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Eastern White Cedar

Scientific name

Thuja occidentalis


Eastern White Cedar is a small evergreen tree which can usually live up to 300 years, although some individuals reaching 700 years old have been found. White Cedar produces unique green, opposite, scale-like leaves, which can take a fan-shaped form. They typically grow 15m in height. The bark is also distinguishable as it is reddish-brown, stringy and flaky, making it easy to peel off into long strips. White Cedars are also prone to heart-rot, leaving many trees with hollow centres. However, dried cedar bark is decay resistant making it a great option for use as fence posts or cedar-strip canoes. In addition, this species was historically used by indigenous people to prevent scurvy, earning the name 'tree of life'.

Planting conditions

Eastern White Cedar grows best in moist conditions, but will adapt to a variety of moisture levels. This species is tolerant of both periodic floods and short periods of drought. It thrives in full sun to part shade conditions. Eastern White Cedar can naturally be found growing in swamps, bogs, limestone plains, fields, and along stream banks.


  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Dry
    • Normal
    • Moist
    • Wet
    • Drought Tolerant
    • Flood Tolerant
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
    • Rocky
  • pH:
    • Acidic
    • Basic
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Eco Zone:
    • 2a
    • 2b
    • 3a
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
  • Plant type:
    • Tree
  • Height:
    • 15m
  • Spread:
    • 5m