Red Cedar: Importance & Use

The western red cedar is, as its name suggests, a tree with an imposing size. Its height ranges between 50 and 60 m!

3963Arbre1820%FR CedarUneven-aged high forest Launay Guen Forest 22
Red Cedar €18
Age: 0 to 2 years old
Launay Guen Forest
Côtes-d'Armor, Brittany, France
3379Arbre1820%FR CedarUneven-aged high forest Ploerdut Forest 5 56
Red Cedar €18
Age: 0 to 2 years old
Ploerdut Forest 5
Morbihan, Brittany, France

Red Cedar

Cedars belong to the Cupressaceae family. American or Asian in origin, depending on the species, they are classified as conifers and are easily recognized by their evergreen foliage , in a scaly pattern interwoven with one another.

Why does EcoTree plant red cedars?

Cedars are not picky about soil profile and are perfect windbreaks, serving to protect more sensitive species - hence EcoTree's preference for them.

Red Cedar - Overview

Red Cedar - Overview

This conifer grows on the slopes of the Rocky Mountains in the western United States and was introduced to Europe in 1853 by a renowned botanist, William Lobb. Western red cedars ( Thuja plicata ) feature a tapered, cylindrical trunk. Their scarlet bark turns gray and cracked with age. Their foliage, constant throughout winter, consists of flattened twigs covered with leaves in the shape of scales. The leaves are arranged in mirroring pairs, set at 90º from one another. This conifer is densely branched and gives off a strong, aromatic odor when crushed. Some varieties of cedar are golden in winter. Their twigs are green on the top and green with white spots lower down. Cedars are a monoecious species , meaning they sprouts unisexual flowers that end is a little kitten head shape. Their cones, 15 to 20 mm long and 4 to 5 mm wide, are slender and formed of interlocking scales. Cedars are very resistant to diseases and fungi .
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Red Cedar

Red Cedar - Species requirements

Cedars prefer gravel soils, or ones containing humus . Such soil should have a low acidic, even alkaline, pH level. Cedars are susceptible to soil densification, yet resistant to impurities in the air, meaning they can adapt to atmospheric pollution . They suffer in dry air and soil, as well as from road salt.
Cedars like the sun or partial shade. They suffer in periods of drought and intense heat, hence why they're found in humid regions.

The red cedar's wood

The red cedar's wood has a unique smell. It's a softwood that's light and ranges from yellow hues in its sapwood to pinkish brown in its heartwood. The wood is very resistant to rot and is used to produce shingles, boats, exterior claddings and window frames.

The red cedar's symbolism

This tree, sacred for many cultures, is called the "tree of life" because of its longevity and constant greenery. In its native North America, it can live up to a thousand years! The cedar is a symbol of eternity - inspiration for a sustainable and ecological birthday present!

Your cedar will help fight climate change by storing CO2, by purifying the air, and by protecting the life of millions of animal species: a great gift!