Calocedrus decurrens, also known as incense cedar or California white cedar, is a species of evergreen conifer tree that belongs to the cypress family Cupressaceae. It is native to western North America and is found primarily in California, Oregon, and Nevada.
The tree can grow up to 60-80 feet tall and has a conical shape with a dense crown. The bark is thick, fibrous, and reddish-brown in color, with a distinctive aroma. The leaves are scale-like, and the cones are small, oblong, and reddish-brown in color.
Calocedrus decurrens is commonly used for lumber, particularly for outdoor construction and furniture, as it is resistant to decay and insect damage. It is also used in the production of pencils, as the wood is soft and easy to sharpen.
The tree has ecological significance as it provides habitat for various animal species, including the Pacific fisher, spotted owl, and flying squirrel. It is also important for soil conservation, as its deep roots help to prevent erosion.
Calocedrus decurrens is a popular ornamental tree due to its attractive appearance and ease of cultivation. It is often used in landscaping for its ornamental value and is suitable for both small and large gardens. It prefers well-drained soils and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade.
In traditional medicine, various parts of the tree, including the bark, leaves, and wood, have been used to treat a variety of ailments, including coughs, colds, and arthritis. However, the efficacy and safety of these uses have not been extensively studied or evaluated.