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Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic White Cedar)

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern Redcedar)

Family: Cupressaceae

  • often found in dense stands with the lower branches dead due to lack of light
  • common in moist soils near streams
  • only the Cedrus varieties are "true" cedars; the Cupressaceae family (Chamacecyparis thyoides and Juniperus virginiana) simply reminded settlers of what they previously categorized as Cedars, earning these species the same name
  • wide-spreading, horizontal branches; tend to curve sharply upward
  • flattened summit of full-grown tree
Atlantic White Cedar
  • scale-like and overlapping, completely covering stems
  • crushed leaves are very aromatic
  • Juniperus virginiana needles and stems are four-sided, with a combination of sharp and scaley needles
  • Chamacecyparis thyoides have flat, scaley stems and leaves
  • berry-like cones are somewhat wrinkled, becoming more so with age
  • change from blue berries to brown in the fall/winter season
Atlantic White Cedar needles
  • reddish-brown
  • peely
  • comes of in strips
The flaky bark pulls off in strips and provides excellent tinder and fiber for making cordage. The springy wood of this tree makes it ideal for use in constructing the bow of a bow drill, useful for igniting a pile of tinder or a bow used for bow fishing. A young green sapling can make an excellent hunting-bow stave because of its flexibility.
Atlantic White Cedar bark

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