Incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens)

incensecedarCalocedrus decurrens is a populous tree in the Pacific Northwest, but actually hails from California. One of five trees in the Calocedrus genus, it is a false cedar similar to the Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) distinguishable by six scales on the seed

cones. The flesh of the wood has a slightly sweet smell, and the soft wood is rot- and insect-resistant, making it it preferable for linings of closets and dressers.

The Kalapuya Native Americans utilized the incense-cedar for many different uses, including building and tool construction. One of the taller species in Oregon, its height ranges between 80 and 120 feet. The dusty-footed wood rat, great gray owl, and bald eagle prefer the tree to dwell in, and mule deer help keep the populations down by feasting on the saplings.


  • Needles are arranged in a spray and are flat
  • Green on both sides, needles are scaled and set into each other, forming branches. Nodes about a centimeter apart with yellow buds on ends of needle-branches
  • Groups of needles under six inches long
  • Drought, shade, and temperature tolerant
  • Cones have six layers, look similar to a duck’s bill when closedIncense1