Scientific name: Thuja plicata donn.
Adopted as B.C.’s official tree in 1989 through the Provincial Symbols and Honours Act to symbolize the province’s forest heritage.
The process to select the official tree included public nominations, an essay contest for students, and a final recommendation by the British Columbia Tree Council.
B.C.’s First Nations had many uses for red cedar, including dwellings from its wood, baskets from its roots, and clothing from red cedar bark.
Commercial production of products from western red cedar began around 1825 in Fort Vancouver with the hand-splitting of cedar into shakes by the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Millions of homes have been built with Western Red Cedar because the wood is very lightweight and easy to finish.
Other applications include poles, siding, fencing, caskets and arbors, sheds and gazebos.