The Onondaga Indians named this tree “Oosootah,” which means feather leaf—an appropriate description of this evergreen’s flat, tiny, scaled leaves. Thick stands of arborvitae or northern white cedar provide important cover and food for deer during winter. It was likely the first American tree introduced to Europe.
Eastern arborvitae is one of the most attractive and extensively used evergreen ornamentals. The wood is rot- and termite-resistant and is used for products such as posts, rails, and shingles that come in contact with moisture.