The arborvitae is an ancient symbol, which become its name in France 'l'arbre de vie' by the following history. The French explorer Jacques Cartier was returned in 1536 with young plants of this conifer after a harsh winter in Canada on Lawrence River. The French king had ordered him to investigate the western side of the river. With his companions, he had ascended the river and not returned on time, so when winter came, the ship got stuck in the ice, near what is now the city Montreal. During the wintering crew members were increasingly ill. Some would even be deceased. He kept it hidden from the tribe of the Iroquois on the shore. They were not sick and Cartier discovered that she drank a concoction of Thuja occidentalis.
Cartier decided on the advice of an old Indian woman to brew that also and that was their salvation because it healed their disease, scurvy, is caused by lack of vitamin C. There is but a little vitamin C necessary to cure scurvy. He brought some of the young plants to France that were planted in the Royal Gardens of Fontainebleau.
For concealing the Indians that a part of the crew was ill, Cartier commanded to hammer on the hull. When the brew was made by Cartier, the crew first didn't dare to drink. Cartier took personal example. Another source states that Cartier would only taste when he saw that the Indians drank it themself.
Known as "Manido Gizhigans" to the Ojibwe people, the Spirit Little Cedar Tree (commonly known as the "Witch Tree") has been watching over the waters of Lake Superior on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation for an estimated 300-400 years. The tree has spiritual significance to the native Ojibwe people of Grand Portage, and the land the tree lives on is considered a sacred area. Whenever someone crosses the waters of the big lake to the Susie Islands or further beyond to Isle Royale or perhaps even Whitefish Bay, the tradition is to pass by the tree before starting the journey and sprinkle some tobacco at the base of the tree as an offering to the Great Spirit in return for a safe journey across the often treacherous waters of the big lake. Nice photos are shown at: http://www.travisnovitsky.com/Lake-Superior/Spirit-Little-Cedar-Tree/
Use in the garden
Thuja occidentalis includes very many cultivars. The most famous are the hedge conifers Thuja occ. Brabant and Thuja occ. Emerald. The former grows quickly and lends itself well to a tightly clipped hedge. Thuja Emerald grows slowly and surely do not need to be cut annually. Watch out to cut no deeper than to where the foliage is green. Thuja will regrow hard on the brown wood. Prune no later than the end of July; the hedge will still have the opportunity to recover before winter. Gives the plants regularly (conifers) manure. They remain in good condition. They are very hardy and resistant to moisture.
As well as ordinary garden plants, they are good to use. Thujas come in a variety of shapes and colors: yellow, orange, green and bronze; erect, nest-shaped and beautiful spheres. So they can be applied in the garden in a variety of ways:
as a patio plant in a pot; in the border as a quietly element amid the summer flowers; upright forms for vertical accents, etc. Additionally, they are easy to use: they are not troubled by pests and are easy to prune.