Genus: Thuja

Thuja occidentalis   L
Thuja occidentalis   L.  -  Arbor-vitae
Photo © by Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Taken by G. A. Kalmbacher.

By Steven D. Glenn

Not peer reviewed

Last Modified 02/22/2012

Back to Cupressaceae


Thuja L., Sp. Pl. 2: 1002. 1753. Gen. Pl., ed. 5, 435. 1754 (also spelled “Thuya,” “Thya,” “Thuia,” and “Thyia”) LECTOTYPE: Thuja occidentalis L. designated by Britton & Brown (1913).

Key to the species of Thuja


List of Thuja Species

References to Thuja

  • Ahlgren, C. E.; Ahlgren, I. F. 1981. Some effects of different forest litters on seed germination and growth. Canad. J. Forest Res. 11: 710-714.
  • Archambault, S. 1989. Les cedres blancs (Thuja occidentalis L.) a grande longevite du Lac Duparquet. M.S. Thesis Univ. Quebec at Montreal119 p. (In French)
  • Archambault, S.; Bergeron, Y. 1992. Discovery of a living 900 year-old northern white cedar, Thuja occidentalis, in northwestern Quebec. Canad. Field-Naturalist 106: 192-5.
  • Archambault, S.; Bergeron, Y. 1992. An 802-year tree-ring chronology from the Quebec boreal forest. Canad. J. Forest Res. 22: 674-682.
  • Avitabile, A. 1982. The eastern white cedar, Thuja occidentalis L., an early pollen source for honeybees. Amer. Bee J. 122: 261.
  • Bannan, M. W. 1941. Vascular rays and adventitious root formation in Thuja occidentalis. Amer. J. Bot. 28: 457-63.
  • Bannan, M. W. 1951. The annual cycle of size changes in the fusiform cambial cells of Chamaecyparis and Thuja. Canad. J. Bot. 29: 421-37.
  • Bannan, M. W. 1955. The vascular cambium and radial growth in Thuja occidentalis L. Canad. J. Bot. 33: 113-38.
  • Bannan, M. W. 1941. Wood structure in Thuja occidentalis. Bot. Gaz. 103: 295-309.
  • Bartlett, R. M.; Larson, D. W. 1990. The physiological basis for the contrasting distribution patterns of Acer saccharum and Thuja occidentalis at cliff edges. J. Ecol. 78: 1063-1078.
  • Barton, L. V. 1930. Hastening the germination of some coniferous seeds. Amer. J. Bot. 17: 88-115.
  • Briand, C. H.; Posluszny, U.; Larson, D. W. 1992. Differential axis architecture in Thuja occidentalis (eastern white cedar). Canad. J. Bot. 70(2): 340-8.
  • Briand, C. H.; Posluszny, U.; Larson, D. W. 1992. Comparative seed morphology of Thuja occidentalis (eastern white cedar) from upland and lowland sites. Canad. J. Bot. 70(2): 434-8.
  • Briand, C. H.; Posluszny, U.; Larson, D. W. 1993. Influence of age and growth rate on radial anatomy of annual rings of Thuja occidentalis L. (eastern white cedar). Int. J. Plant Sci. 154(3): 406-11.
  • Briand, C. H.; Posluszny, U.; Larson, D. W.; Matthes-Sears, U. 1991. Patterns of architectural variation in Thuja occidentalis L. (eastern white cedar) from upland and lowland sites. Bot. Gaz. 152(4): 494-9.
  • Buchholz, J. T. 1948. Generic and subgeneric distribution of the Coniferales. Bot. Gaz. 110: 80-91.
  • Buchholz, J. T. 1920. Embryo development and polyembryony in relation to the phylogeny of conifers. Amer. J. Bot. 7: 125-45.
  • Butts, D.; Buchholz, J. T. 1940. Cotyledon numbers in conifers. Trans. Illinois State Acad. Sci. 33: 58-62.
  • Caplenor, D.; Spier, H. 1975. Thuja occidentalis on the eastern highland rim of Tennessee. J. Tennessee Acad. Sci. 50: 74-5.
  • Carey, J. H. 1993. Thuja occidentalis. ()
  • Caulkins, H. L. 1967. The ecology and reproduction of northern white cedar. MF Thesis Univ. Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI,
  • Chimner, R. A.; Hart, J. B. 1996. Hydrology and microtopography effects on northern white-cedar regeneration in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Canad. J. Forest Res. 26: 389-93. (French summary)
  • Clark, J.; Gibbs, R. D. 1957. Studies in tree physiology. IV. Further investigations of seasonal changes in moisture content of certain Canadian forest trees. Canad. J. Bot. 35: 219-53.
  • Collier, D. E.; Boyer, M. G. 1989. The water relations of Thuja occidentalis L. from two sites of contrasting moisture availability. Bot. Gaz. 150(4): 445-8.
