Thuja occidentalis, also known as northern white-cedar or eastern arborvitae, is an evergreen coniferous tree, in the cypress family Cupressaceae, which is native to Canada and the United States, but widely cultivated as an ornamental plant.
The name arborvitae is particularly used in the horticultural trade in the United States. It is Latin for "tree of life" - due to the supposed medicinal properties of the sap, bark, and twigs. Despite its common names, it is not a true cedar in the genus Cedrus, nor is it related to the Australian white cedar, Melia azedarach. Unlike the closely related western red-cedar (Thuja plicata), northern white-cedar is only a small or medium-sized tree, growing to a height of 15 m (49 ft) tall with a 0.9 m (3.0 ft) trunk diameter, exceptionally to 38 metres (125 ft) tall and 1.8 metres (5.9 ft) diameter. The tree is often stunted or prostrate in less favorable locations. The bark is red-brown, furrowed and peels in narrow, longitudinal strips.