Why Cherish Western Redcedar?



Ecological Importance

Western redcedar is an important member of the forest communities in the Pacific Northwest. Mature trees can survive 1000 years, providing structure and stability for many generations. This species is common in drainage areas and riparian systems because of its tolerance to wet soils,  providing critical shade and helping to regulate stream temperatures and water quality for salmon. Even fallen trees can remain intact for more than 200 years, serving as massive carbon sinks and sources of soil organic matter.


Cultural Importance

Western redcedar is a pivotal part of the legacy of indigenous peoples in the northwest  because of the numerous resources it provides. Every part of the tree can be used: the boughs and bark can be mended into textiles, furnishings, used as medicines, and used as ceremonial supplies; the roots for baskets and rope; and the wood provided supreme planks for housing, musical instruments, carvings and transportation—including 60 ft canoes made from a single tree.


Economical Importance

Forestry is a major sector and one of the oldest industries of our economy in the Pacific Northwest. Western redcedar has always been a pivotal component because of its unique properties as a building material. Still today, many of our communities depend on western redcedar as a source of income. For example, the mill operated by Idaho Cedar Sales in Troy Idaho, employs many residents to produce specialty redcedar products and fencing.

Share your observations of birds in western redcedar

Join us in an effort to document the bird communities that use and benefit from western redcedar.

Why do you cherish western redcedar?

Share your perspective

Each of us may value western redcedar for different reasons. Share your values here to give us a better picture of the diverse reasons we appreciate this amazing species.

    Help raise awareness of the cultural values of redcedar

    The below videos were produced by Vancouver Island Tree Stores.

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