Chamaecyparis thyoides

 

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Family: Cupressaceae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Atlantic White Cedar

 

 

 

The genus Chamaecyparis is composed of six species native to Japan, Taiwan, and both coasts of North America. The word chamaecyparis is derived from the Greek chamai (dwarf) and kuparissos (cypress). The term thyoides means "like Thuja", a related genus containing northern white cedar. The other two North American species are Port Orford cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) and Alaska cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis).

Other Common Names: Amerikansk vit-ceder, Atlantic white cedar, cedar, cedre blanc d'Amerique, cedro bianco, cedro bianco americano, cedro blanco americano, cipres blanco, cipresso bianco, coast white cedar, juniper, kogelcypres, post cedar, retinospora, southern white cedar, swamp cedar, swamp-cedar, swano white cedar, vit-cypress, white cedar, white chamaecyparis, white cypress, witte Amerikaanse ceder, zeder-zypresse.

Distribution

Atlantic white cedar is native to the Coastal Plain of the eastern US from central Maine south to northern Florida and west to southern Mississippi.

 

The Tree

Atlantic white cedar reaches heights of 60 feet, with diameters of 1 foot. Under optimal growth conditions, this tree can reach heights of 120 feet, with diameters of 5 feet.

 

The Wood

General

The sapwood of Atlantic white cedar is narrow and white, while the heartwood is light brown with a reddish or pinkish tinge. The wood has a characteristic aromatic odor when freshly cut and has a faint bitter taste. It is light weight and has a fine texture and a straight grain. It is moderately soft, low in shock resistance and is weak in bending and endwise compression. It is very resistant to decay, works easily with tools, shrinks little, finishes smoothly, holds paint well and splits easily.

 

Mechanical Properties (2-inch standard)

 

 

 

 

Compression

 

 

 

 

Specific

gravity

MOE

x106 lbf/in2

MOR

lbf/in2

Parallel

lbf/in2

Perpendicular

lbf/in2

WMLa

in-lbf/in3

Hardness

lbf

Shear

lbf/in2

Green

0.31

0.75

4700

2390

240

5.9

290

690

Dry

0.32

0.93

6800

4700

410

4.1

350

800

aWML = Work to maximum load.

Reference (11).

 

 

 

Drying and Shrinkage

Type of shrinkage

Percentage of shrinkage
(green to final moisture content)

0% MC

6% MC

20% MC

Tangential

5.4

4.3

1.8

Radial

2.9

2.3

1.0

Volumetric

8.8

7.0

2.9

References: 0% MC (11),
6% and 20% MC (9).

Kiln Drying Schedulesa

 

Conventional temperature/moisture content-controlled schedulesa


Condition

4/4, 5/4
stock

6/4 stock

8/4
stock

10/4
stock

12/4
stock

British schedule
4/4 stock

Standard

T12-A4

NA

T11-A3

NA

NA

NA

aReference (1,8).

Working Properties: It works easily with tools, finishes smoothly, holds paint well and splits easily.

Durability: Atlantic white cedar is rated as resistant to very resistant to heartwood decay (11).

Preservation: No information available at this time.

Uses: Historical: poles, shingles, wooden ware (tubs, pails & churns) and lumber (siding molding, water tanks, boat construction, boxes, crates and fencing).

Currently: cooperage, wooden household furniture, boat building, fencing and industrial millwork.

Toxicity: No information available at this time.

Additional Reading and References Cited (in parentheses)

1. Boone, R. S.; Kozlik, C. J.; Bois, P. J., and Wengert, E. M. Dry kiln schedules for commercial woods - temperate and tropical. Madison, WI: USDA Forest Service, FPL-GTR-57; 1988.

2. Hyam, R. and Pankhurst, R. Plant and their names. A concise dictionary. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 1995.

3. Laderman, A. D. and Ward, D. B. Flora associated with Chamaecyparis thyoides: A checklist with common synonyms. In: Atlantic White Cedar Wetlands, A.D. Laderman, ed. Boulder, CO, USA: Westview Press; 1987.

4. Little, jr. E. L. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Washington, DC: USGPO, USDA Forest Service, Ag. Handbook No. 541; 1979.

5. Little, S. and Garrett, P. W. Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) B.S.P. in: Burns, R. M. and Honkala, B. H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America. Volume 1, Conifers. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service; 1990; pp. 103-108.

6. Record, S. J. and Hess R. W. Timbers of the new world. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press; 1943.

7. Schroeder, J. G. and Taras, M. A. Atlantic white-cedar [Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) B.S.P.]. Washington, DC, USA: USDA Forest Service, FS-225; 1985.

8. Simpson, W. T. Dry kiln operator's manual. Madison, WI: USDA Forest Service, FPL Ag. Handbook No. 188; 1991.

9. Summitt, R. and Sliker, A. CRC handbook of materials science. Vol. 4. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc.; 1980.

10. Taras, M. A. Atlantic white-cedar [Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) B.S.P.]. Washington, DC, USA: USDA Forest Service, FS-225; 1971.

11. USDA. Wood handbook: wood as an engineering material. Madison, WI: USDA Forest Service, FPL Ag. Handbook No. 72; 1974.

12. Ward, D. B. and Clewell, A. F. Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) in the southern United States. Florida Scientist. 1989; 52(1):8-47.