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A plant, sometimes called the tree of life, belonging to the genus Thuja of the order Pinales (Coniferales). It is characterized by flattened branchlets with two types of scalelike leaves. At the edges of the branchlets the leaves may be keeled or rounded; on the upper and lower surfaces they are flat, and often have resin glands. The cones, about 1/2 in. (1.25 cm) long, have the scales attached to a central axis.

The tree is valued both for its wood and as an ornamental. Thuja occidentalis, of the eastern United States, is known as the northern white cedar. It occurs in moist or swampy soil from Nova Scotia to Manitoba and in adjacent areas of the United States, and extends south in the Appalachians to North Carolina and Tennessee. Other important species include the giant arborvitae (T. plicata); oriental arborvitae (T. orientalis); and Japanese arborvitae (T. standishii). Among the horticultural forms are the dwarf pendulous and juvenile varieties. Forest and forestry Tree

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From McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Environmental Science. The Content is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. The Work is © 2008 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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