  • Collingwood, G. H. 1940. Northern white cedar. Amer. Forests 46: 558-9.
  • Cook, D. B.; Smith, R. H. 1964. Planting an adverse site in New York -II. J. Forest. 62(3): 161-2.
  • Cook, P. L. 1939. A morphological comparison of two species of Thuja. Ph.D. Dissertation Univ. Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL,
  • Cope, E. A. 1986. Native and cultivated conifers of northeastern North America. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, NY.
  • Cornett, M. W. 2000. Seedbed and moisture availability determine safe sites for early Thuja occidentalis (Cupressaceae) regeneration. Amer. J. Bot. 87: 1807-1814.
  • Cornett, M. W. 2001. Comparing the importance of seedbed and canopy type in the restoration of upland Thuja occidentalis forests of northeastern Minnesota. Restoration Ecol. 9: 386-396.
  • Curtis, J. D. 1946. Preliminary observations on northern white cedar in Maine. Ecology 27(1): 23-36.
  • Curtis, J. D. 1944. Northern white cedar on upland soils in Maine. J. Forest. 42(10): 756-9.
  • Daguillon, A. 1899. Observations morphologiques sur les feuilles des Cupressees. Rev. Gen. Bot. 11: 168-204. (In French)
  • Dallimore, W.; Jackson, A. B. 1966. A handbook of Coniferae and Ginkgoaceae, revised by S.G. Harrison. ed. St. Martins Press, New York.
  • Dark, S. O. S. 1932. Chromosomes of Taxus, Sequoia, Cryptomeria, and Thuya. Ann. Bot. 46: 965-77.
  • Denneler, B. 2008. Growth responses of riparian Thuja occidentalis to the daming of a large boreal lake. Botany 86: 53-62.
  • Denneler, B; Bergeron, Y.; Begin, Y. 1999. An attempt to explain the distribution of the tree species composing the riparian forests of Lake Duparquet, southern boreal region of Quebec, Canada. Canad. J. Bot. 77: 1744-1755.
  • Eckenwalder, J. E. 2009. Conifers of the world. Timber Press, Portland, OR. , 720 pages. (ISBN 9780881929744)
  • Edwards, D. R.; Dixon, M. A. 1995. Mechanisms of drought response in Thuja occidentalis L.: II. Post-conditioning water stress and stress relief. Tree Physiology 15: 129-133.
  • Edwards, S. W. 1992. Foliar morphology of Chamaecyparis and Thuja (with notes on seeds). Four Seasons 9: 4-29.
  • Farjon, A. 1990. A bibliography of conifers. Koeltz Scientific Books, Königstein, Germany.
  • Farjon, A. 2005. A monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. , 643 pages. (ISBN 1842460684)
  • Fernald, M. L. 1919. Lithological factors limiting the range of Pinus banksiana and Thuja occidentalis. Rhodora 21(243): 41-67.
  • Florin, R. 1955. The systematics of gymnosperms. In: A century of progress in the natural sciences, 1853-1953. California Acad. Sci., San Francisco. , 323-403 pages.
  • Forester, J. D. 2008. Landscape and local factors affecting northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) recruitment in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Wisconsin (USA). Amer. Midl. Naturalist 160: 438-453.
  • Foster, A. C. 1977. Effects of road salt on eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.). M.S. Thesis Univ. Western Ontario, London, Ontario,
  • Foster, A. C.; Maun, M. A. 1978. Effects of highway deicing agents on Thuja occidentalis in a greenhouse. Canad. J. Bot. 56(21): 2760-6.
  • Gadek, P. A.; Quinn, C. J. 1993. An analysis of relationships within the Cupressaceae sensu stricto based on rbcL sequences. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 80: 581-586.
  • Gerrath, J. M. 2002. Occurrence of phi thickenings is correlated with gymnosperm systematics. Canad. J. Bot. 80: 852-860.
  • Govindaraju, D. R. 1984. Mode of colonization and patterns of life history in some North American conifers. Oikos 43: 271-6.
  • Habeck, J. R. 1958. White cedar ecotypes in Wisconsin. Ecology 39: 457-63.
  • Handa, M. R. 1926. The life history of Thuja occidentalis. Jour. Burma Res. Soc. 16: 214-9.
