WSU Clark County Extension

PNW Plants Searchable, categorized images

Alaska cedar

Scientific name: Chamaecyparis nootkatensis

Type:Coniferous trees
Plant Requirements
Zone:4 to 8
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:60 ft
Width:30 ft
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description A graceful weeping Northwest native conifer found from Alaska south to California that’s known for its nodding central leader and very pendulous tertiary branches.

Alaska cedar, also known as Nootka falsecypress or Yellow cedar, features dark green foliage set on branches that droop enough to give it a wilted appearance. At maturity it grows 60’-90’ tall, with an eventual width of perhaps 30’ in a pyramidal form.

The leaves on this species are tightly flattened or four-sided. They are arranged on spreading sprays and have pointed tips. When crushed, Alaskan cedar foliage gives off a rank, un-pleasant odor. Alaska cedar can be distinguished from Port Orford cedar by the lack of white X’s on the underside of the scales.

This species sets small green female cones on the tips of the branches. They mature in 1-2 years.

The bark of Alaska cedar is gray-brown and thin, with long narrow fissures. With time it becomes fibrous and shreddy.

It prefers high humidity and rich acidic soil, but is hardy under less than ideal conditions so long as it has a lot of sun & moist well-drained earth.

Pest free.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234