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Uses

Toxic parts

An essential oil from the leaves is poisonous if taken in large doses[1][2]. This plant should not be used by pregnant women[3].

Edible uses

Notes

Pith of young shoots - cooked[4]. It can be added to soups[5]. Pleasantly sweet, the pith was used as the basis of the soup according to one report[6].

Inner bark - cooked. It is only used in times of emergency or scarcity[7]. The inner bark can be dried and ground into a powder, then used with wheat or other cereals in making bread, biscuits etc.

The leafy branchlets are used as a tea substitute[8][5][9] but are probably best avoided by pregnant women[3]. An aromatic flavour[6]. Another report says that the foliage and bark are used, the resulting tea is a good source of vitamin C[10].

Unknown part

Tea

Material uses

Tolerant of regular trimming, though not into the old wood, it can be grown as a hedge[10].

The fresh branches are used as besoms[11]. Their aromatic smell serves to deodorize the house whilst sweeping[10]. The leaves have been kept in the clothes cupboard as a perfume, incense and insect repellent[9]. The leaves and stems have been used as an incense[9]. An essential oil is obtained from the leaves and branches, it is used in perfumery and in medicines[12][13][14][10]. It is poisonous if taken internally[2]. This essential oil also has insect repellent properties[15]. The tough and stringy bark has been used to weave fibre bags[9]. The bark is a source of tannin[9].

Wood - light, soft, not strong, brittle, coarse grained, very durable, easily worked, does not warp[14][16][17][10][18]. It weighs 20lb per cubic foot[18]. Used especially where contact with water cannot be avoided, for canoes, garden buildings, shingles, posts etc[19][14][16][17][10].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

American arbor-vitae was much used by many native North American Indian tribes as a medicine to treat fevers, coughs, headaches, swollen hands and rheumatic problems[20][9]. The plant has an established antiviral activity and is most commonly used in modern herbalism to treat warts and polyps, being prescribed both internally and externally for these conditions[20]. The plant can be used to induce menstruation and so should not be prescribed for pregnant women[21].

The recently dried leafy young twigs are alterative, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic and emmenagogue[11][1][22][3]. The plant is being used internally in the treatment of cancer[21], especially cancer of the uterus[20]. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment for bronchitis and other respiratory problems, colds, headaches and as a cough syrup[23][20]. The plants diuretic properties make it useful in treating acute cystitis and bed-wetting in children[20]. The leaves are used in steam baths in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis, colds etc[23]. Externally, the leaves are used as a wash for swollen feet and burns[23]. Extracts of the leaves can be painted on painful joints or muscles as a counter0irritant, improving local blood supply and thus facilitating the removal of toxins, easing pain and stiffness[20]. A tincture of the leaves has been used in the treatment of warts, piles, bed sores and fungal infections[23]. The leaves and young twigs can be harvested as required and used fresh or dried[21]. 'Oil of white cedar', obtained from the leaves, is an essential oil that is antiseptic, expectorant and rubefacient[7][23]. It is used internally to promote menstruation and relieve rheumatism[7]. This volatile oil is toxic and poisoning from overdoses has occurred[7], it should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner and should not be prescribed for pregnant women[21]. The oil also stimulates the heart and causes convulsions in high doses[7]. A tea of the inner bark is used to promote menstruation[7] and in the treatment of consumption and coughs[23].

A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves and twigs, gathered when the tree is flowering[24]. It is used in the household as a treatment against warts, but also has a range of other applications that should only be prescribed by a competent homeopath[1][24].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown when ripe in the autumn in a cold frame[25]. Stored seed germinates best if given a short cold stratification[25]. It can be sown in a cold frame in late winter. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

If growing large quantities of plants, the seed can be sown in an outdoor seed bed in mid spring[26]. Grow the plants on for two years and then plant them out into their permanent positions in late autumn or early spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, July/August in a shaded frame. Forms roots by the end of September but it should be overwintered in a frame[26].

