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CEDAR, ALASKAN YELLOW

Cupressus nootkatensis

Cupressus nootkatensis of the family Cupressaceae, the cypress family. The taxonomic designation of this species has undergone several changes over time and it has at one time or another had at least the following binomial names, all of which are in the cypress family so even though it has had several designations, it was never considered anything other than a cypress, even though many of the common names call it a cedar. All of the following are now considered to be synonyms of Cupressus nootkatensis
Even though Cupressus nootkatensis is a cypress, in the USA is is mostly sold as Alaskan yellow cedar so that's how I have it on this site. Other names include Alaskan cypress, Nootka cedar, Nootka cypress (the name apparently preferred by botanists albeit not woodworkers, at least in the USA), Pacific Coast yellow cedar, sitka cypress, sitka yellow-cedar cypress, yellow cedar, yellow cypress, etc.

I have it anecdotally that this wood DOES smell like cedar, even though it is cypress, which is probably at least part of the reason why it is often CALLED cedar. It is a very uniformly textured wood, fairly light but strong for the weight.



my samples:


Alaskan yellow cedar / Cupressus nootkatensis --- sample plank and end grain. This was sold as Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, which is a synonym of Cupressus nootkatensis


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank listed as yellow cedar / Cupressus nootkatensis. This was sold as Xanthocyparis nootkatensi which is a synonym of Cupressus nootkatensis


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of yellow cedar / Cupressus nootkatensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This was sold as Xanthocyparis nootkatensis which is a synonym of Cupressus nootkatensis


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Alaskan yellow cedar / Cupressus nootkatensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This was sold as Xanthocyparis nootkatensis which is a synonym of Cupressus nootkatensis


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample piece of Alaskan yellow cedar --- the brown streaks on the 2nd side appear to be bark inclusions but I'm not sure about that. HUGE enlargements are present


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above, although I got it upside down


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


one face of each of two pieces of 2"x6" plank cutoffs of Alaskan yellow cedar contributed to the site by Dave Pimental. Thanks Dave.


end grain of both pieces. On the second one I made a diagonal cut so as to expose a perfectly quartersawn surface that is shown below


end grain closeups of both pieces


END GRAIN UPDATEs of both pieces


the result of my diagonal cut in the second piece, showing a perfectly quartersawn surface


Alaskan yellow cedar veneer


alaskan yellow cedar burl veneer



The Wood Book pics


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
sitka cypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, also listed as Alaska cedar and yellow cedar) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for each of the 3 views. This species is also called Alaska yellow cedar and Chamaecyparis nootkatensis is a synonym for Cupressus nootkatensis.



web pics:


planks


yellow Alaskan cedar plank and closeup --- note the striking difference in color of these pictures of the same plank. This is the kind of thing that made me do this site in the first place!


turning stock


listed as clear Alaskan yellow cedar


paneling


sauna, external beams, and a pergola