Attaching three photos of of a grove of (I think) cedar trees, which are distinct from the common Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) which has a pyramid shape and uniform branches when standing alone.

These trees have a lot more 'character' to the overall shape, with gnarled branches that give it a more wind-blown look, though similar in foliage which forms in flat sprays of overlapping scales. These trees also don't seem to grow as tall as Western Red Cedar.

I wasn't successful on google looking for cedar trees that look like this, although this tree is very common in the seattle metro region.

grove of cedar cedar bark foliage and small woody cones

  • I agree with Chamaecyparis...so far. B. nota I think has this right. Just trying to see the differences between Thuya plicata and Chamaecyparis the seeds seem to be the only viable way for ID. Other than form but with a little grove of them, in no way will you be able to go by form. Chamaecyparis...what do you think?
    – stormy
    Nov 1, 2017 at 1:46
  • I think the cones from Thuja plicata look quite different, not so round as Chamaecyparis lawsoniana.
    – benn
    Nov 1, 2017 at 11:18

2 Answers 2


Looks more cypress to me, not cedar. Maybe Chamaecyparis lawsoniana if its from the Seattle region.

It is also called Port Orford cedar, this might be the reason you call it cedar?

  • I agree, but wanted to add some things. We have no true ceders (Cedrus sp.) native to the Pacific Northwest. Most of our major native trees seem to have been misidentified by the early explored and the common names seem to have stuck with us. Port Orford cedars are actually native to Southern Oregon, though are super common up here as ornamental trees. In addition to the cones, there's a white mark on the underside of the leaves on Port Orford cedars.
    – Ben
    Nov 1, 2017 at 13:05
  • Ah, thanks for this additional information. I must admit that I have never been to the NW, yet (like to go once though). I am only known with Italian cypresses we have here in Europe, but these photos reminded me very much of a cypress species. My father used to confuse his cedar with his cypresses as well, although the big difference in my opinion.
    – benn
    Nov 1, 2017 at 13:34
  • I called it a cedar just because the foliage was similar to the common tree everyone calls cedar. I don't know a cypress from a cedar TBH.
    – Merlin
    Nov 7, 2017 at 22:25
  • The wiki page you referenced only shows a picture of a forest of giants, a google image search for Chamaecyparis lawsoniana is no help at all. I can't confirm, any links to 50 to 100 year old examples would help a lot.
    – Merlin
    Nov 7, 2017 at 22:29

Bark and habit are like those of Chamaecyparis pisifera.

  • Can you provide a link to example images? The wikipedia page provides a very poor photo, though the straightness of the branches indicates this is not a match. My specimen has knurled, curvy branches.
    – Merlin
    Feb 13, 2018 at 4:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.