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Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata )


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At a glance

Names

Latin (scientific) name: Thuja plicata 

Common English name: Western Red Cedar

Other names: Western Thuja, Giant Arborvitae

French name: Thuya géant

Type

conifer tree icon

Coniferous

Plant Hardiness Zone

1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b

Status

species native to Canada

Native

Size at Maturity

60 meters

Life Expectancy

Very long-lived. Some have been aged at more than 1,000 years.

Where it grows

Plant Hardiness Zone

1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b

Habitat

Native to the coastal forests and wetter parts of interior British Columbia. Shade Tolerant

Preferred Soil Type

moist

Distribution Across Canada

British Columbia

What it looks like

At Maturity

Very large trees, long tapering outline. Trunk buttressed at base.

Bark

conifer tree icon

Smooth and shiny maturing to rough and ridged. Shredding at maturity.

Leaf

Scale-like, opposite pairs, in four rows, one pair folded, other pair not folded, leaves overlap like shingles in flat sprays fanning out on the twigs. Very strong aroma.

Bud

conifer tree icon

Cone

conifer tree icon

Seed cones are ovoid, 1 centimetre long, with several pairs of scales. Pollen cones are small and a bit red in colour. Both born in clumps.

Other

conifer tree icon

Official arboreal emblem of British Columbia. The Northwest Coast First Nations peoples used all parts of the tree. Trunk is so resistant to decay that wood can be used a century after the tree has felled.

What affects it

Pests

Common diseases

Values and Uses

Edible fruit/nut tree?

No

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