Atlantic White Cedar

Atlantic White Cedar (North Carolina Forest Service)
Atlantic white cedar, known locally as juniper, is exclusively a tree of the Coastal Plain. It is found in freshwater bogs, depressions, swamps and along streamsides. Atlantic white cedar grows with baldcypress and swamp hardwoods, but usually is found in pure stands called “glades.”

Atlantic White Cedar Plant Fact Sheet (USDA NRCS)
Atlantic white cedar is one of only six species in this genus. Only three of the six are native to the continent, and two of them are west coast species. This leaves Atlantic white cedar as the only representative in the East, where it occurs in a narrow band along the Atlantic coast.

Atlantic White Cedar (North Carolina Forest Service)
Atlantic white cedar, Chamaecyparis thyoides, is also called juniper, southern white cedar and swamp cedar. It is a wetland species growing in a narrow belt along the eastern coast from southern Maine to Mississippi. The largest acreage of Atlantic white cedar is found in the swamps of North Carolina. Cedar also occurs along stream drainages and within Carolina bays of our Sandhills and Coastal Plain regions.

Atlantic White Cedar Landowner Factsheet (Virginia Tech Dendrology)
The wood is highly sought after for its straight grain, workability and rot resistance. The lumber is very light and durable, and has a very wide variety of uses. The wood is so valuable that prehistoric logs have been mined from New Jersey bogs.

Chamaecyparis thyoides (USDA Silvics Manual)
Atlantic white-cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides), also called southern white-cedar, white-cedar, and swamp-cedar, is found most frequently in small dense stands in fresh water swamps and bogs. Heavy cutting for many commercial uses during this century has considerably reduced even the largest stands so that the total volume of this species growing stock is not currently known.

Atlantic White Cedar vs Eastern Red Cedar (
These two species are easily confused where their ranges overlap, especially on mature trees with scalelike foliage. The two can be told apart easily by closely examining their seed cones, and also by their bark. Young trees can be readily distinguished by their foliage. Redcedar is much more common and widely adaptable; it prefers drier sites. Atlantic white cedar is limited to acidic wetlands.

Atlantic White Cedar, Regenerating a Globally Threatened Forest Ecosystem (Louisiana Land Conservation Assistance Network)
Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) is found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States from Maine to Florida and west to Mississippi. Historically, this species has been a very valuable timber species and remains so today. Over the last three centuries, the area occupied by Atlantic white cedar has declined drastically, and it’s now classified as a globally threatened forest ecosystem, and its decline continues. Hurricanes, flooding, wildland fires, natural plant succession and sea level rise all continue to affect a decline in the overall acreage of this important wetland forest ecosystem.