  • Harlow, W. M. 1927. The effect of site on the structure and growth of white cedar, Thuja occidentalis L. Ecology 8: 453-70.
  • Hart, J. A.; Price, R. A. 1990. The genera of Cupressaceae (including Taxodiaceae) in the southeastern United States. J. Arnold Arbor. 71: 275-322.
  • Hill, T. G.; De Fraine, E. 1908. On the seedling structure of gymnosperms. I. Ann. Bot. 22: 689-712.
  • Hofstra, G.; Hall, R. 1971. Injury on roadside trees: leaf injury on pine and white cedar in relation to foliar levels of sodium and chloride. Canad. J. Bot. 49: 613-22.
  • Holcombe, J. W. 1976. The bryophyte flora of Thuja seedbed logs in a northern white-cedar swamp. Michigan Bot. 15: 173-81.
  • Hotchkiss, A. T.; Woodward, H. H.; Muller, L. F.; Medley, M. E. 1986. Thuja occidentalis in Kentucky. Trans. Kentucky Acad. Sci. 46: 99-100.
  • Jean, M.; Bouchard, A. 1996. Tree-ring analysis of wetlands of the upper St. Lawrence River, Quebec: response to hydrology and climate. Canad. J. Forest Res. 26: 482-91. (French summary)
  • Jeffers, R. M. 1976. Survival and height growth of northern white-cedar from 18 provenances.
  • Kelly, P. E.; Cook, E. R.; Larson, D. W. 1992. Constrained growth, cambial mortality, and denrochronology of ancient Thuja occidentalis on cliffs of the Niagara escarpment: an eastern version of bristlecone pine? Int. J. Plant Sci. 153: 117-127.
  • Kelly, P. E.; Cook, E. R.; Larson, D. W. 1994. A 1397-year tree-ring chronology of Thuja occidentalis from cliff faces of the Niagara Escarpment, southern Ontario, Canada. Canad. J. Forest Res. 24: 1049-57.
  • Kelly, P. E.; Larson, D. W. 1997. Effects of rock climbing on populations of presettlement eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) on cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment, Canada. Conserv. Biol. 11: 1125-32.
  • Kennedy, G.; Bergeron, S. 1991. Tree rings as monitors of heavy metal air pollution histories. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 151: 337-344.
  • Kneeshaw, D. D.; Bergeron, Y. 1996. Ecological factors affecting the abundance of advanced regeneration in Quebec's southwestern boreal forest. Canad. J. Forest Res. 26: 888-98. (French summary)
  • Krobel, D.; Bodson, M.; Eschrich, W. 1994. Seasonal changes in the cambium of trees: I. Sucrose content in Thuja occidentalis. Botanica Acta 107: 54-59.
  • Lacroix, C. 2004. Early stages of initiation of two types of leaves in Thuja occidentalis (eastern white cedar). Canad. J. Bot. 82: 598-606.
  • Lamy, S.; Bouchard, A.; Simon, J. P. 1999. Genetic structure, variability, and mating system in eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) populations of recent origin in an agricultural landscape in southern Quebec. Canad. J. Forest Res. 29: 1383-1392.
  • Land, W. J. G. 1902. A morphological study of Thuja. Bot. Gaz. 34: 249-59.
  • Larson, D. W. 1990. Effects of disturbance on old-growth Thuja occidentalis at cliff edges. Canad. J. Bot. 68: 1147-55. (French summary)
  • Larson, D. W. 2001. The paradox of great longevity in a short-lived tree species. Experimental Gerontology 36: 651-673.
  • Larson, D. W.; Doubt, J.; Matthes-Sears, U. 1994. Radially sectored hydraulic pathways in the xylem of Thuja occidentalis as revealed by the use of dyes. Int. J. Plant Sci. 155(5): 569-82.
  • Larson, D. W.; Kelly, P. E. 1991. The extent of old-growth Thuja occidentalis on cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment Ontario Canada. Canad. J. Bot. 69: 1628-1636.
  • Larson, D. W.; Matthes-Sears, U.; Kelly, P. E. 1993. Cambial dieback and partial shoot mortality in cliff-face Thuja occidentalis: Evidence for sectored radial architecture. Int. J. Plant Sci. 154: 496-505.
  • Larson, D. W.; Melville, L. H. 1996. Stability of wood anatomy of living and Holocene Thuja occidentalis L. derived from exposed and submerged portions of the Niagara Escarpment. Quatern. Res. 45: 210-215.
