Plants: perennial, 40'-50' tall, evergreen tree
Leaves: mostly scale-like 1/16-1/8" in 4 rows flattened from sides
Fruits: 1/2" long cones mostly bell-shaped
Habitat: dry to wet; swamps, limestone
Conservation Status: Native
Curtis (1959) discussed the importance of cedar swamps as wintering grounds for white-tailed deer. Deer seek out the swamps due to their shallower snow and as a source of winter browse. Unfortunately, the overabundance of deer has now led to low regeneration of white cedar, young plants being quickly eaten up before they can grow large. Many areas of white cedar exhibit signs of over-browsing, where all the trees are leafless until a height above that which the deer can reach; these plants look as if they have been pruned intentionally by humans. White cedar is found almost entirely north of the Tension Zone, extending southward along Lake Michigan. There is some debate if plants on the lake bluffs of Milwaukee are native or escaped. Many cultivars of white cedar have been developed and it is a ubiquitous landscape plant. It has escaped in a few areas south of its native range on small cliffs near homes, along railroads, on roadcuts, and in prairies and fens.