Thuja plicata Donn ex D.Don

Western red cedar

Family: Cupressaceae
54º 34.990N
5º 56.097W

The tree tag number relates to the black tree-maintenance tags, usually fixed on the trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.

Thuja plicata, the Western red cedar, is a native of Western North America where it is usually found in mixed populations with Douglas fir and Western hemlock. It can grow to as much as 70m tall and individuals may live for over 1000 years. In spite of the name it is not a true cedar. It can be distinguished from many superficially similar conifers by the distinctive pineapple scent of the crushed leaves and the pointed cones. While not really suitable for a small garden, it can be maintained as a hedge. The species name means ‘plaited’ from the appearance of the close-packed leaves. The wood is of considerable commercial importance.

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2009. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.