Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English:Eastern arborvitae, Arborvitae, American arborvitae, or White cedar.

+ Tree Species

Thuja occidentalis

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Thuja occidentalis is native to portions of the Eastern United. It is a common evergreen shrub having cultivars that are narrow pyramidal, columnar, or globed in shape, often found at entrance ways, at the corners of foundations, or as privacy screens in row plantings. It prefers a moist, well-drained, loamy soil in full sun, but tolerates soils that are poor, rocky, clay, compacted, dry, and of various pHs extremely well, and is very urban tolerant to heat, drought, humidity, and pollution; however, not tolerant of shady situations. In Kampala, American arborvitae can be found within Kitatnte courts, Makerere II zone C, along Acacia avenue among other places.

+ Description

Small, medium, large, or very large evergreen shrub, depending upon cultivar. often maturing at about 6 meters tall by 2meters wide in urban landscapes. However, the species forms larger cultivars that can slowly get much bigger over time, to 15 meters tall by 5 meters wide, while dwarf cultivars can mature at 1 meter in height with a slightly wider width. Some forms are single-trunked or few-trunked, with lateral branches, while other forms are few- to many-trunked, with strongly ascending branches.

BARK: brownish-red bark exfoliates on mature branches or trunks, but is often hidden by the foliage of lower branches.

LEAVES: sprays of scale-like, dark green, miniature leaves are evergreen and held so tightly against the stems that the young twigs are often completely hidden. Foliage is highly scented if sheared.

FLOWERS:monoecious, male and female flowers usually borne on separate twigs or branchlets, tiny, terminal, cone-like bodies. Male flowers are yellowish and arise from branchlets near the base of the shoot; female flowers are pinkish and appear at the tips of short terminal branchlets.

FRUITS: ripe cones are pale cinnamon brown, oblong, and 8 -13 mm (0.3 – 0.5in). woody scales of mature cones enclosure double – winged seeds which are released the year after development.

+ Uses

Can be planted as a hedge.

An ornamental tree.

Medicine: leaves. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1117/thuja

Edible: thuja is used as a flavoring agent in foods and beverages.

Thuja is used as a fragrance in cosmetics and soaps.

+ Propagation

Rooted stem cuttings.

+ Management

Slow-growing tree. Transplanting is moderately easy if plants are root pruned and either balled and burlapped or potted.

+ Remarks

The white cedar is abundantly available in ball and burlap or container forms, with many cultivars. Cedar leaf oil is distilled from boughs and used in medicines and perfumes; boughs are also used in floral arrangements and is a widely planted ornamental.Thuja is the Greek name for Juniper, another common evergreen shrub or tree and occidentalis translates as "western", referring to it being native to the Western Hemisphere.

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