Tree Species of the World's Boreal Forests

Herbs, Shrubs and Other Plants

Terminology | Pictorial

Chamaecyparis nootkatensis
Alaska Cedar
Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)

A medium-sized tree with a narrow crown and horizontal or slightly drooping branches, growing to a height of 15 - 30 m and a diameter of 0.3 - 1.2 m.

 Alaska Cedar Description

Distinguishing Features - Needles: evergreen; opposite in four rows, 3 mm) long, scalelike, pointed and spreading, bright yellowish-green, generally without gland-dot. Bark: gray-brown, thin, with long narrow fissures, fibrous and shreddy. Twigs: slightly stout, flattened or four-angled, regularly branched and spreading horizontally, becoming reddish-brown. Cones: 12 mm in diameter; rounded, reddish-brown, with 4 or 6 rounded cone-scales ending in long point; maturing in 2 seasons; 2 - 4 seeds under a cone-scale.


Native to Pacific Coast region from southern and southeastern Alaska, south through western British Columbia and Oregon to California; in wet mountain soils; mainly in mixed conifer forests; sometimes in pure stands.


The durable wood is used for furniture, interior finish, and boats. West Coast Natives made canoe paddles from the wood and carved ceremonial masks from the trunks.

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