Plantae > Tracheophyta > Pinopsida > Pinales > Cupressaceae > Thuja > Thuja plicata

Thuja plicata (Pacific Red-cedar; Giant Arbor-vitae; Giant Cedar; Western Red-cedar; shinglewood; British Columbia red cedar; Canoe Cedar)

Synonyms: Thuja gigantea
Language: Chi; Cze; Dut; Fre; Ger; Hrv, Srp; Hun; Ita; Nor; Rus; Slo; Spa

Wikipedia Abstract

Thuja plicata, commonly called western or Pacific redcedar, giant or western arborvitae, giant cedar, or shinglewood, is a species of Thuja, an evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae native to western North America. The provincial tree of British Columbia, it has extensive applications for Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest.
View Wikipedia Record: Thuja plicata


Air Quality Improvement [1]  Low
Allergen Potential [1]  Medium-High
Carbon Capture [1]  Low
Screening - Summer [2]  Dense
Screening - Winter [2]  Dense
Shade Percentage [1]  83 %
Temperature Reduction [1]  Medium-Low
Wind Reduction [1]  Medium
Bloom Period [2]  Mid Spring
Drought Tolerance [2]  Low
Edible [3]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Fire Tolerance [2]  Low
Flower Type [3]  Monoecious
Frost Free Days [2]  6 months
Fruit/Seed Abundance [2]  High
Fruit/Seed Begin [2]  Summer
Fruit/Seed End [2]  Fall
Growth Form [2]  Single Stem
Growth Period [2]  Spring, Summer
Growth Rate [2]  Slow
Janka Hardness [4]  350 lbf (159 kgf) Very Soft
Leaf Type [3]  Evergreen
Lifespan [5]  Perennial
Pollinators [3]  Wind
Propagation [2]  Bare Root, Container, Cutting, Seed
Root Depth [2]  30 inches (76 cm)
Scent [3]  The wood and foliage are highly aromatic.
Seed Spread Rate [2]  Moderate
Seed Vigor [2]  Low
Seeds Per [2]  414399 / lb (913595 / kg)
Shape/Orientation [2]  Conical
Specific Gravity [7]  0.32
Structure [3]  Tree
Usage [3]  Tolerant of light trimming and of reasonable exposure, this species can be grown as a hedge or as part of a shelterbelt; An infusion of the boughs can be used as a hair wash to treat dandruff and scalp germs; The fibrous inner bark can be pounded until it is soft and then used as a sponge for scouring dishes etc, or can be used for making rough clothing, blankets, mats, ropes, sanitary towels, a padding in a baby's cradle, nappies etc. Waterproof hats, capes, trousers, skirts etc can be made from the inner bark; It is also used in thatching and as a stuffing material for mattresses; Inner bark strips have been used as a roofing material; The bark has also been used to make paint brushes; The inner bark has been used to make a wick for oil lamps; The inner bark has been used for making baskets; The roots are used in basket making, making nets etc; The roots have been used in coiled and imbricated baskets; The roots have been peeled, split and used to make coiled watertight baskets that can be used for boiling water; The roots are harvested in the spring or early autumn when it is easier to remove the bark. The outer strips of the roots are used to make the bottom of the basket, the centre core is used in the coils and the root bark, because of its toughness, is used to make the edges; The fibrous bark is used for roofing and the sides of shelters. It is also used as an insulation; A fibre obtained from the bark is used in making paper. The fibre is about 3.8mm long (this refers to the heartwood fibre, the inner bark fibre is probably longer); Branches can be harvested at any time of the year, they are cut into usable pieces and pre-soaked in clear water prior to cooking. They are then cooked for six hours or more with lye. It is difficult to rinse it to clear water because it seems to be a dye material; The fibre is then hand pounded with mallets, or put through a blender or a ball mill for six hours. It is difficult to hydrate properly. The resulting paper is a rich deep brown/red; The slender pliable branches are used as a high quality rope; They are gathered in spring, peeled and, if thick, are split into halves or quarters. They are then twisted and worked until soft and pliable and finally woven together to make the rope; A green dye can be obtained from the leaves and twigs; The inner bark can be used as a tinder; Wood - aromatic, light, soft, straight-grained, not strong, very resistant to decay. This resistance to decay is probably due to the existence of powerful fungicides in the wood; The wood from fallen trees remains sound for at least 100 years; It is pale to dark red in colour; The wood was widely utilized by many native North American Indian tribes who used it for making a wide range of items including canoes, houses, totem poles, bowls, spoons, ladles and tools; It is currently used in making greenhouses; The wood is not of such good quality when grown in mild humid areas; It makes a good fuel, burning with very little smoke, though it burns quickly;
Vegetative Spread Rate [2]  None
Height [3]  197 feet (60 m)
Width [3]  39 feet (12 m)
Hardiness Zone Minimum [1]  USDA Zone: 5 Low Temperature: -20 F° (-28.9 C°) → -10 F° (-23.3 C°)
Hardiness Zone Maximum [1]  USDA Zone: 8 Low Temperature: 10 F° (-12.2 C°) → 20 F° (-6.7 C°)
Light Preference [6]  Mostly Shady
Soil Acidity [6]  Moderate Acid
Soil Fertility [6]  Mostly Infertile
Soil Moisture [6]  Moist
Water Use [1]  Moderate
Foliage Color [2]  Green
Fruit Color [2]  Brown
View Plants For A Future Record : Thuja plicata

Protected Areas

Emblem of

British Columbia



Parasitized by 
Chrysophana placida[12]
Melanophila acuminata[12]
Parataenia chrysochlora (golden buprestid)[12]
Trachykele blondeli[12]
Trachykele opulenta[12]

Range Map


W North America: along the Pacific Coast Range and Cascade Range from S Alaska to N California and in the N Rocky Mountains from British Columbia to Idaho and W Montana. Canada: Alberta, British Columbia; USA: Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington.. TDWG: 70 ASK 71 ABT BRC 73 IDA MNT ORE WAS 76 CAL; Western North America, along the Pacific Coast Range and Cascade Range from S Alaska to N California and in the N Rocky Mountains from British Columbia to Idaho and W Montana. Canada: Alberta, British Columbia; U.S.A.: Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington. TDWG: 70 ASK 71 ABT BRC 73 IDA MNT WAS 76 CAL;

External References

USDA Plant Profile



Attributes / relations provided by
1i-Tree Species v. 4.0, developed by the USDA Forest Service's Northern Research Station and SUNY-ESF using the Horticopia, Inc. plant database.
2USDA Plants Database, U. S. Department of Agriculture
3Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons License
4Wood Janka Hardness Scale/Chart J W Morlan's Unique Wood Gifts
5PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish Plants: Status, Size, Life History, Geography and Habitats, M. O. Hill, C. D. Preston & D. B. Roy, Biological Records Centre, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (2004)
6ECOFACT 2a Technical Annex - Ellenberg’s indicator values for British Plants, M O Hill, J O Mountford, D B Roy & R G H Bunce (1999)
7Forest Inventory and Analysis DB version 5.1, May 4, 2013, U.S. Forest Service
8HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants Gaden S. Robinson, Phillip R. Ackery, Ian J. Kitching, George W. Beccaloni AND Luis M. Hernández
9New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Plant-SyNZ™ database
10Aplodontia rufa, Leslie N. Carraway and B. J. Verts, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 431, pp. 1-10 (1993)
11Biological Records Centre Database of Insects and their Food Plants
12Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
13del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License