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SPECIES: Calocedrus decurrens | Incense-Cedar
ABBREVIATION : CALDEC SYNONYMS : Libocedrus decurrens Torr. [26] SCS PLANT CODE : LIDE COMMON NAMES : incense-cedar TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for incense-cedar is Calocedrus decurrens (Torrey) Florin. There are no infrataxa [28]. LIFE FORM : Tree FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY COMPILED BY AND DATE : R. J. Habeck, May 1992 LAST REVISED BY AND DATE : NO-ENTRY AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Habeck, R. J. 1992. Calocedrus decurrens. In: Remainder of Citation


SPECIES: Calocedrus decurrens | Incense-Cedar
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Incense-cedar is generally found from the southern slope of Mount Hood, Oregon, southward through the Siskiyou, Klamath, and Warner mountains, Cascade and Coast ranges, and from the Sierra Nevada to the Hanson Laguna and Sierra de San Pedro Martir ranges in Baja, California. Incense-cedar is most common in the Sierra Nevada, occurring individually or in small groups [19]. It is cultivated in Hawaii [30]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES28 Western hardwoods STATES : CA HI NV OR MEXICO ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS : CRLA DEPO KICA LAVO LABE REDW SEQU WHIS YOSE BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 1 Northern Pacific Border 2 Cascade Mountains 3 Southern Pacific Border 4 Sierra Mountains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K002 Cedar - hemlock - Douglas-fir forest K005 Mixed conifer forest K006 Redwood forest SAF COVER TYPES : 229 Pacific Douglas-fir 230 Douglas-fir - western hemlock 233 Oregon white oak 234 Douglas-fir - tanoak - Pacific madrone 243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer 244 Pacific ponderosa pine - Douglas-fir 245 Pacific ponderosa pine 246 California black oak 247 Jeffrey pine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : On dry, shady sites, incense-cedar is considered climax due in part to its relative tolerance of shade. In the northern Oregon Cascades, however, incense-cedar typically grows as a minor component of stands dominated by western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), western redcedar (Thuja plicata), and grand fir (Abies grandis) [1]. Typically, incense-cedar is found in mixed-forest types and rarely in pure stands. Overstory associates found throughout its range include white fir (Abies concolor), ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), Jeffrey pine (P. jeffreyi), sugar pine (P. lambertiana), and California black oak (Quercus kelloggii) [19]. A publication listing incense-cedar as a dominant species in a plant association is: Preliminary plant associations of the southern Oregon Cascade Mountain Province [2]


SPECIES: Calocedrus decurrens | Incense-Cedar
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : Incense-cedar wood is resistant to decay, making it very desirable for exterior use. This wood is used as mud sills, window sashes, sheathing under stucco or brick veneer construction, greenhouse benches, fencing, poles, and trellises. It is also widely used for exterior and interior siding. Much of the top quality incense-cedar is used in the manufacture of pencils [19]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Incense-cedar is rated low to moderate in value as a wildlife browse. It is browsed moderately by mule deer in California [12,16]. Its seeds are eaten by small mammals but are not a preferred food of chipmunks. The presence of oils in the seeds may make them unpalatable [11,25]. PALATABILITY : Incense-cedar is low in palatability to livestock and wildlife [25]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Wildlife primarily use incense-cedar as cover. Large mammals use dense, young stands as hiding and thermal cover. Mature trees are used to a limited extent by arboreal species such as birds, squirrels, and other small mammals [10]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Incense-cedar is widely planted in the mountains for erosion control. Los Angeles County has used this species with good success on road fills and along streams at altitudes from 2,000 to 6,000 feet (610-1,829 m) [12]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Incense-cedar is an attractive landscape tree [12]. Essential leaf oils commercially extracted from incense-cedar are as follows [3]: Oil Specific Principal Yield* Gravity** Constituents ----- -------- ------------ .23 .8655-.8733 a-pinene, limonene, librocedrene, borneal * Percent of fresh weight. ** At 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 deg C). MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Disease: The most damaging agent to incense-cedar is pocket dry rot (Tyromyces amarus). This fungus affects 75 to 100 percent of mature trees in parts of the Sierra Nevada. Fire scars provide the most prevalent point of entry for this fungus's spores. Generally, suppressed trees are subject to severe dry rot infections after they reach 165 years, but open-grown trees are safe until they reach 210 years old. Two other fungi that occasionally rot the heartwood of living incense-cedar are Phellinus pini and Phaeolus schweinitzii. Root disease kills more incense-cedar than any other pathogen. The most destructive fungus is Heterobasidion annosum. This and other fungi contribute to a serious problem of wind-fall trees, which cause considerable property damage. The only foliar disease is caused by Gymnosporangium libocedri. This disease causes witches broom on young branches [19]. Insects: Many species of insects are found on incense-cedar, but few cause any serious damage. A cone sawfly (Augomonoctenus libocedrii) does minimal damage to incense-cedar cones. Six species of cedar bark beetles have been found to consume the inner cambium. Although damage is usually minimal, beetles occasionally become sufficiently numerous and aggressive to attack and kill healthy trees [19]. Ozone from air pollution does not harm incense-cedar [19].


