46. Thuja plicata – Western Red Cedar
Scientific Name: Thuja plicata
Nativity: Western North America
An Oregon native, this tree was heavily utilized by the Native American tribes in the Rogue Valley. Leaves were used to treat stomach aches and colds; buds were chewed to cure toothaches; bark was used to treat kidney problems. Today, however, it is not commonly used. Unlike the firs and hemlocks it grows with, Western red Cedar retains its lower branches as it ages. It is not a true cedar, but actually belongs to the cypress genus. The species name plicata means “folded in plaits” in Latin, named for the patterns on its needles. It is a commonly used lumber species, prized for its beautiful color and warm aroma. It is also very decay resistant.
DBH: 20.2 inches