White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)
This evergreen coniferous tree is not related to the Cedrus genus. A small tree, growing to a height of 10–20 metres (33–66 ft). The tree is often stunted or prostrate. The furrowed bark is red-brown, and peels in narrow strips. It prefers wet forests, being particularly abundant in coniferous swamps where other larger and faster-growing trees cannot compete successfully.
It is common, though not found throughout Nova Scotia -- Northern Tides territories are most likely to contain this tree.
- Northern white cedar is commercially used for rustic fencing and posts, lumber, poles, shingles and in the construction of log cabins, White cedar is the preferred wood for the structural elements, such as ribs and planking, of birchbark canoes and the planking of wooden canoes.
- The essential oil within the plant has been used for cleansers, disinfectants, hair preparations, insecticides, liniment, room sprays, and soft soaps. There are some reports that the Ojibwa made a soup from the inner bark of the soft twigs. Others have used the twigs to make teas to relieve constipation and headache.
- In the 19th century Thuja was in common use as an externally applied tincture or ointment for the treatment of warts, ringworm and thrush.