Yakusugi Cedar - Cryptomeria japonica

The Cryptomeria japonica is an evergreen tree native to Japan where there are many very old examples of this species that are revered as sacred trees. I found this tree however in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) in Stanley Park. Most of this park is virgin old growth timber but on one side of the park (the part closest to the city) there is a section where a good many exotic species of trees were planted long enough ago that they are now very large.

I was at first quite puzzle by this tree as it looked very different from any other evergreen I had seen before. A gardener was working nearby and upon inquiring about the tree we found out its scientific name.
As you can see from the pictures this tree was loaded with both pollen and seed cones.

I believe the name "Yakusugi" comes from the fact that this tree is native to Yakushima Island in Japan and that "sugi" is the Japanese for cedar.
The bark was similar to that of a Western Red Cedar.

1 comment:

  1. I was just (12 13 09)watching an NHK Japanese language documentary on the Yakusugi and a small company that seems to have a contract that allows it to cut stumps remaining from the era when Yakushima was extensively logged. The trees are apparently now pretected from commercial logging except for this kind of limited/controlled logging operation.