THE RED CEDAR.
T. plicata, D. Don.
The red cedar or canoe cedar is the giant arbor-vitae of the coast region from British Columbia to northern California and east over the mountain ranges into Idaho and northern Montana. Its buttressed trunk is a fluted column one hundred and fifty to two hundred feet high in western Washington and Oregon, along the banks of mountain streams and in the rich bottom land farther seaward. The leaves in a flat spray at once distinguish this tree from any other conifer, for they are pointed, scale like, closely overlapping each other in alternate pairs.
The clustered cones, with their six or eight seed bearing scales, seem absurdly small fruits on so huge a tree. None exceeds one half an inch in height, but their number makes up for size deficiency and the seed crop is tre mendous.
The Alaskan Indian chooses the tall bole of a red cedar for his totem pole, and from the massive butt hollows out the war canoe and "dug-out" which solve his prob lems of transportation in summer. Durability is the
chief merit of this soft, brittle wood, which is easily worked with the Indian's crude tools. The bark of the tree fur nishes the walls of the Indian huts and its inner fibre is the raw material of his cordage—the harness for his dog team, his nets and lines for fishing; and it is the basis of the squaw's basket-weaving industry.
This is the best arbor-vitae for ornamental planting. Its success in Europe is very striking, and from European nurseries it has been successfully re-introduced into the United States, where it is hardy and vigorous. But it fails when taken directly into the North Atlantic states. It must come in via Europe, as nearly all West Coast trees have to do in order to succeed.