any of several ornamental or timber-producing evergreen trees belonging to the genus Thuja, of the cypress family, native to North America and eastern Asia, having a scaly bark and scalelike leaves on branchlets.
Anatomy, arbor vitae.

1655–65 for def 1; 1790–1800 for def 2; < Latin: tree of life Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
Branches of pyramidal arborvitae, for example, tend to pull away from the trunk
  and stay that way for months after a snow storm.
The low inner hedges are sculpted from boxwood, while the perimeter hedge is
Take special care to clean out dead leaves from arborvitae next to buildings.
Better yet, replace the arborvitae with leafy plants.
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