American Arborvitae

Arbor Walk #62, Treekeeper ID #4666

The American Arborvitae is most prevalent in eastern and central Canada, and found in Northern Illinois, Ohio, and New York as well as scattered populations further south. St. Louis is near the southern end of the tree’s range, and it benefits from being in a slightly shadier location than they would prefer in their 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). Arborvitae translates to “tree of life” in Latin 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. The essential oil of American Arborvitae has also been found to have antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumor, antidiabetic, antifungal, and antipyretic properties.

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

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