Thuja occidentalis is an evergreen coniferous tree, in the cypress family Cupressaceae, which is native to the Northeast United States and southeasern Canada, but widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. The species was first described by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753, and the binomial name remains current. Makes a great screenand tolerates wet conditions.
Common names include white cedar (in the United Kingdom), Northern White Cedar, Yellow Cedar, Eastern White Cedar, Swamp cedar, American Arborvitae or just Arborvitae). The name arborvitae is particularly used in the horticultural trade in the United States. The name 'Arbor vitae', is Latin for "tree of life" - due to the supposed medicinal properties of the sap, bark and twigs. Despite its common names it does not belong to the cedar genus, nor is it related to the Australian White cedar, Melia azedarach.