Eastern Arborvitae, also known as the Northern Whitecedar
(Toledo, OH) Among the eclectic group of trees on my property is Thuja occidentalis or Eastern Arborvitae, which is an aromatic member of the cypress family.
Its distinctive, effervescent wood is perhaps one of the reasons some people believe it to be a member of the cedar family.
This particular tree has been gradually developing a curved trunk over the past few years. I believe that its close proximity to the foundation of my house is causing the trunk to bend. I am not sure if this will adversely affect the lifespan of the tree, which is one of my favorites.
Instead of leaves, this tree has foliage that fans out into flat groupings of scaly leaves. It keeps its foliage year round, and the fruit of the Eastern Arborvitae is small and berry-like, giving off an especially pungent odor when they are crushed.
The leaves contain high levels of Vitamin C, and have long been recognized by by Native Americans and European explorers as a cure for scurvy.
I enjoy sitting under this tree during the evening hours, reading a book, greeting neighbors out for a walk, or petting whatever dog wanders over. It has grown from a bush-like plant to a tree over 25 feet in height since I moved to this home in 1993.