Content Detail

Atlantic white-cedar is an attractive plant, but is not commonly found in landscapes. It may be difficult to find in nurseries. This tree requires moist to wet sites and is very intolerant of drought.

  • Family (English) Cypress
  • Family (botanic) Cupressaceae
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Evergreen (foliage year-round)
  • Native locale North America
  • Size range Large tree (more than 40 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Moist, well-drained soil, Wet soil
  • Tolerances Wet sites
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, late winter, early spring, mid spring, late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
  • Shape or form Columnar, Narrow
  • Growth rate Moderate

Size and Form: 

This tree is 40 to 60 feet high and 10 to 20 feet wide with a nearly column-like form.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Native to the eastern and southern United States, it is commonly found in wet or boggy conditions.

Bark color and texture: 

The grayish bark is thin and slightly peeling, with a ridged and furrowed pattern.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

The evergreen needles are thin and pointed, and sometimes confused with juniper and arborvitae. The needles are green to blue-green.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

Male and female flowers are separate, but on the same plant (monoecious), They are inconspicuous.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

The small round cones are about 1/4 inch long. They are bluish-gray and mature to brown.

Plant care:

Atlantic white-cedar requires moist to wet, acidic soils. It does poorly in drought and in windy sites.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

This tree has no serious pest problems.


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