Red Cedar Specie

Western Cedar

Western redcedar

A large tree, up to 60 metres tall when mature, with drooping branches; trunk often spreading out widely at the base.

 

Leaves
Scale-like, opposite pairs, in four rows, folded in one pair but not in the other and overlapping like shingles. Arranged on the twigs in flat, fan-like sprays. Very strong aroma.

Western redcedar leaves

Cones
Seed cones are egg-shaped, 1 centimetre long, with several pairs of scales. Pollen cones are small and reddish.

Western redcedar cones

Bark
Grey, stringy, tearing off in long strips on mature trees.

Western redcedar bark

Where to find western redcedar
It typically occurs at low to mid elevations along the coast and in the wet belt of the Interior, where the climate is cool, mild, and moist.

Habitat
Western redcedar grows best in moist to wet soils, with lots of nutrients. It is tolerant of shade and long-lived, sometimes over 1,000 years.

Western redcedar frequently grows with western hemlock and Douglas-fir. On the north coast, it also grows with amabilis fir and spruces. These forests usually have a lush layer of ferns, huckleberries, and Devil’s club, with a thick carpet of mosses on the forest floor.

Uses
The western redcedar has been called “the cornerstone of Northwest Coast aboriginal culture,” and has great spiritual significance. Coastal people used all parts of the tree. They used the wood for dugout canoes, house planks, bentwood boxes, clothing, and many tools such as arrow shafts, masks, and paddles. The inner bark made rope, clothing, and baskets. The long arching branches were twisted into rope and baskets. It was also used for many medicines.

The wood is naturally durable and light in weight. It is used for house siding and interior paneling as well as outdoor furniture, decking and fencing. Because of its resistance to decay and insect damage, the wood of large, fallen trees remains sound for over 100 years. Even after 100 years, the wood can be salvaged and cut into shakes for roofs.

Notes
The western redcedar is British Columbia’s official tree. The name plicata comes from a Greek word meaning “folded in plaits,” in reference to the arrangement of the leaves. It is sometimes called arbor-vitae, Latin for “tree of life.”

 

SOURCE: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/library/documents/treebook/westernredcedar.htm
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s