American Arborvitae White Cedar is tolerant of regular trimming, though not into the old wood, it can be grown as a hedge. The fresh branches are used as besoms. Their aromatic smell serves to deodorize the house whilst sweeping. The leaves have been kept in the clothes cupboard as a perfume, incense and insect repellent. The leaves and stems have been used as an incense. An essential oil is obtained from the leaves and branches, it is used in perfumery and in medicines. It is poisonous if taken internally. This essential oil also has insect repellent properties. The tough and stringy bark has been used to weave fibre bags. The bark is a source of tannin. Wood - light, soft, not strong, brittle, coarse grained, very durable, easily worked, does not warp. It weighs 20lb per cubic foot. Used especially where contact with water cannot be avoided, for canoes, garden buildings, shingles, posts etc.