71108In the west, the incense cedar, Calocedrus decurrens, was made into cedar chests or paneling for cedar closets as a substitute for the more traditional Eastern redcedar (which is incidentally a big juniper). The wood is supposedly aromatic enough to repel moths from woolens and furs. The evergreen foliage is very aromatic as well, so is sometimes used for garlands at Christmas time.

Old trees in the wild can eventually get nearly two hundred feet tall, with somewhat narrowly conical canopies. Yet, hundred year old trees that were planted in urban gardens during the Victorian period are not half as tall yet. Some are quite narrow. The rusty brown bark is deeply and coarsely furrowed. Branches can sag downward and curve back upward, which looks rather disfigured. Flattened sprays of scale-like leaves resemble those of arborvitae. Incense cedar is native to the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains.


5 thoughts on “Incense Cedar

  1. The Cedars here are almost all Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), from an entirely different genus. It’s an excellent wildlife tree but those prickles fall to the ground and are hard on people (like my spouse) who like to walk through the garden barefoot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seemed that most people in Oklahoma disliked the Eastern redcedar there, but I could not get enough of them. I had never seen anything like them up close. However, now that I have a few, I am not sure what to do with them. I mean, they aren’t exactly very useful in a landscape.


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