Northern White Cedar

Northern White Cedar

Thuja occidentalis

Featured Plant Category: Focal point

Height: 40-60'

Container Size: 1 Gallon

Bloom Time: April

Bloom Color: Green-Yellow

Soil Moisture: Medium

Soil Type: Moist, well-drained alkaline soil

Light Requirements: Full sun to part shade

Hardiness Zone: 3,4,5,6,7

Other Names: Arborvitae, Eastern Arborvitae, Eastern White Cedar, Swamp Cedar, Swamp-Cedar, Atlantic Red Cedar, Thuja occidentalis

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Northern White Cedar is an amazing evergreen tree with a wide range of uses and a rich history. In its natural habitat it grows in cool, moist sites – near rivers and lakes – it prefers well-drained soil, but can also do well in swamps. When used in the landscape, it can be used as a specimen tree or a hedge. It can easily be pruned to your preferred look, or left to its natural pyramidal shape.

It’s thought that this species was actually the first American tree introduced to Europe back in the 1500’s by French explorers. Its alternate name, Tree of Life, comes from a story about how this tree saved the lives of explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew. They were able to prepare a tea from its foliage and bark which was high in vitamin C, protecting them from scurvy while on a voyage. Cedar oil is also highly regarded medicinally, having antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Northern White Cedar is a slow-growing but long-lived tree. Commonly reaching ages of 400 or more, they account for some of the oldest trees in North America, some being up to 1,600 years of age. It’s a lightweight, easily split wood, which was used for canoe frames by the first Americans.

Highly fragrant, beautiful, and teeming with history – you can’t go wrong with this truly iconic American tree.


Additional information



Container Size

1 Gallon

Bloom Time


Bloom Color


Soil Moisture


Soil Type

Moist, well-drained alkaline soil

Light Requirements

Full sun to part shade

Hardiness Zone


Other Names

Arborvitae, Eastern Arborvitae, Eastern White Cedar, Swamp Cedar, Swamp-Cedar, Atlantic Red Cedar, Thuja occidentalis

Shipping Information

Plant Shipping Carton

At Direct Native Plants, we take many precautions to make sure your plants will arrive in the best condition possible.

Our perennials are grown in a 4” quart-sized pot. These plants are then cut back to fit our packaging, placed in a protective clamshell container (made from recycled materials), and then shipped to you in a cardboard box.

Trees and shrubs are grown in a 7” tall container (referred to as a 1-gallon pot), and depending on the species will be between 12” and 36”. We bag the root section of these plants to prevent them from drying out in transit and ship them in a tall cardboard box. PLEASE NOTE: These boxes can be shipped in bundles up to 6. After that we start a new package, so keep this in mind if you’re trying to get the best shipping rates.

Direct Native Plants supports the United States Postal Service, so your plants will ship via USPS Priority Mail. Orders ship out Monday through Wednesday of each week, and depending on how close you are to our nursery in Maryland, shipping will take anywhere from 1-4 business days.

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