miércoles, 19 de febrero de 2014

Thuja Plicata, Red Cedar

Name: Thuja plicata, Western or Pacific Red Cedar, Giant or Western Arborvitae, Giant Cedar or Shinglewood

Latin name: Thuja plicata

Foliage: perennial

Mature height: 30m or 98.4ft.

Description: The Thuja Plicata, or Western Red Cedar, is one of the most important forest trees of North America, especially in the West.

This fast-growing tree has a pyramidal form; the bark is brown redish and it separates from the trunk by fragments.

The leaves are flat with a beautiful dark green color, brilliant above and clarified below. It gives off one characteristic odor when we squeeze or prune them.

Soil and Location: The spezie adapt´s to all kind of lands, even calcareous too.

The tree stands from colds to damp climates in coastal enviroments. It stands the intense colds and hotest too.

Irrigation: it would be necessary to irrigate once in a while in summer, when they are young. It needs less water as the plant ripens.

Pruning: It resists arrangements and the pruning. If its growth is excessive it will be necessary to prune it two times a year; one in spring (April-May), and other by the end of summer (September).

Reproduction: By seeds or by semi-woody cuttings.

Interesting notes: It has great ornamental value and it is used to make hedges and walls.

It makes excellent hedges because it supports well de cuttings and re-sprouts very easily on the old wood. If they are cultivated to make hedges, it is better to plant the trees separated one form the other about 1ft 1158in. Until the plant settles, you will need to keep the land around the hedges weeds-free.


Its wood is brown pinkish color, lightweight and soft. It resists to the ground contact and to almost all weather conditions. The wood has attractive grain, and it is very stable and easy to work with.

It is a plant with medicinal uses.

The Thuja tree has been very useful throughout its history. In the USA it is a source of power poles and railway sleepers. It is used to obtain boards, fences and handrails.

Traditionally, the north-west coast Amerindians, use to call themselves “Red cedar Indians”. Besides his famous totems, they take out of the tree wood planks and cupboards for all kind of constructions and utensils. Even they collected and weaved the tree bark to make dresses, ropes and nets. Also they built big single-hull canoes hollowing out the big trunks.

 “Tilikum” canoe was hollowed out, and rigged with three masts, at the beginning of the XIX Century. The adventurous captain John Voss bought it and went around the world in 1901, with only two men as crew. “Tilikum” canoe is now exposed at Victoria´s Maritime Museum, capital of the State of British Columbia.

Tilikum canoe. Wikipedia

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