"The name of the genus is derived from a Greek word, signifying to sacrifice; it having been used, from the agreeable odor of the wood, in sacrificial offerings."
Thuya occidentalis. - The American Arbor Vitae. - This is a small evergreen tree, growing from thirty to forty, or even fifty, feet in height. It is remarkable for its graceful, pyramidal, spire-like shape, thickly clothed with branches from the ground to the apex. "The leaves are evergreen, arranged in four rows, in alternately opposite pairs, completely investing and seeming to make up the fan-like branchlets. They are scale-like, marked with a projecting gland, below the point, each lower pair embracing and covering the base of the pair above. The branchlets which they cover are arranged in a single plane, as if they were parts of a large, compound, flat, pinnate leaf. These planes are various, inclined to the horizon, often vertical, and form the striking peculiarity of this picturesque tree." The foliage is of a yellowish-green, and contrasts rinely with the Fir and other evergreens. The Arbor
Vitae forms a very ornamental hedge, and is coming very much into use, for protecting gardens from the cold, for which purpose it is admirably adapted. As a fence for keeping out cattle, we do not think it is sufficient. The Arbor Vitae is sure to live when taken from nurseries; but as they are frequently purchased in the city, in crates, from Maine, they are very uncertain, probably on account of the long exposure of the roots to the sun and air, after they are dug, before they are packed. These young plants may generally be had in Boston for about thirty dollars per thousand. Before they are planted out to form the hedge, they should be grown one or two years in nursery rows. With the greatest care, many will die. When those that survive have become firmly established, the most vigorous may be selected, and, having the ground well prepared, set them out about nine inches or a foot distant from each other; if they are taken up, and set out carefully, not one in a hundred will fail; but if they are set out immediately upon receiving them, probably not one in four will thrive. The Arbor Vitas bears pruning well, and may be brought into any desired shape, and a single row will form an almost impenetrable screen.