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Woody > Chamaecyparis > Chamaecyparis thyoides > Chamaecyparis thyoides

Chamaecyparis thyoides

Atlantic White Cedar

Origin:  Native to Eastern United States such as Maine, New York, and New Hampshire.
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A great cedar specimen that is tall and columnar. A cone bearer with blue-green foliage that will serve as an accent, mass, or windbreak. Full sun and slightly acidic soils ensure plant vigor with no concernable pests or diseases. The branches are intricate and irregular and a red-brown in colour; however, the lower branches will be lost with age. It can grow up to 26 m.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
Canadian Hardiness Zone
5 a
Temperature (°C)
-38-38 C
Temperature (°F)
-36-100 F
13–26 m
3.25–6.5 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
A flattened branchlet awl/needle evergreen that grows to 26 m in height, has a columnar form and is green in colour.
Beside the use of a specimen tree in the landscape, Chamaecyparis thyoides is used for lumber. This softwood is slightly fragrant, light; used for making shingles, kitchenware, and even boats.
This specimen prefers full sun as it is not tolerant to shade. The soil should be slightly acidic and can be medium to coarse.
Tall, slender, and columnar; it is dense and loses its lower branches with age.
ID Characteristic
A tall and slender evergreen with awl/needle like foliage that is green in colour. There may be lost bottom branches as the tree gets older.
There are no serious pests or diseases.
Found in abundance in fresh water swamps and river banks.
Bark/Stem Description
The bark itself is intricate, irregular, and has dense branches. It is also thin and thick, from 2 cm–2.5 cm. The colour of the bark is ash grey to red-brown.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
The buds are monoecious, 1 mm in size, and are brown in colour. The staminate is red to yellow in colour. It has very few pistillate, which are green.
Leaf Description
The foliage is flattened awl-to-needle with sharp pointed tips. The colour is blue/green with white markings.
Flower Description
A cone bearing fruit that is 6 cm in size and Blue to Purple in colour. They are monoecious, small, and abundant. The staminate is red/yellow and has few pistillate but are green in colour.
Fruit Description
The fruit is a small branched cone that is globose and 50 mm across with an acute top and a reflex base. There are 4 to 5 scales with 1 or 2 seeds on each side. It is rare to have one with 6 scales.
Colour Description
The foliage of the tree is a blue-green tinge, the bark is grey-brown and the fruit and flower is a blue-purple.
Texture Description
Notable Specimens
NC State University.
Seeds require stratification for 90 days in a cold moist environment. To root from cuttings you can either choose to take samples in mid-November or mid-December. Cuttings should be placed in sand/peat mix for 6 months. Clones should have rooted readily in 6 weeks. To accelerate roots in winter, use 3 parts perlite and 1 part medium and intermittent mist. Bottom heat (70°F). Hinesley et al., Hortscience 29:217-217 (1994).
Dirr, Michael. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants . Fifth . Illinois : Stipes Publishing L.L.C. , 1975. 221-224.