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General Description
Tree & Wood Descriptions for: Chamaecyparis nootkatensis

Product Sources

Some material from this species is reported to be available from environmentally responsible or sustainably managed sources.

Alaska cedar is reported to be in little demand in the U.S. It is reported to be exported in the log form to Japan, at a price of $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 per thousand board feet. Many wood dealers located on the U.S. west-coast are reported to stock Alaska cedar.

Tree Data

The tree usually has a narrow crown, with horizontal or slightly drooping branches. It may reach a height of 50 to 100 feet (15 to 30 m), with a trunk diameter of 12 to 48 inches (30 to 120 cm). Forest grown Alaska cedar trees are reported to produce knot-free saw logs with lengths of about 30 feet (15 m). The bole is reported to be frequently bent slightly in one or more locations. This slow growing species is reported to live for a very long time, and trees as old as 1200 years have been recorded.

Sapwood Color

The very narrow sapwood is nearly white to yellowish white, and is not very distinct from the heartwood.

Heartwood Color

The freshly cut heartwood can be described as bright, clear yellow or pale yellow, and darkens upon exposure.


Grain is described as typically straight, and even.


Texture is fine to medium.


The freshly cut wood has a characteristic odor which has been described as similar to that of raw potatoes. It also has a faint, bitter and somewhat spicy taste.

Movement in Service

Low shinkage and large amounts of extractives are reported to contribute to high dimensional stability in Alaska cedar, with only small movement after manufacture.

Natural Durability

Natural resistance against attack by decay fungi and other wood destroying organisms is rated as very high.

Resistance to Impregnation

Heartwood is reported to respond poorly to preservative treatment.


Alaska cedar is reported to have very good resistance to the harmful effects of the weather, and is highly suited for exterior applications such as sidings.

Resin Content

The wood is resinous.

Strength Properties

Bending strength of air-dried wood is fairly high. Its strength in compression parallel to grain is medium. It is not hard and is medium in weight.