Yellow-cedar

Silhouette - yellow-cedar
  • Latin name: Chamaecyparis nootkatensis (D. Don) Spach
  • French name: Cyprès de Nootka
  • Synonym(s): Yellow-cypress , Nootka-cypress , Nootka false cypress , Alaska-cedar
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 183451
  • NA5 , C6
Description

Leaves

  • Leafy shoot - yellow-cedar
  • Lance-shaped leaves on vigorous shoot - yellow-cedar

Form

  • Needles evergreen, scale-like, small
  • Unpleasant resinous odour when crushed
  • In alternating pairs so as to be in 4 rows along the twig
  • Upper and lower leaves somewhat flattened, with a resin gland
  • Lateral leaves somewhat folded, blunt-pointed and appressed, or sharp-pointed with tips divergent
  • Pressed against and covering the twig
  • Leaves on vigorous shoots elongated, lance-shaped, with slender pointed tips
  • Successive pairs similar
  • Appressed but widely spaced, exposing the round stem

Length

  • Scale-like leaves to 3 mm
  • Lance-shaped leaves on vigorous shoots to 6 mm

Colour

  • Dull bluish-green

Buds

Form

  • Bud-like structures at the tip of some short shoots are immature cones
  • Form in summer, evident all winter

Twigs

Form

  • Tough, very flexible, slender
  • In cross-section, shoots with scale leaves are 4-sided, slightly flattened
  • Vigorous shoots with lance-shaped leaves are round
  • Multibranched shoot complex frond-like, flattened, pendulous
  • New side shoots arise alternately in 2 ranks from the axils of the folded leaves
  • Branching pattern may be repeated once or twice in the course of a growing season

Colour

  • Progressively changing from green to reddish-brown
  • Scale leaves dull green above and below

Seed cones (immature)

Form

  • Conelets berry-like, soft

Length

  • About 4 mm

Colour

  • Green

Timing

  • Mature during 2nd season

Pollen cones

Form

  • Ovoid to globular

Length

  • 2–3 mm

Colour

  • Greenish-yellow

Structure

  • On same tree as seed cones, often on same branch

Timing

  • Pollen shed in early spring

Seed cones (mature)

  • Seed cone (left); seed (right) - yellow-cedar

Form

  • Globular, stalked, hard

Width

  • 8–12 mm

Colour

  • Whitish-green with a purple tinge

Structure

  • 4–6 scales, thick, with a prominent erect triangular projection
  • Umbrella-shaped, with adhering edges when immature

Timing

  • Separating and releasing the seeds when mature

Seeds

Form

  • Flattened, winged, 2 per fertile scale

Seedlings

Form

  • 2 cotyledons raised above the surface
  • Followed by several whorls of needle-like juvenile leaves
  • Gradually changing to scale leaves

Bark

Form

  • Thin, scaly when young
  • Separating into narrow intersecting ridges with age

Colour

  • Greyish-brown

Wood

Texture

  • Light, hard, strong, even-textured
  • Mild characteristic odour
  • No resin ducts
  • Sapwood not clearly distinct from heartwood

Colour

  • Pale yellow

Morphology

  • Close-grained

Uses

  • Boatbuilding, greenhouse construction
  • Other purposes where resistance to decay is advantageous
  • Also for carving, patternmaking, hobby work, and canoe paddles

Size

Height

  • To 25 m

Diameter

  • To 90 cm, occasionally much larger

Tree form

  • Silhouette - yellow-cedar

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Tapered, often with a broadly buttressed and fluted base

Crown

  • Sharply conical
  • Branches spreading, drooping, bearing loosely hanging branchlets
  • Leading shoot slender, flexible, curved

Root system

  • Varies from shallow to deep

Habitat

Site

  • Requires plenty of moisture
  • Becomes small and shrubby above 1500 m

Light tolerance

  • Shade-tolerant

Associated species

  • Usually grows singly or in small clumps mixed with other conifers

Range

A western species, occurring mainly near the Pacific Coast

Insects and diseases

Insects and diseases that are found most frequently and/or that cause the most damage in our Canadian forests.

Photos
  • Yellow-cedar
  • Yellow-cedar
  • Yellow-cedar
Distribution map
Distribution map - yellow-cedar
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