with bright green foliage. Var. intermedia, Hort. "Of dwarf, compact habit." Var. Little Gem, Hort. Very dwarf dark green form, growing broader than high. Var. lutea, Veitch (var. elegantissima, Hort. Var. George Peabody Golden). Pyramidal form, with bright yellow foliage. Var. nana, Carr. (T. plicata var. compacta, Beissn.). Dwarf compact globose form; foliage similar to var. plicata. Var. pendula, Gord. With the branches bending downward and the branchlets more tufted. M.D.G. 1901:169. Var. plicata, Mast. (T. plicata, Parl., not Don. T. Wareana, Booth). Pyramidal tree, darker and denser than the type: branchlets short, rigid, much flattened: foliage distinctly glandular, brownish dark green above, bluish green beneath. Said to have been intro. from N. W. Amer., but not found wild there. Var. pumila, Beissn. Dwarf dense form with dark green foliage. Var. pygmaea, Hort. (T. plicata var. pygmaea, Beissn.). Similar to var. dumosa, but still dwarfer, with bluish green foliage. Var. Reidii, Hort. "Broad, dwarf form with small lvs., well retaining its color during the winter." Var. Spaethii, P. Smith. Peculiar form with two kinds of foliage; the younger and lower branchlets with spreading acicular lvs. like those of var. ericoides, but thicker in texture; the upper branchlets slender and sparingly ramified much like those of var. filiformis. Var. Vervaeneana, Henk. & Hochst. Of smaller and denser habit than the type: branchlets slenderer, with yellowish foliage, bronzy in winter. Var. Wagneriana, Beissn. (var. Versmannii, Hort.). Globose form, retaining its bright green color during the winter. Var. Wareana, Beissn. (var. robusta, Carr. T. caucasica, T. tatarica, and T. sibirica, Hort.). Pyramidal tree, lower and denser than the type, with stouter branchlets; foliage bright green. Very desirable form. Var. Woodwardii, Hort. "Dense, globose form, with deep green foliage." CH
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
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