Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens)

Heyderia decurrens. Libocedrus decurrens. Thuja gigantea. non Nutt.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Incense Cedar
Calocedrus decurrens

The boughs and twigs have been used to make brooms[257].

The roots have been used as overlay twine warps and overlay twine weft bases in making baskets[257].

The bark has been made into baskets[257].

Wood – soft, light, close grained, very durable in the soil though it is often damaged by dry rot[82]. It has a powerful, incense-like fragrance[245] and is used for making shingles, lathes, fencing, pencils, construction etc[46, 61, 81, 171]. Mature trees are often infected by dry rot, so they are not considered to be a major timber species[229].

  • Medicinal Use

    A decoction of the leaves has been used to treat stomach troubles[257].

    Steam from an infusion of the leaves has been inhaled in the treatment of colds[257].

  • Edible Use

    The dense leaflets have been used as a flavouring and protection when leaching acorns[257].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse[245]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of the current season’s growth, taken in mid autumn, in a light sandy soil in a cold frame[245].
Succeeds in full sun in a moist well-drained soil that is neutral to acid, though it will also survive on dry alkaline soils[200]. Plants are shade tolerant when young[200]. It grows best in a position that is sheltered from strong winds[245]. Trees are slow growing but long-lived in the wild, with specimens up to 1000 years old recorded[229]. They grow slowly in Britain, but they are perfectly hardy[11]. Young trees can grow 60cm in a year but they seldom average more than 30cm[185]. Growth virtually stops once the tree reaches 25 metres tall[185]. All parts of the plant are strongly aromatic[188, 245]. This species is strongly resistant to honey fungus[81, 188]. The tree exhibits very different crown habits dependant upon the area in which it is being grown[185, 200]. At one time these different habits were considered to be different sub-species, but it is recognised now that it is only climatic forces that cause the differences.
South-western N. America – Oregon to California.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.