Chamaecyparis lawsoniana


Port Orford cedar is a large tree, sometimes to 200 feet in height, which grows from lower elevations to 5,000 feet in its limited range in northwest California and southwest Oregon.


Port Orford cedar can live for 600 years. It is commercially valuable for the light, strong aromatic wood, and has been purchased by the Japanese for shrines, temples, and more.

Port Orford cedar is suffering the onslaught of a root-rotting fungus (Phytophthora lateralis), that kills it. Due to its limited geographic range and the destructive effects of the fungus, it is rare and endangered, but, curiously, many cultivars also exist.

Excellent old-growth stands 

along Clear Creek in the northern California Siskiyou Wilderness often show clear, straight trunks like these.

Seed cones in July

Seed cones and pollen cones in October

Underside of leaves showing "x" pattern of stomatal bands

Port Orford cedar at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden near Berkeley, CA,

Striking tall, clear, trunks is what we noticed along Clear Creek in the northern California Siskiyou Wilderness.

All photos, except as credited to others, are copyright Emerald Canary.