Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Thuja plicata
canoe cedar, western red cedar

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to northern California, east to Alberta, Idaho, and Montana.

Habitat: Moist or swampy areas from sea level to mid-elevations in the mountains.

Cones: April-May

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Monoecious, large to huge trees up to 70 m. tall, in age strongly fluted and buttressed at the base.


Bark thin, reddish-brown, longitudinally ridged and fissured, peeling off into long, fibrous strips.


Leaders slender and drooping, the branches spreading, the ultimate branchlets flattened, at first lustrous, but browning in 3-4 years; leaves scale-like, opposite in 4 rows, the lateral leaves keeled.


Staminate cones numerous, sub-globose, 2 mm. long, tipping many short branchlets, the stamens in 4 pairs; ovulate cones solitary on the ends of short branches, ellipsoid, at first bluish, becoming brown and 8-10 mm. long at maturity.

Accepted Name:
Thuja plicata Donn ex D. Don
Publication: Descr. Pinus. 2: [19]. 1824.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Thuja plicata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Thuja plicata checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Thuja plicata information.

E-Flora BC: Thuja plicata atlas page.

CalPhotos: Thuja plicata photos.

USDA Plants: Thuja plicata information.

53 photographs:
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