Friday, July 20, 2018

Thuja plicata – Western Red Cedar

General Information
Common Name Western Red Cedar, Arbor-vitae
Scientific Name Chamaecyparis leylandii
Sun Tolerance Full Sun
Height 65 - 70 (213 - 230 ft)
Spread 10 -15 m (33-50 ft)
Growth Rate Fast
Bloom Time Spring
Color Green,
Flower Color Yellow
Type Tree
Native Africa, Asia, Europe, USA.
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
SuperdivisionSpermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Coniferophyta – Conifers
Class Pinopsida
Order Pinales
Family Cupressaceae - Cypress Family
Genus Thuja Spach. –  Arobor Vitae
Species T. plicata

Thuja plicata – Western Red Cedar
Thuja plicata commonly known as Western Red Cedar also known as Arbor-vitae is native to western North America where it was the tree used by the Haida tribe of Red Indians for canoes and the carving of totem poles. It is fine and popular hedge-plant, but also plays an important role in silviculture, being well known as a tall fast growing tree with an erect leader and upward curving branches. When grown in the open it has a formal pyramidal habit, densely foliaged to the base. It is a large to very large tree, ranging up to 65 to 70 m (213 to 230 ft) tall and 3 to 4 m (9.8 to 13.1 ft) in trunk diameter, exceptionally even larger. 
The spray-like foliage, which resembles the flattish fronds of a fern, surrounds the shoots so that no buds are visible and is made up of overlapping scale-like needles (more correctly, leaves) which are broad more so than Lawson Cypress) except those on the edges of shoots, which are narrow. The foliage is yellow-green to dark green, sometimes bronze on top, paler underneath. The shoots have a distinctive resinous, sweet fragrance when crushed. The individual leaves are 1 to 4 mm (0.039 to 0.157 in) long and 1 to 2 mm (0.039 to 0.079 in) broad on most foliage sprays, but up to 12 mm (0.47 in) long on strong-growing lead shoots.
Thuja plicata – Western Red Cedar
The Flowers of both sexes are found on the same tree. They are usually numerous and appear in March. The small oval dull crimson males turn yellow with pollen. The minute females have scales of pale green, tipped with black. The slender cone-lets develop into small upright green cones resembling a miniature Grecian urn about 1-2 cm tall, comprised of leathery scales which turn brown before separating close to their base thereby releasing the narrow-winged seeds in early Autumn.
The bark is thin, cinnamon-red on young stems. Later it turns to grey or brown, and when mature develops irregular shallow fissures which divide the bark into plates which are shed, exposing the red bark underneath. The sapwood is pale yellowish, The heartwood at first bright orange-brown, weathering to an attractive silver-grey. The wood is soft, light, and naturally durable – but under European climatic conditions exposed woodwork needs preservative surface treatment about every five years. It proves valuable for joinery, greenhouse and shed construction, bungalows, ladder poles, fencing and roofing shingles.
Thuja is a very popular hedge-plant and some of its varieties make fine ornamental trees. Silviculturists like it for its quick growth and heavy volume and for its suitability as a good under-plant. It is also very famous as Christmas Trees.

Thuja plicata – Western Red Cedar

Young plant of Western Red Cedar

Leaves of Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar Leaves

Thuja plicata Leaves

Male Flowers of Western Red Cedar

Thuja plicata Male Flowers

Female Cones of Western Red Cedar

Thuja plicata Female Cones

Mature Cones of Western Red Cedar

Thuja plicata Mature Cones

Western Red Cedar Cones

Bark of Western Red Cedar

Thuja plicata Bark

Trunk of Western Red Cedar

Thuja plicata Trunk

Thuja plicata as Ornamental Plant

Western Red Cedar Ornamental Plants

Thuja plicata Ornamental Plants

Western Red Cedar as Christmas Trees

Thuja plicata – Western Red Cedar

Thuja plicata – Western Red Cedar
Video of Western Red Cedar:

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