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. . . which isn’t a cedar. At least, it’s not of the genus Cedrus. Quite a few conifers not in that genus get called cedars anyway, and this is one of them. It is a member of the genus Chamaecyparis, making it a cypress, though there too, the common name of “cypress” and the family, Cupressaceae, do not consistently correspond to each other. Maybe frequent commenter ERP will work through the tangle of what is and is not a cypress or a member of Cupressaceae.

In any case, for a tree to belong to this genus, Chamaecyparis, it must have scale-like leaves in adulthood, which means that here on my 55th tree, I have at last moved on from needles! This drawing feels like a schematic; I was just learning how these little scales fit together. What’s the pattern, and how does it change when a new twig (twiglet?) branches off? It’s fun to learn it. I will get a lot more familiar with them over the next few weeks, because there are 23 other trees with scale-like leaves here in western North America.

The leaves, that is, the scales, of the Port-Orford-cedar are tiny: about 1/16″ each.

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