Virtual Microscopy
Microscopy Primer
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Partners
Site Info
Contact Us
Publications
Home

Visit Science,
Optics, & You


The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Pharmaceuticals
Chip Shots
Phytochemicals
DNA Gallery
Microscapes
Vitamins
Amino Acids
Birthstones
Religion Collection
Pesticides
Beershots
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

The Western Red Cedar

The Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata; also known as the Giant Arborvitae) is a softwood tree found primarily through the upper coastal ranges of western Canada and the United States from Alaska south through British Columbia. Some trees are also found in Washington and Oregon and east to Idaho and Montana. The sapwood is nearly white, while the heartwood is red to pink-brown (sometimes a dull brown) in color.


Cross Section


Radial Section


Tangential Section

The western red cedar is a valuable evergreen timber tree and is highly valued as an ornamental, with some specimens reaching heights of 200 feet. Bright green leaves remain colored in the winter and the oblong cones grow to about three-quarters of an inch in length. Cedars grow best in regions with copious rainfall and fog, and often succumb when moved into areas with protracted heat and drought.

Millions of homes have been built with western red cedar, because this wood is very lightweight and easy to finish. Western red cedar is also a natural insulator. The wood is used for all purposes where durability and ease of working are of primary importance. It is especially useful for caskets and coffins, siding, tank stock, porch columns, hothouse construction, boats (the planking of racing shells), and also for interior finishing. Western cedar is also frequently used for veneer, both for faces and backs, especially in the manufacture of exterior siding.

Microscopic examination of iron-alum hematoxylin and safranin stained thin sections (see the digital images presented above) reveals medium to coarse tracheids having an average diameter between 30 and 40 micrometers. Bordered pits occur in one to two rows on the radial walls, and lines of banded parenchyma are variable in distribution. The rays are uniseriate.

BACK TO THE TREES COLLECTION

Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1995-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, software, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Friday, Aug 01, 2003 at 11:43 AM
Access Count Since February 1, 1999: 32127
Microscopes provided exclusively by: