Western Red Cedar (Western Arborvitae, Canoe Cedar)
September, 1805, on the Lolo Trail.
Large to very large tree with tapering trunk, buttressed at base, and with a narrow, conical crown of short, spreading branches drooping at ends; foliage is resinous and aromatic. Height: 100-175 ft (30-53 m) or more. Diameter: 2-8 ft (0.6-2.4 m) or more.
Moist, slightly acid soils; forming widespread forests with western hemlock, also with other conifers.
Southeastern Alaska southeast along coast to northeastern California; also southeastern British Columbia south in Rocky Mountains to western Montana.
Indians of the Northwest coast carved their famous totem poles and split lumber for their lodges from this durable softwood. The name "canoe cedar" refers to the special war canoes hollowed out of its giant trunks.