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Thuja (alt. spelling Thuya) is a genus of coniferous trees in the family Cupressaceae or cypresses. There are six species in the genus Thuja, two native to North America and four from Eastern Asia. Many people know thujas by their more common, but incorrect name: cedars. They are also known as arbor-vitae (tree of life) or tea tree, due to the many traditional medicinal uses made of these trees.

The leaves of Thuja are evergreen and scale-like, except at the tips of some new shoots, where they are elongated. The scales are arranged in four rows along the twigs.

The male cones are small and inconspicuous and are located at the tips of the twigs. The female cones start out the same as male cones, but grow to about 1 centimeter long with 8-16 leathery scales

The wood of thujas is light, soft and aromatic. it can be easily split and resists decay. The wood has been used for many applications from making chests that repel moths to shingles. Thuja poles are also often used to make fence posts and rails.

Species of Thuja