White Cedar research project

White Cedar cones

We collected seeds from mature trees at:

  • Trout Park
  • Chicago Junior School
  • the Morton Arboretum (MA),
  • Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG), and
  • Pakulak Seed and Nursery Co. (PSNC)



We compared:

        • cone biomass,
        • seed set,
        • seed weight,
        • seed morphology
        • germination under varying salt concentrations

sapling White CedarWe found:

~ 35% of the PSNC seeds germinated,
<10% of seeds from the Arboretum and Botanic Gardens germinated,
< 1% of seeds from Trout Park and CJS germinated.
As salt concentrations increased, overall germination decreased.

Throughout the year, salt concentrations at Trout Park were significantly higher than at Chicago Junior School, which could mimic drought conditions and influence the health of plants and their reproductive success. In addition to the chronically high salt concentrations, hikers may trample seedlings and saplings, deer eat the tender young saplings.

Link to paper “The role of environmental stressors on reproduction, seed morphology, and germination: A case-study of Northern White Cedar, Thuja occidentalis L.”