Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), is a species of Thuja, an evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae. In the American horticultural trade, it is also known as the Giant Arborvitae, Arborvitae being another name for its genus. Western Red Cedar is the Provincial tree of British Columbia, and has extensive applications for the indigenous First Nations of the Pacific Northwest.
The Western Red Cedar is a large tree, ranging between 40 to 150 feet (12 to 45 meters) tall and up to 22 feet (7 meters) in trunk diameter. Trees growing in the open will exhibit a crown that reaches the ground, whereas trees densely spaced together will only exhibit a crown at the top, where light can reach the leaves. Some individuals can live nearly a thousand years, if not more. Certain specimens on Queen Charlotte islands are around nine hundred years old.
(From Wikipedia, April 23, 2010)
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Trees to 50(-75) m tall; trunk to 2(-5) m d.b.h., often buttressed at base; bark reddish brown or grayish brown, fibrous, fissured; crown conical; branches arching; branchlets pendulous. Leaves on upper side of branchlets glossy green, (1-)3-6 mm, apex acuminate; lateral leaves longer than facial leaves, apex straight. Pollen cones reddish, 1-3 mm. Seed cones brown, ellipsoid, 1-1.4 cm; fertile cone scales 4-6. Seeds reddish-brown, 4-7.5 mm (including wings).