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.


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


Not sharply

White markings


Visible on lower surface


Each scale with hook-like, protruding, erect tip

Each scale with compressed a tip


More or less 4-sided

More or less flattened

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Chamaecyparis nootkatensis Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
Chamaecyparis nootkatensis Chamaecyparis lawsoniana