American Arborvitae

Arbor walk #62, Treekeeper ID #4666

The American Arborvitae is more prevalent in eastern and central Canada but is only commonly found in Northern Illinois, Ohio, and New York as well as scattered populations further south. St. Louis is very close to the southern extreme of the tree’s range and so it benefits from being in a slightly more shady location than they would prefer in their more northern ranges.

The tree is in the cypress family, Cupressaceae, and is also referred to as Eastern or Northern White Cedar (but is not a true cedar). The name Arborvitae means tree of life and was given to this tree by early French settlers to North America after learning from the Native Americans that the tree’s foliage could be used to treat scurvy.

Common NameAmerican Arborvitae,
Eastern Arborvitae,
White Cedar
Latin NameThuga occidentalis
Indigenous Name(s)
Commercial Name

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