More about Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata)
Red Cedar incense is among the best fragrances, the highly aromatic sparades (chips) of the Thuja Plicata tree are perfect for this. You can burn it on charcoal or in a sweat lodge on the rocks. The Native Americans use it in their ceremonies for cleansing and attracting positive energies.
Western red cedar has an extensive history of use by Native Americans of coastal Oregon all the way up to southeast Alaska. Some of the coast tribes refer to themselves as “people of the redcedar” because of their strong dependence on the tree and its wood for basic materials. It has been used for constructing housing and totem poles, and crafted into many objects, including masks, utensils, boxes, boards, instruments, canoes, vessels, houses, and ceremonial objects.
Red Cedar belongs to the Cupressaceae (Cypress family) and is one of the largest growing trees on the planet. Mature members can reach 200 feet and living greater than 1000 years. They grow best in wet nutrient rich soils and are common in the northwestern coastal regions of the USA. Branches tend to droop and flare outward having flat scale like green leaves arranged in fan-like sprays.
This most noteworthy tree retains its lower branches as it grows unlike many of its neighbors within old growth forests. The fiberous bark may range from reddish to grey in color and will peel off in long strips if forced.
The tree will bear cones and flowers of both sexes. Male and female flowers usually do not occur on the same branch. Growth can be quick, approaching more than 1 meter per year.