Northern White Cedar - 2 year old, 6-12" Seedlings

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Northern White Cedar, 2 year old, 6-12" Seedlings

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Northern White Cedar

Thuja occidentalis - American Arborvitae

The Northern White Cedar is often called the American Arborvitae.  This cedar has flattened branches with green, scaly,  fan like foliage.  This selection displays good cold hardiness and heat tolerance and is very popular for landscape, hedge rows, and wildlife plantings. The Northern White Cedar is adaptable to most soil types and is somewhat shade tolerant.  This cedar will grow in average moisture conditions, but will also do well in those wetter or swampy areas of your property.

  • Zones
    2 to 9
  • Soil Type
    Clay, Loamy & Sandy soils
  • Site Selection
    Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Mature Height & Width
    30-40' Height and 10-12' Spread
  • Growth Rate
    Slow - 6-12" per year on average
  • Moisture Requirements
    Average to wetter soil types

Product questions

  • Kay Furnish
    Mar 29, 2020, 08:29

    When planting for a windbreak/privacy how far apart should we plant the seedlings?

    Mar 29, 2020, 12:47

    We suggest planting a minimum of 2 staggered rows, although 3 staggered rows is most favorable. Because these trees reach a mature spread of 10-15', you may plant them as close as 5-7' apart.

  • Jerry Edquist
    Apr 25, 2019, 17:02

    Is this the native tree to north america, or is it a cultivar?

    Apr 25, 2019, 17:05

    The Northern White Cedar we sell is the native tree, not a cultivar. Thanks for the question!

The Northern White Cedar is sometimes also known as the American Arborvitae, Eastern Arborvitae, Eastern White Cedar, Swamp Cedar, or the Atlantic Red Cedar.

The Northern White Cedar is a beautiful evergreen.  This variety should be planted in more of a sheltered spot if possible.  Drying winter winds on an exposed site can damage the Northern White Cedar and cause it to turn brown and perish.  In areas with routine hot and dry spells, some shade is important for this tree to do well.  While this tree will tolerate various soil types, it will thrive on fertile soil that is constantly moist but well drained.

Fun fact:  The oldest Northern White Cedar was aged at 1,650 years old and located in Ontario, Canada.

Common uses for the Northern White Cedar:

  • Privacy screen or living fence
  • Evergreen gives you color year round
  • Smaller scale windbreaks
  • Shelter for many types of birds

The Northern White Cedar makes a good choice for wildlife plantings. Birds love its dense habit for cover and protection. White-tailed deer and Snowshoe Hare use stands of cedar for shelter and to browse, especially during severe winters. Many types of wildlife enjoy this selection including Red squirrel, Porcupine, Warblers and the Pileated Woodpecker.

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