Alaskan Yellow Cedar (Yellow Cypress)

Other common names: Nootka cypress, sitka cypress, pacific yellow cedar. Found only on the Pacific coast of North America, Yellow Cedar is the hardest known cedar in the world. It has been prized by boat builders for thousands of years because of its exceptional resistance to weather and insects as well as easy workability. First used by the West Coast Indians for their historic Totem Poles and great war canoes, it is a rare and often difficult to find lumber species. Its durability and ease of tooling makes it readily adaptable for the construction and finishing of homes, schools, factories, churches, recreational centers and a variety of commercial and industrial uses. It grows in a band from Southern Alaska to Southern Oregon. It is one of the slowest growing trees in North America and includes trees that are 700-1200 years old. 50-60 annual rings per inch are not uncommon. 

This rare and exceptionally beautiful wood species seeks out high and adventurous sites and often grows to the tree line. It is a medium sized tree, with a thin bark. It is slow growing with high disease and decay resistance, as well as oils that make it very aromatic. It grows from Alaska south to Oregon with the largest areas of growth in British Columbia and SE Alaska.

The Alaskan yellow cedar roof is much less likely to erode, and curl than that of the western red cedar roof. This immensely hard and durable species is vastly more enduring.