Cuttings of almost ripe wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel, September in a cold frame. Forms roots in the following summer. Plant out in autumn or spring[26].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Thuja occidentalis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a permanently moist soil[27], it is intolerant of dry soils[19]. A useful plant for very poorly-drained soils[28][29]. The best stands in America are on well-drained soils[19]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in sandy soils[30] and on chalk[29].

A very hardy tree, tolerating very cold winters with temperatures down to -46°c[29][21]. In cold weather the leaves turn brown, becoming green again in the spring[10]. It is usually slow growing and short-lived in cultivation in Britain and rarely looks thrifty[31][28]. However, there are some good specimens in western Britain[11][32]. Some cultivars are more healthy, 'Lutea' is growing very well in several places and 'Spiralis' is also growing well[28]. Trees live 200 - 300 years in the wild[10]. Sometimes planted as a timber tree in C. Europe[33]. Plants cannot regenerate from old wood. Pruning is not normally necessary for this species, any pruning that is carried out should be done with care[21].

The wood and the foliage are strongly aromatic[10]. The crushed leaves have a scent of apples[28].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Thuja occidentalis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Thuja occidentalis.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Thuja occidentalis
Genus
Thuja
Family
Cupressaceae
Imported References
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
2
Heat Zone
?
Water
high
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    15 x 5 meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Thuja occidentalis berries.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Thuja occidentalis berries.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Thuja occidentalis berries.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Thuja occidentalis berries.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Thuja occidentalis berries.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Thuja occidentalis berries.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Thuja occidentalis berries.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Thuja occidentalis berries.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Thuja occidentalis berries.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Thuja occidentalis berries.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Thuja occidentalis berries.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Thuja occidentalis berries.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.3 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.2 Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.4 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    4. ? 4.04.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.2 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.67.7 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana. Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-28925-4 (1977-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.59.69.79.8 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    10. ? 10.0010.0110.0210.0310.0410.0510.0610.0710.0810.0910.10 Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario. ISBN 0889025649 (1989-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.4 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Coon. N. The Dictionary of Useful Plants. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-090-x (1975-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.116.2 Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.117.2 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.118.2 Britton. N. L. Brown. A. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada Dover Publications. New York. ISBN 0-486-22642-5 (1970-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.119.219.319.4 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    20. ? 20.020.120.220.320.420.520.6 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    21. ? 21.021.121.221.321.421.521.6 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    22. ? 22.022.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    23. ? 23.023.123.223.323.423.523.6 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    24. ? 24.024.124.2 Castro. M. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. Macmillan. London. ISBN 0-333-55581-3 (1990-00-00)
    25. ? 25.025.1 Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    26. ? 26.026.126.2 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    27. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    28. ? 28.028.128.228.3 Mitchell. A. F. Conifers in the British Isles. HMSO ISBN 0-11-710012-9 (1975-00-00)
    29. ? 29.029.129.229.3 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    30. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
    31. ? Rushforth. K. Conifers. Christopher Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X (1987-00-00)
    32. ? Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (1979-00-00)
    33. ? ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)
    34. ? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)

    "image:Thuja occidentalis berries.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Thuja occidentalis"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyCupressaceae +
    Belongs to genusThuja +
    Has binomial nameThuja occidentalis +
    Has common nameAmerican Arbor-Vitae +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partStem + and Unknown part +
    Has edible useUnknown use + and Tea +
    Has fertility typeWind +
    Has flowers of typeMonoecious +
    Has growth rateSlow +
    Has hardiness zone2 +
    Has imageThuja occidentalis berries.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useBroom +, Essential +, Fibre +, Incense +, Repellent +, Tannin + and Wood +
    Has mature height15 +
    Has mature width5 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAlterative +, Anthelmintic +, Antiinflammatory +, Antiseptic +, Aromatic +, Astringent +, Diaphoretic +, Diuretic +, Emmenagogue +, Homeopathy + and Rubefacient +
    Has primary imageThuja occidentalis berries.jpg +
    Has search namethuja occidentalis + and american arbor-vitae +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral +, Alkaline + and Very alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy +, Clay + and Heavy clay +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameThuja occidentalis +
    Has water requirementshigh +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheCanopy +
    Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis +, Thuja occidentalis + and Thuja occidentalis +