Western Red cedar is a large, long-lived, slow-growing tree of the Paciﬁc northwest. It attains heights of over 200 feet with a trunk diameter up to 16 feet. It has a wide buttressed or “swell butted” base, a long, clear trunk and a narrow, dense, conical crown. The bark, which is comparatively thin for such a large tree, being less than one inch thick, is stringy, fluted and ﬁbrous and a clear reddish, cinnamon-browncolor. The inner bark is strong and tough and was used by the Indians for making baskets. The leaves, which have a pleasing aromatic odor, are ﬂat and scale-like, glossy on the upper surface and form ﬂat, lacy sprays. The small cones are about one-half inch long, have a leathery-brown color, and after shedding their small double-winged seeds, remain on the tree until the following summer.
- Western Bed cedar (trade)
- Arborvitae (Calif.)
- British Columbia Cedar (trade)
- Canoe Cedar (Oreg.,Wash.)
- California Cedar (trade)
- Cedar (Oreg., Mont., Idaho., Paciﬁc Coast, trade)
- Giant Arborvitae (Lit. and hort.)
- Gigantic Cedar (Calif.)
- Gigantic Red Cedar (Calif.,lit.)
- Idaho Cedar (trade)
- Lobb’s Arborvitae (Eng)
- Oregon Cedar (trade)
- Paciﬁc Arborvitae (lit.)
- Paciﬁc Red Cedar (Calif.,lit.)
- Red Cedar (Idaho, Oreg., Wash., Mont., B.C.)
- Red Cedar Pine (trade)
- Stinking Cedar
- Washington Cedar (trade)
- Washington Red Cedar (trade)
- Western Arborvitae (lit.)
- Western Cedar
The natural growth range of Western Red cedar extends from southern Alaska to northern California and eastward through Washington, western Montana and northern Idaho. It is found on moist soils from sea level, up to 7,000 feet in the northern Rocky Mountains.
Western Redcedar heartwood is light, soft, durable, easy to work, rather brittle, and strongly aromatic. It is a dull reddish-brown, losing its reddish tinge with exposure. The sapwood is narrow and nearly white. The wood is straight-grained, rather coarse in texture and free from pitch. It takes a good ﬁnish, is easily glued, and takes and holds nails and screws very well.
The principal use of Western Red cedar is for shingles and lumber. It is also used for boxes and crating, caskets and burial boxes, sash, doors, general millwork, boat building, wooden ware novelties and many other minor uses.