Monday, October 11, 2010

Thuja plicata - Western Redcedar

Thuja plicata: Thuja from the Greek name 'thuia' or 'thyia,' a kind of juniper or other resinous tree; plicata, meaning 'pleated'.

Also known as Canoe Cedar, in reference to the canoes made from its rot-resistant wood by Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest.

Pyramidal form with straight, tapered trunk with a buttressed trunk. Upper limbs are often horizontal; lower limbs droop to the ground, but most have upturned tips. Foliage is lighter green than that of associated conifers. Moderate growth rate up to 200' in its native habitat and 20-60' wide.

Flat, hanging, lacelike, green foliage sprays of small, decussate, scale-like leaves. Delightfully aromatic when crushed.

Sprays of foliage from shady (left) and sunny (right) parts of the same tree.

Cones are 1/2" round, reddish brown, with 6 fertile scales, maturing and releasing 2-3 seeds each in late summer o the first year.

Bark is thin, reddish brown, fibrous, with shallow furrows and long vertical ridges, peeling in long strips and taking on a grayish cast with age. Trunk base is often fluted.

Evergreen. Native to the northwestern U.S. from coastal California to Alaska east to Montana. Western redcedar grows under temperate rainforest conditions alongside Sequoia sempervirens, Picea sitchensis, Tsuga heterophylla and Pseudotsuga menziesii. Summers are relatively cool, winters are mild, rainfall is heavy and supplemented by ample fog-drip. It is sometimes found in boggy soil.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog :D

    Only thing: the picture of the cones is actually of a Hemlock (Tsuga) species-- just a heads up! Both awesome trees, but not one and the same :P