Chamaecyparis nootkatensis

Alaska Cedar, Nootka False Cypress, Yellow Cypress


  • Chamaecyparis nootkatensis

Please select the quantity desired, and we will advise availability and price as soon as possible.


Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: cold stratify for 180 days or more
Germination: sow seed 1/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed

Other: stratification improves germination, but is not required, Sporadic germination will occur over a 2 year period 

"Nootka Cypress, also known as Alaska Cedar or Yellow Cypress, is a native tree species to the west coast of North America. It can be found from the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska to northernmost California, typically in wet mountainous areas and close to the tree line. This evergreen tree can reach heights of up to 40 meters and has pendulous branches.

The foliage of Nootka Cypress is in flat sprays, with dark green scale-leaves. It was initially classified as Cupressus nootkatensis in 1824 but was later transferred to the Chamaecyparis genus in 1841 due to its flattened foliage. However, recent genetic evidence supports its placement back into the Cupressus genus or into a new genus called Xanthocyparis.

Nootka Cypress is highly valued by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, along with Western Red Cedar. While Western Red Cedar is preferred for larger projects, Nootka Cypress is used for smaller carvings and utensils. The wood of Nootka Cypress is considered one of the finest timber trees in the world and has been exported to China for flooring, interior finish, and shipbuilding.

In addition to its timber qualities, Nootka Cypress has other uses. The wood is extremely durable and resistant to weather, insects, and contact with soil, making it suitable for construction and boat building. It is commonly used for exterior siding, decking, paneling, and cabinetry. The straight grain and uniform color of the wood make it ideal for finished carpentry. The wood is also used in saunas and for battery containers due to its resistance to acids.

Nootka Cypress is a popular choice for landscaping as well. The tree has a weeping appearance with drooping branchlets, making it an attractive specimen tree in parks and open spaces. It can also be used as a tall hedge. Growing best in well-drained soil and cool summer climates, Nootka Cypress can also be used in bonsai.

For firewood, Nootka Cypress offers exceptional heat and long-lasting embers. A dead tree can provide firewood for up to 100 years. This makes it a desirable source of heat on the west coast.

Overall, Nootka Cypress is a versatile tree with valuable wood and attractive features. Whether in construction, landscaping, or indigenous traditions, it plays a significant role along the west coast of North America."

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