PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens)

As the name suggests, this native NW evergreen conifer provides you with delightful wafts of sweet resinous perfume similar to frankincense & myrrh when you walk by and brush against it. Or you can be more intentional and harvest a few small branches & make smudge sticks to burn like incense in your home. All parts of the tree are highly fragrant. The long thin roots near the surface as well as the bark have been carefully harvested and used for basketry by the original people of the NW Coast since time immemorial.

In its natural wild happy place from Oregon to California, Incense Cedar can grow to 100 ft. It adapts nicely to an urban environment and can stay short and shrubby or grow into a 40-60 tree. If it gets lots of water it will use it to grow taller. Less water, and it grows slower and stays shorter. It is naturally skinny so it’s an easy fit in a yard where you want a large-ish tree that doesn’t actually take up a big footprint.