These “tongue twister” words refer to the Western Redcedar tree, the largest tree in the Pacific Northwest! It’s also the longest-lived tree species in western Washington. It has a very wide ecological amplitude, tolerating a wide range of soil conditions from sea-level to near timberline. It’s a member of the cypress family, (Cupressaceae).

As a component throughout the forests in the Puget Sound provinces, they can reach over 1,460 years; from ring counts. One feature supporting their long ages is attributed to its decay-resistant status. After approximately 500 years, their tops “candelabra” from the activity of top die-back particularly from dry hot summers.

Referring to this picture, these children encounter this massive past and current growth zone. “What will my senses learn?” “What do I see?” “What visions appear as I touch this ancient tree?”

These redcedar forests have existed, thriving 15,000 years, living with and deeply respected by the Pacific Northwest First Peoples. They call it “The Tree of Life” because of its extraordinary generosity and uses. These northwest tribes are called “People of the Cedar”. Their uses are multi-functional: watertight baskets, fish traps, totem wood, canoes, household products, bark clothing, roofing,mats, and for prayer, healing, dreams, and disease protection. Cedar leaf oils provide the basis for production of perfumes, insecticides, and medicinal purposes.

To be further inspired by this Icon of the Pacific Northwest … See You-Tube’s “Spirit of the Trees: People of Cedar” (28.31 minutes)