Separating Alaska Cedar and Port Orford Cedar

Some characteristics to assist in separating Alaska Cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis) and Port Orford Cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) using a low power microscope.

Character

C. nootkatensis (Alaska Cedar)

C. lawsoniana (Port Orford Cedar)

Seam where lateral leaves meet

Usually not visible

Usually visible

Resin glands (using back lighting)

Not obvious

Very obvious, spot on each facial leaf

Leaf tips

Spread away from twig, sharp pointed

Pressed close to twig, may not be sharp

Leaves keeled

Sharply

Not sharply

White markings

Lacking

Visible on lower surface

Cone

Each scale with hook-like, protruding, erect tip

Each scale with compressed a tip

Twigs

More or less 4-sided

More or less flattened