  • Li, L. C.; Wang, Y. Q.; Liu, G. 1996. Studies on the karyotypes of three species and the cytotaxonomy of Thujoideae (Cupressaceae). Acta Bot. Yunnanica 18: 439-444. (In Chinese; English summary)
  • Matthes, U. 2002. The formation and possible ecological function of stem strips in Thuja occidentalis. Int. J. Plant Sci. 163: 949-958.
  • Matthes-Sears, U.; Larson, D. W. 1995. Rooting characteristics of trees in rock: a study of Thuja occidentalis on cliff faces. Int. J. Plant Sci. 156(5): 679-86.
  • Matthes-Sears, U.; Larson, D. W. 1991. Growth and physiology of Thuja occidentalis L. from cliffs and swamps: is variation habitat or site specific? Bot. Gaz. 152(4): 500-8.
  • Matthes-Sears, U.; Larson, D. W. 1990. Environmental controls of carbon uptake in two woody species with contrasting distributions at the edge of cliffs. Canad. J. Bot. 68: 2371-80. (French summary)
  • Matthes-Sears, U.; Larson, D. W. 1999. Limitations to seedling growth and survival by the quantity and quality of rooting space: implications for the establishment of Thuja occidentalis on cliff faces. Int. J. Plant Sci. 160: 122-128.
  • Matthes-Sears, U.; Larson, D. W.; Stewart, S. C. 1991. Sources of allozymic variation in Thuja occidentalis in southern Ontario, Canada. Silvae Genet. 40: 100-5.
  • Matthes-Sears, U.; Nash, C. H.; Larson, D. W. 1995. Constrained growth of trees in a hostile environment: The role of water and nutrient availability for Thuja occidentalis on cliff faces. Int. J. Plant Sci. 156(3): 311-9.
  • Matthes-Sears, U.; Neeser, C.; Larson, D. W. 1992. Mycorrhizal colonization and macronutrient status of cliff-edge Thuja occidentalis and Acer saccharum. Ecography 15: 262-6.
  • Mazzeo, P. M. 1966. Notes on the conifers of the Shenandoah National Park. Castanea 31: 240-7.
  • Medley, M. E.; Wofford, B. E. 1980. Thuja occidentalis L. and other notewothy collections from the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River in McCreaery County, Kentucky. Castanea 45: 213-5.
  • Montague, T. G.; Givnish, T. J. 1996. Distribution of black spruce versus eastern larch along peatland gradients: relationship to relative stature, growth rate, and shade tolerance. Canad. J. Bot. 74(9): 1514-32. (Also Thuja)
  • Moore, B. 1922. Influence of certain soil factors on the growth of tree seedlings and wheat. Ecology 3: 65-83.
  • Moore, M. I. 1972. New form of Thuja occidentalis resembling known cultivars. Rhodora 74(799): 352-7.
  • Musselman, R. C. 1972. Ecophysiological studies of Thuja occidentalis L. in Wisconsin. Ph.D. Dissertation Univ. Wisconsin, Madison, WI,
  • Musselman, R. C.; Lester, D. T.; Adams, M. S. 1975. Localized ecotypes of Thuja occidentalis L. in Wisconsin. Ecology 56(3): 647-55.
  • Nelson, T. C. 1951. A reproduction study on northern white-cedar.
  • Ogle, D. W. 1989. Barns Chapel Swamp: an unusual arbor-vitae (Thuja occidentalis L.) site in Washington County, Virginia. Castanea 54: 200-202. (other spp. discussed)
  • Oladele, F. A. 1983. Inner surface sculpture patterns of cuticles in Cupressaceae. Canad. J. Bot. 61: 1222-31.
  • Oladele, F. A. 1983. Scanning electron microscope study of stomatal-complex configuration in Cupressaceae. Canad. J. Bot. 61: 1232-40.
  • Parent, J.; Richard, P. J. H. 1990. Pollen morphology of the Cupressaceae of eastern Canada and the northeastern United States applied to the study of Quaternary sediments. Canad. J. Bot. 68: 79-89. (In French, English summary. Also Taxodium)
  • Perry, D. J.; Knowles, P. 1989. Inheritance and linkage relationships of allozymes of eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) in northwestern Ontario. Genome 32: 245-50.
  • Perry, D. J.; Knowles, P. 1990. Evidence of high self-fertilization in natural populations of eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis). Canad. J. Bot. 68: 663-8. (French summary)
  • Perry, D. J.; Knowles, P. 1991. Are inferred outcrossing rates affected by germination promptness. Silvae Genet. 40: 35-36.
