Chamaecyparis nootkatensis
Yellow-cedar Yellow-cedar

A medium-sized tree, up to 24 metres tall and 90 centimetres in diameter; has a broad, grooved trunk that spreads out widely at the base. The crown is sharply cone-shaped, with branches that spread out and droop, and have small, loosely hanging

Yellow-cedar leaves

Scale-like, dark, bluish-green, and slender with sharp points. Unlike western redcedar, the leaves of the yellow-cedar are all alike, so that the leaf-covered twigs appear four-sided rather than flat.

Cones are round, 6 to 12 millimetres in diameter, berry-like in the first year and becoming woody as they mature. Mature cones have 4 to 6 thick umbrella-shaped scales.

Yellow-cedar cones
Yellow-cedar bark Yellow-cedar young bark
Young Bark
On young trees, the bark is thin, greyish-brown and scaly; on mature trees, it has narrow intersecting ridges. The inside of the bark smells like potato skins.
Where to find Yellow-cedar
Common west of the Coast Mountains, it rarely occurs in southeastern British Columbia

low-cedar grows well on deep, slightly acidic, moist soils, usually as single trees, or in small clumps. It is common in old-growth stands at low elevations especially in the mid or north coastal regions, with western redcedar and western hemlock and other plants such as salal and deer fern. It is most commom at high elevations, growing with mountain hemlock and amabilis fir.

Where to find Yellow-cedar
Aboriginal people along the coast used yellow-cedar extensively. They used the wood for paddles, masks, dishes, and bows and wove the bark to make clothing and blankets.

The wood is very valuable commercially because of its straight grain, yellow colour, and resistance to decay. It is used extensively for boat building.

Chamaecyparis is derived from the Greek word for the ground cypress, an Old World shrub; nootkatensis refers to Nootka Sound on the west side of Vancouver Island where it was first identified by botanists.

Yellow-cedar often has a candelabra-like appearance, because the top leader dies, as do the side branches that take over. The reason for this is not really understood, but it may be a lack of nutrients caused by growing in wet, acidic soils or perhaps drought stress caused by a shortage of oxygen to the roots, which makes it difficult for the tree to take up water.

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