The Alaska Cedar is a very important forest tree in Mount Rainier National Park for it is this species that largely composes the Silver Forest--a burned over area between the Glacier Bridge and Narada Falls. This timber was killed by fire about forty years ago and that which remained standing is in excellent condition even today. It is this fire-killed, seasoned-on-the-stump timber that furnished the majority of the lumber in the construction of our new Administration Building and the Paradise Inn lobby.
This tree rarely attains large size, being on the average about eighteen inches to two feet in diameter. The foliage is scale-like and resembles in some respects the foliage of the Western Red Cedar but it differs from this tree in the drooping character of the branches, its altitudinal range, the color of the wood (it being a cream color) and the fact that the cones are round rather than oblong. The drooping habit of the branches is so marked in some instances that it is not hard to compare this feature of the Alaska Cedar with the Weeping Willow.
Like a good many other things in nature, this tree is not what it is termed--it is not a true cedar. Neither is the Western Red Cedar (Thuys plicata) nor any of the trees in this country commonly known by that name. No true cedar exist in America. The Lebonan Cedar of the Holy Land and the Cedar Deodora are true cedars but are found elsewhere.
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