Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic White Cedar)is a species of coniferous tree native to the eastern United States, particularly the Atlantic coastal plain. The Atlantic White Cedar is a medium-sized evergreen tree that can reach heights of 15 to 25 meters (50 to 80 feet). It has a narrow, pyramidal shape and a straight trunk. The foliage consists of scale-like leaves that are arranged in flattened sprays. The leaves have a yellow-green to bluish-green color, giving the tree a soft and feathery appearance.
Bark: The bark of Atlantic White Cedar is reddish-brown to grayish-brown and develops shallow furrows and ridges with age.
Wood: The wood of Atlantic White Cedar is highly valued for its natural resistance to decay and insect damage. It is light in color, ranging from pale yellow to a reddish-brown hue. The wood is lightweight, durable, and has excellent dimensional stability. It is commonly used for outdoor applications such as decking, siding, shingles, and boat construction.
Habitat: Atlantic White Cedar is typically found in wetland areas, including swamps, bogs, and along the edges of ponds and streams. It tolerates wet and poorly drained soils, and it plays a vital role in the ecology of these ecosystems by providing habitat for various wildlife species.
Conservation: Atlantic White Cedar has experienced significant declines in its natural range due to habitat loss, drainage of wetlands, and overharvesting. As a result, it is considered a threatened species in some states and is protected by conservation efforts. Sustainable management practices, such as responsible logging and wetland restoration, are employed to preserve and protect remaining populations.
Uses: In addition to its value as a timber tree, Atlantic White Cedar is also appreciated for its ornamental qualities. It is often planted in landscapes and gardens for its elegant form, attractive foliage, and tolerance to wet conditions. Its soft, fragrant wood also makes it suitable for use in crafting, including for making furniture, carvings, and decorative items.