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New Management Guide Offers Strategies for Northern White-Cedar

Photo of White cedar browsed by deer.  Laura Kenefic, Forest ServiceWhite cedar browsed by deer. Laura Kenefic, Forest ServiceSnapshot : Guide contains newly discovered and proven management strategies for one of the least-studied commercially important North American tree species

Principal Investigators(s) :
Kenefic, Laura S.  
Research Location : Northeastern United States and Canada
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2012
Highlight ID : 69


Northern white-cedar is an important tree species throughout the Northeastern United States and adjacent areas of Canada, occurring in pure stands and as a minor species in mixed stands of hardwoods and other softwoods. Northern white-cedar has important commodity and noncommodity values´┐Żit is a source of niche products, such as shingles and fence posts, and it is a sacred plant for Native Americans. It also contributes to biodiversity by increasing local tree species richness and providing wildlife habitat.

Foresters however have little information about its characteristics and potential and as it is often a minor component of mixed-species stands, it is harvested opportunistically during operations aimed at more abundant species. This inattention to white-cedar silviculture has had negative effects; the species has become less dominant within mixed-species stands, and fewer of these cedar stands exist overall.

To remedy this problem, Forest Service scientists and partners conducted more than a decade of research. Their work includes a synthesis of knowledge and new studies of white-cedar regeneration, growth, mortality, site relationships, and responses to treatment. Their recommendations include retaining and releasing cedar in managed stands and establishing and protecting advance regeneration and residual trees during harvesting.

In mixed-species stands, where more abundant species are driving prescriptions, the management plan suggests an innovative microstand approach in which pockets of white-cedar are identified and managed. This new management guide has been published in English and French by the U.S. and Canadian Forest Services.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Canadian Wood Fibre Centre
  • Centre d´┐Żenseignement et de recherch? en foresterie de Sainte-Foy, Inc.
  • Ministere des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Quebec
  • Morrisville State College, New York
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Northeastern States Research Cooperative
  • Nova Sylva Inc
  • Southern Sciences and Information Section, Ontario, Canada
  • Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada
  • University of Maine, School of Forest Resources

Program Areas