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Publication Information

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Title: Remember redcedar! An overlooked species reveals its potential

Author: Harrington, Constance; OCallaghan, Joan.

Date: 2012

Source: Science Findings 147. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 6 p

Publication Series: Science Findings

Description: People have long valued mature western redcedar for its strong, lightweight wood that is rot-resistant.The species has cultural importance for Northwest tribes who use the tree’s bark and roots as well as the wood. Redcedar is very shade-tolerant and is often found in the understory and midstory of Pacific Northwest forests. It is also very adaptable and can grow on a wide range of site conditions in both single- and mixed-species stands. In contrast to Douglas-fir, the subject of countless studies related to its growth potential and response to management in the region, very little has been reported for redcedar. A series of studies conducted over 30 years on the responses of young growth redcedar to a wide range of stand, site, and management conditions has led researchers with the Pacific Northwest Research Station to conclude that redcedar is very responsive to management. For example, the species responded well to both thinning and fertilization on a nutrient-poor site, it didn’t experience thinning shock when released from overtopping competition, and in a range-wide analysis, its growth rates held up better under competition than Douglas-fir. These findings are helping land managers evaluate opportunities for growing redcedar to meet multiple economic and ecological objectives.

Keywords: western redcedar, management, stand density index, siliviculture

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Harrington, Constance; OCallaghan, Joan. 2012. Remember redcedar! An overlooked species reveals its potential. Science Findings 147. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 6 p.


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