Incense Cedar

  • $5.00

Limit 10 plants per order, please.

Incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) is a native evergreen from central-western Oregon through most of California. It has a distinct symmetrical shape and can get up to 100-150 feet tall in its native habitat.

The bark is orange-brown and smooth on younger trees, weathering to grayish, fissured bark that sheds in long strips on the lower trunk on old trees. The fragrant, bright-green foliage is produced in flattened sprays with scale-like leaves. The seed cones look like the open beak of a duck. They turn orange to yellow-brown when mature at about 8 months after pollination.

Many birds depend on insects that live on incense cedar, including woodpeckers, brown creepers, red-breasted nuthatches, and golden-crowned kinglets.  Birds use the dense foliage for nesting in the summer and shelter in the winter.  This tree is also the preferred host of a wood wasp, Syntexis libocedrii, a living fossil species which lays its eggs on the smoldering wood immediately after a forest fire.

The wood is the primary material for wooden pencils, because it is soft and tends to sharpen easily without forming splinters. It is also a popular ornamental tree, valued for its drought tolerance. In cool summer climates (such as in Washington, British Columbia, etc.) incense cedar tends to grow narrower than in the wild, making it a good choice for large hedges and screens.

  • Light Requirements: Sun
  • Water Requirements: Dry
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Slow
  • Spreads: No
  • Wildlife Support: Birds or Mammals
  • Mature Height: 100-150 feet
  • Mature Width: 30 feet