Alexander Smith said that “trees are your best antiques.” If so, I have one large antique right in my backyard. The red cedar tree has been here for as long as I can remember. Perhaps it’s as old as me, perhaps older.
Thuja plicata, commonly called western or Pacific redcedar, giant or western arborvitae, giant cedar, or shinglewood, is a species of Thuja, an evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae native to western North America. Native trees can grow to a height of 125 ft (60 m) in moist soils in mixed coniferous forests.
According to the Department of Agriculture, the range of western red-cedar is essentially in two segments: a Coast Range-Cascade Range segment from southeastern Alaska to northwestern California and a Rocky Mountain segment from British Columbia and Alberta to Idaho and Montana. Age determination of western red-cedar is complicated by buttress formation and the associated complex growth patterns, but ring counts of trees from Washington and British Columbia indicate that some trees live at least up to 1460 years. I know this girl is old, but could she be that old?