Eastern White-cedar Thuja occidentalis
Family: Cupressaceae (Cypress)
Branching: Evergreen

Eastern White-cedars (also called Arborvitae) are common in wetter areas, where they can often dominate the forest canopy.  They are very distinctive trees, with flattened leaves ("needles") and bark that peels vertically in thin strips.  It is mainly confused with Eastern Red-cedar, which has rounded leaves and more of a bluish-green hue (rather than the yellowish tinge that White-cedar often has) and different fruit.  The crushed leaves are very fragrant.

The flattened leaves and twigs of Eastern White-cedar

A closer view of the leaves

The leaves are quite flat

A typical view of a White-cedar branch.

Mature bark

A closer view of the bark

The "cones" of White-cedar

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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