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Yellow-Cedar

Chamaecyparis nootkatensis

Yellow Cedar

APPEARANCE

Also known as Nootka cypress, Nootka cedar, yellow cypress, Alaska cypress, Alaska cedar, and Alaska yellow cedar, this is not a true cedar (this is why a hyphen is used). The yellow-cedar grows to be 24 metres tall, with a large grooved trunk that spreads at the base. Its needles are scaly and hang on small droopy branches. The wood has a distinctive smell and is resistant to decay. Its leaves are prickly and they can be dark green to yellowy-green.

RANGE & HABITAT

The yellow-cedar is found west of the Coast Mountains and on islands on the northern Pacific coast. In B.C., the yellow-cedar grows in the Coast and Mountains and Georgia Lowlands ecoprovinces.

LIFE CYCLE

The wood is rot-resistant and these cedars live for hundreds of years. The young cedars sprout in damp rich earth and old trees.

ANIMAL USES

Animals, especially bears, den in the hollowed out trunks of old cedar trees.

TRADITIONAL USES BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Yellow-cedar wood is used to make masks, paddles, and dishes, and the bark of the tree can be used for clothing and blankets.

OTHER USES

The yellow-cedar is used for boat building.

STATUS

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

MORE INFORMATION

www.bcadventure.com

Photo: Walter Seigmund