western redcedar Cupressaceae Thuja
plicata Donn ex D. Don
|Leaf: Persistent, scale-like, and arranged in decussate pairs; yellow-green on top with a distinctive butterfly shaped bloom pattern on the underside. Individual leaves are typically 1/16 to 1/8 inch long and sets of four are roughly square. Foliage arranged in flattened sprays, dead leaves fall in sprays.
Flower: Species is monoecious; male cones are small and inconspicuous; female cones are small, reddish purple, and borne near the tips of branches.
Fruit: Small woody cones (1/2 inch long) with thin, valvate scales arranged in 5 to 6 decussate pairs; typically upturned on the branches.
Twig: Younger twigs are flattened while older twigs are round, slender, flexible, and slightly zigzag; reddish brown.
Bark: Thin (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick), fibrous, stringy, and reddish brown; finely ridged and furrowed; intertwined; comes off in long strips.
Form: A large evergreen conifer that grows to 200 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter (sometimes more). Has an open, pyramidal crown with pendulous, frond-like branches. Base of trunk is often swollen and fluted.
Looks like: northern white-cedar
- Alaska yellow-cedar
| Additional Range Information:
Thuja plicata is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting western redcedar.
| External Links:
Silvics of North America
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2016, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson