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Western red cedar

Thuja plicata


When this Western red cedar fell victim to a windstorm in 2006 it was over 600 years old. This means it was a seedling when settlers first set foot on North America's Eastern shores. As a mature tree, it weighed 36 tonnes & stored enough water to fill 100 bathtubs, which helped it survive summer droughts. Western red cedars produce a natural fungicide called thujaplicin which gives cedars their famous aroma & helps to wood resist decay. This cedar log will take several centuries to rot away - it will be home to many generations of wildlife & provide a rich nutrient base on which young trees & plants can root & grow. Almost all young evergreens in rainforests grow on decaying logs & stumps, so slowly rotting cedars play a key role in supporting forest regeneration. Text copied from information sign by the log.


Forest in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC.

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KarenL 10 years ago

It was too good a story not to share! :)

Maria dB
Maria dB 10 years ago

Thanks for including the information from the sign!

KarenL 10 years ago

Thank you harsuame!
Meik, it would be good to document that! At the moment it seems to be mainly mosses & ferns but we saw many other stumps (from logging activity over 100 years ago before the area was protected) that had young cedar trees & many other plants growing from them. The center of this was completely hollow so I suspect it is already home to quite a few species of insect & other critters!

Meik 10 years ago

Great habitat for many other organisms! Would be nice to document its stepwise colonization by other species.

harsuame 10 years ago


KarenL 10 years ago

Thank you Eva & arlanda!

arlanda 10 years ago

nice Karen

EvaH 10 years ago

Thank you for this nice description!

KarenL 10 years ago

Thanks Cindy! I took a photo of the sign so I could share the info because for me it really described the whole process of decay & regeneration.

CindyBinghamKeiser 10 years ago

Wonderful description! Sad when these beauties fall but at least it wasn't cut down!

Spotted by

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Spotted on Mar 28, 2012
Submitted on Mar 29, 2012

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