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Northern White-Cedar Ecology and Silviculture in the Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada: A Synthesis of Knowledge

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Abstract:

Sustainability of the northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) resource is a concern in many regions throughout its range because of regeneration failures, difficulty recruiting seedlings into sapling and pole classes, and harvesting levels that exceed growth. Management confusion has resulted from the scarcity of research on northern white-cedar ecology and silviculture, particularly because northern white-cedar is an anomalous tree species. This article synthesizes recent and historical northern white-cedar literature, with a focus on ecology, regeneration, cedar-wildlife interactions, and silviculture. Although a number of past studies have produced contradictory findings, some generalizations of use to the practitioner can be made: northern white-cedar is of small stature, slow growing, decay prone except on cliff sites, and found in both early- and late-successional stands. Northern white-cedar appears to be a highly variable species that can adapt to a wide range of environmental stresses. Because management of this resource has proven difficult, northern white-cedar silvicultural guidelines are needed throughout its range.

Keywords: arborvitae; conifer; eastern white-cedar; swamp

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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