Habit: medium sized evergreen tree with a pyramidal crown, pendulous branches and a slightly twisted trunk. The foliage is in flat sprays, with dark green, scale-leaves and is prickly when touched against the grain. The bark appears grayish brown, and strips off the trunk. Pollen cones are oval and yellow while seed cones are spherical 4-6 mushroom shaped scales, blue and waxy when young. Seeds are winged.
Ecology: found in moist, rocky areas, bog forests, mountains and near the coast in Alaska south into Northern California at mid to high elevations.
Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade, with deep well-drained moist to wet soil. Chamaecyparis nootkaenisis is often associated with wet boggy sites. Cold hardy.
Alaska yellow cedar as a component of old-growth forests can provide critical thermal and hiding cover for large and small mammals. It is a long-lived tree up to 3500 years.