Yellow Cedar


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide


Yelcedar2.Jpg
YELLOW CEDAR
chamaecyparis nootkatensis

  • Other common names for the Yellow Cedar: Nootka False-cypress, Alaska-cypress, Sitka-cypress, Yellow-cypress, Alaska-cedar, Alaska Yellow-cedar
  • Yellow Cedar is a False Cypress not a Cedar
  • "nootkatensis" refers to Nootka Sound on the west side of Vancouver Island where it was first identified

UNIQUE FEATURES:

  • the broad, grooved trunk of the Yellow Cedar spreads out widely at the base
  • Yellow Cedar has cone-shaped crown
  • Yellow Cedar branches spread out and droop and have small, loosely hanging branchlets
  • Yellow Cedar has a candelabra-like appearance

LOCATION:

  • Yellow Cedar is found west of the Coast Mountains and on coast islands
  • Yellow Cedar extends to sea level on the northern coast
  • Yellow Cedargrows in mountains in southern BC
  • Likes deep, slightly acidic, moist soils
  • Grows singly or in small groups

SIZE:

  • Yellow Cedar grows up to 24 metres tall
  • up to 90 cm in diameter

CONES/FRUIT:

  • rounded cones
  • 6 - 12 mm in diameter
  • berry-like in first year but later becoming woody
  • 4 - 6 umbrella shaped scales on mature cones

Yelcedar1.Gif

Yelcedar3.Jpg NEEDLES/LEAVES:

  • scale-like
  • dark, bluish-green, slender
  • twigs appear four-sided

BARK:

  • narrow intersecting ridges on mature trees
  • inside bark smells like potato skins

WOOD CHARACTERISTICS:

  • pale yellow
  • hard, very resistant to decay
  • distinctive fragrance
  • straight grain

USES:

  • modern - boat building
  • traditional - wood: ceremonial masks, paddles, dishes; bark: clothing, blankets

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Yellow Cedar