Botanical Name: Thuja plicata
Common Name: Western Arborvitae
Origin: NW. North America
Notable Feature: Its growth habit as well as its evergreen characteristic makes it a very popular choice for hedging and screening.
Habit: A dense, pyramidal evergreen tree with branches to the ground. Has a buttressed base and often with several leaders. 50 to 70 feet high and 15 to 25 feet wide at maturity.
Flower: Monoecious (separate male and female flowers are borne on the same tree). Female flowers are small and pink and male flowers are small and yellow.
Fruit: ½-inch cones are erect and egg-shaped. Seeds are winged.
Foliage: Rich dark green in horizontal sprays “like a lady’s hand held out to be kissed” - Plantsman Michael Dirr. Omits a tansy-like odor when bruised.
Bark: Fibrous cinnamon red to red/brown.
Interesting Fact: Due to its light weight, easy splitting and durability, the wood from this tree was used to carve canoes for the Lewis and Clark expedition for their travel from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific coast in 1806; hence another name of this tree - the Canoe Cedar.