  • Perry, J. D.; Knowles, P.; Yeh, F. C. 1990. Allozyme variation in Thuja occidentalis L. in northwestern Ontario. Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 18: 111-116.
  • Pregitzer, K. S. 1991. Northern white-cedar: stand assessment and management options. In: Proceedings of the northern white-cedar in Michigan Workshop, 21-22 Feb. 1990, Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI. , 8-14 pages. (Mich. State Univ. Agric. Exp. Stn. Res. Rep. 512)
  • Reiners, W. A. 1974. Foliage production by Thuja occidentalis L. from biomass and litter fall estimates. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 92: 340-5.
  • Ringius, G. S. 1979. Status of eastern white cedar, Thuja occidentalis, in western Nova Scotia. Canad. Field-Naturalist 93: 326-8.
  • Rooney, T. P. 2001. Deer impacts on forest ecosystems: A North American perspective. Forestry (Oxford) 74: 201-208.
  • Rooney, T. P.; Solheim, S. L.; Waller, D. M. 2002. Factors affecting the regeneration of northern white cedar in lowland forests of the Upper Great Lakes region, USA. Forest Ecol. & Manag. 163: 119-130.
  • Scott, M. L.; Murphy, P. G. 1987. Regeneration patterns of northern white-cedar, an old-growth forest dominant. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 117: 10-6.
  • Simard, M. J.; Berberon, Y.; Sirois, L. 1998. Conifer seedling recruitment in a southeastern Canadian boreal forest: The importance of substrate. J. Veg. Sci. 9: 575-582.
  • St. Hilaire, L. R.; Leopold, D. J. 1995. Conifer seedling distribution in relation to microsite conditions in a central New York forested minerotrophic peatland. Canad. J. Forest Res. 5: 261-9. (French summary. See also St. Hilaire, 1994. M.S. thesis, SUNY, Syracuse, NY.)
  • Stahle, D. W. 1996. Tree rings and ancient forest relics. Arnoldia (Jamaica Plain) 56: 2-10.
  • Steele, F. L. 1978. Range extension of two New Hampshire trees. Rhodora 80(821): 155.
  • Stevens, C. E. 1969. An occurrence of Thuja occidentalis in the Virginia Piedmont. Castanea 34: 77-9.
  • Tyree, M. T.; Graham, M. E. D.; Cooper, K. E.; Bazos, L. J. 1983. The hydraulic architecture of Thuja occidentalis. Canad. J. Bot. 61: 2105-11.
  • Vaartaja, O. 1962. Ecotype variation in photoperiodism of trees with special reference to Pinus resinosa and Thuja occidentalis. Canad. J. Bot. 40: 849-56.
  • Walker, G. L. 1986. Breeding systems and genetic variability in the population center and disjunct ranges of northern white cedar, Thuja occidentalis. (Abstr.). ASB Bull. 33: 49.
  • Walker, G. L. 1987. Ecology and population biology of Thuja occidentalis L. in its southern disjunct range. Ph.D. Dissertation Univ. Tennessee, Knoxville,
  • Walker, G. L. 1984. The ecology of northern white cedar, Thuja occidentalis L., in its southern disjunct range. ASB Bull. 31: 89. (Abstract)
  • Warner, B. G. 1982. Late glacial fossil leaves of Thuja occidentalis from Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Canad. J. Bot. 60: 1352-6.
  • Weise, C.; Heber, U. 2001. Seasonal changes in the photosynthetic efficiency of Thuja occidentalis (L.) and Chamaecyparis lawsonia (A. Murray). Plant Biology 3: 263-271.
  • Wherry, Edgar T. 1937. Two plant-geography notes. Castanea 2: 1-2.
  • Wolfe, F. 1932. Annual rings of Thuja occidentalis in relation to climatic conditions and movement of sand. Bot. Gaz. 93: 328-35.
  • Xing, S. P. 1999. The mechanism of pollination in Platycladus orientalis and Thuja occidentalis (Cupressaceae). Acta Bot. Sin. 41: 130-132.
  • Yatagai, M. 1985. Terpenes of leaf oils from Cupressaceae. Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 13: 377-386.
  • Young, J. M. 1996. The cliff ecology and genetic structure of northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) in its southern disjunct range. M.S. Thesis Univ. Tennessee, Knoxville,
  • de Blois, S.; Bouchard, A. 1995. Dynamics of Thuja occidentalis in an agricultural landscape of southern Quebec. J. Veg. Sci. 6: 531-42.