Thuja (// THEW-jə) is a genus of coniferous trees in the Cupressaceae (cypress family). There are five species in the genus, two native to North America and three native to eastern Asia. The genus is monophyletic and sister to Thujopsis.
They are commonly known as arborvitaes (from Latin for tree of life) or thujas; several species are widely known as cedar but because they are not true cedars (Cedrus) it has been recommended to call them redcedars or whitecedars.
Thuja occidentalis is an evergreen coniferous tree, in the cypress family Cupressaceae, which is native to the northeast of the United States and the southeast of Canada, but widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. The species was first described by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753, and the binomial name remains current.
Common names include White cedar (in the United Kingdom), Northern White Cedar, Yellow Cedar, Atlantic White Cedar, Eastern White Cedar, Swamp cedar, Cedrus Lycea, False White Cedar, Hackmatack, Lebensbaum, Thuia du Canada, Techny Arborvitae, American Arborvitae or just Arborvitae) The name Arborvitae is particularly used in the horticultural trade in the United States. The name 'Arbor vitae', is Latin for "tree of life" - due to the supposed medicinal properties of the sap, bark and twigs. Despite its common names, it does not belong to the cedar genus, nor is it related to the Australian White cedar, Melia azedarach.