Eastern White Cedar

Basic Information
Tree ID: 
Genus and species: 
This Eastern White Cedar is planted right in front of Marsh Hall along the path to the front door of the building. Surveyors have declared that this tree's name is Holly. It is near a few other trees and flowers, though surveyors agree that Holly is the best plant among them because she is a majestic cedar tree with a cone shape and evergreen foliage.
Leilani Eth, Grace Grandel, Holden Taylor
Collected Data
Tree shape: 
Date of tree entry: 
5.00 m
Diameter at breast height: 
0.08 m

The bark of this tree is gray/brown with a slight reddish hue. It appears that this tree is on the older side, as the bark has begun to separate into thin strips.
Twigs & branches
Eastern White Cedar branches are twiggy and do not have a large diameter. The bark on the branches is smooth and brown. They also have branchlets covered with green and brown scale-like leaves.
The foliage of the Eastern White Cedar is fan-like, flat, and quite scaly if you look at it closely. The foliage of this tree persists all year, even through the harsh New Haven winter.
Reproductive Structures
In typical conifer nature, the Eastern White Cedar produces cones as means of reproduction. The photo included is not of full grown cones. Rather, it is of baby cones that have just begun to grow.
The fruit of an Eastern White Cedar is an egg-shaped cone that is green when it is immature, and then turns brown. In the fall, these cones open to release seeds. Each cone releases around eight flat seeds. Unfortunately, we researched the Eastern White Cedar too early in the season to get a good image of the fruit or seeds that it produces.
  • Winter
  • Spring
Natural range of distribution: 
The Eastern White Cedar typically grows in moist soil where the water is not very acidic. It is typically found in temperate forests or near rivers and streams. When it forms near bodies of water, it is typically quite dense and can dominate an entire area. Generally, the Eastern White Cedar is found in southeastern Canada and the adjacent northern United States.
Origin, history, and uses: 
The Eastern White Cedar is native to southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States, so it is native to this area of Connecticut. 
The Eastern White Cedar provides shelter for many birds and small mammals because it has such dense foliage. The foliage of this tree provides thermal cover for white-tailed deer, moose, and black bears during the harsh winter. Additionally, white-tailed deer, snowshoe hares, and porcupines heavily browse the foliage and use it for food. When no other food is available, moose will also graze the cedar tree. Carpenter ants find homes within the Eastern White Cedar. Because they eat carpenter ants, pileated woodpeckers, among other birds, often live near and build nests in Eastern White Cedars.
Eastern White Cedars are often used to build fences, boats, and other items that need to be waterproof because the wood of this tree is especially resistant to water and decay. For this reason and because it has very good insulating properties, it is also often the tree of choice to build log cabins. Additionally, it is used to create perfumes because of the pleasant smell it generates. 
The Eastern White Cedar is non-deciduous and doesn't go through any dramatic changes to their appearance. They have winter dormancy where as temperature drops and daylight shorten, and they begin to emerge from dormancy in April or may, where we see new buds start to open. It is related to various species such as the coniferous tree, as it has similiar traits such as evergreen foliage and the production of cones for reproduction. It's phenology is also influenced by its habitat, which is usually found in wetland habitats.

Lemieux, M. J. (2010, July). Eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) conservation plan. Eastern White Cedar Conservation Plan. https://novascotia.ca/natr/wildlife/biodiversity/pdf/Management_plan_EWC…

USDA. (n.d.). Thuja occidentalis. https://www.fs.usda.gov/database/feis/plants/tree/thuocc/all.html 

Credit Valley Conservation. https://cvc.ca/the-garden-post/eastern-white-cedar-2/

Media and Arts
Eastern White Cedar, by Holden Taylor, Leilani Eth, and Grace Grandel
Oh eastern white cedar, oh eastern white cedar
How you captured my heart at the sight of your needles
Thuja occidentalis or Arbor vitae
Throughout time I will love you regardless of name
Your unchanging look has my undying love
Even you can survive the harshest of floods
While seasons danced in timeless array,
Eastern white cedar, you’ll forever remain
Regardless of climate I know that you’ll grow
Dispersing your seeds with your small little cones
I see you in forests and cabins and boats
While your scent is enough to keep me afloat
Oh eastern white cedar, oh eastern white cedar
I have enjoyed our time and know I’m not eager
To bid you farewell on this springtime day
Thuja occidentalis in my heart you will stay