SPECIES: Calocedrus decurrens | Incense-Cedar
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Incense-cedar forms a dense, narrow, pyramidal crown. It has flattened branchlets with green overlapping scales. Cones are oblong, small (0.8 to 1.5 inches [2.00-3.75 cm]), and hang from the tip of the branch. Bark on mature trees is dark brown, fibrous, and deeply and irregularly furrowed [1,6]. In the Coast Ranges and southern California, the largest trees generally are from 60 to 80 feet (18-24 m) tall and 36 to 48 inches (90-120 cm) d.b.h. In the Sierra Nevada, they frequently grow to heights of 150 feet (46 m) with d.b.h's of about 84 inches (210 cm). Trees have been measured at 225 feet (69 m) tall and 148 inches (375 cm) d.b.h. Incense-cedar is a long-lived species. Large trees are often over 500 years old. The oldest recorded incense-cedar is 542 years old [19]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Incense-cedar does not reproduce vegetatively in nature but can under greenhouse conditions [19]. Flowering and fruiting: Terminal strobili are borne as early as September and shed pollen in late winter to early spring. Incense-cedar is monoecious. Cones mature in late summer. Each seed has two unequal-sized wings. Embryos have two cotyledons [19]. Seed production and dissemination: Seed crops may fluctuate from prolific crops every 3 to 6 years, to years without any seed production. As many as 389,100 seeds per acre (961,500/ha) may fall during heavy production years. Seed production varies greatly with geographic distribution. Seed dispersal begins in late August in the lower elevations, and in October at higher elevations. Incense-cedar averages 15,000 seeds per pound (33,100/kg) and varies from 6,400 to 29,000 seeds per pound (14,100-63,900/kg). Seeds fall slowly (5.9 feet per second [1.8 m/s]) and are carried great distances by wind [19]. Seedling development: Cold stratification may double the germination rate for incense-cedar. Germination under controlled conditions may be as high as 98 percent but usually averages 20 to 40 percent. In natural conditions, germination is best under partial shade. Initial growth is typically slow to moderate compared to other conifers. Root growth is slow the first year but develops rapidly by the second growing season. Established incense-cedar seedlings are very drought tolerant due to their fine-root mass [19]. Growth and yield: Incense-cedar growth varies greatly by location. It grows more slowly than associated conifers. On poor sites, incense-cedar has been known to do well, often outcompeting all of its associates. On good sites, however, it generally falls behind due to an increase in shade. Incense-cedar shows good response to release. Much of the extremely slow growth of seedlings results from suppression or browsing. When released, seedlings grow rapidly, but because height growth is usually slower than that of associated species of comparable age, incense-cedar is usually a secondary species in mature conifer stands [19]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Incense-cedar is a good competitor on hot, dry sites and is commonly found on southwestern slopes. Climate: Incense-cedar occurs where the summers are typically dry, with less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) of precipitation per month. Annual precipitation varies from 20 to 80 inches (50-200 cm) and may be as low as 15 inches (38 cm) a year on the east side of the Cascades and in the Warner Mountains of Oregon and California. Temperatures range from -30 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 - 48 deg C) [19]. Soils: Incense-cedar may grow on a wide variety of soils derived from many kinds of parent materials. It has been found to extract soil phosphorus and calcium, and exclude surplus magnesium. Soil pH ranges from nearly neutral to strongly acidic. Textures vary from coarse sands to very fine clays. Incense-cedar grows best on deep, well-drained, sandy loam soils developed on granitic rocks and sandstones; deep clay loams developed on basalt and rhyolite; and occasionally on deep, coarse-textured, well-drained soils developed from pumice [19]. Elevation: Incense-cedar grows between 165 and 6,600 feet (50-2,010 m) at its northern distribution, and between 3,000 and 9,700 feet (910-2,960 m) in its southern limits. In the Sierra Nevada, incense-cedar grows best at elevations between 2,000 and 6,900 feet (610-2,100 m) [19]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, incense-cedar and white fir form an understory in forests of ponderosa and sugar pine. In early seral development, small groups of these trees grow beneath the canopy in shady conditions until an opening in the crown is created. Incense-cedar will then establish as a codominant species in the stand [15]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Seasonal growth durations of incense-cedar at various elevations in the Sierra Nevada are as follows [8]: Height Radial Growth* Growth ------ ------ Start (days)** 144 105 Start (date) May 24 April 15 Length (days) 91 136 Rapidity (day) 37 39 * An 8-year average. ** Number of days from January 1st.


SPECIES: Calocedrus decurrens | Incense-Cedar
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Incense-cedar is highly susceptible to fire [20,24]. Incense-cedar seedlings have very flammable bark and foliage, and are usually totally consumed by fire. More mature trees have a thicker basal bark (up to 6 inches [15 cm]) that adequately protects them from ground fires [1]. Incense-cedar shows best seedling germination on fresh mineral soil or very light litter [13]. Incense-cedar sheds its needles in late August and produces about 2,000 pounds of litter per acre (4,940/ha) per year. This deep litter layer provides sufficient fuel for moderate- to high-severity fires [5]. A study of incense-cedar dry rot furnished the most complete record of the fire history in the mixed conifer ecosystem. The shortest period between fires was 3 years, the longest was 11, with high-severity fires occurring every 8 years on average [13]. In Lava Beds National Monument, California, historical records show presettlement fire intervals to have been every 7.3 to 17 years [18]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Tree without adventitious-bud root crown Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)


SPECIES: Calocedrus decurrens | Incense-Cedar
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Incense-cedar seedlings and saplings are more readily killed by fire than most of their associates. Heat-kill is responsible for much of the mortality. In northern California, a study found nearly all individual seedlings and saplings were killed by a low-severity fire [23]. These results are consistent with those from Lava Beds National Monument, where incense-cedar is considered a decreaser following fire [18]. Incense-cedar has unprotected buds and finely divided foliage that is damaged by fire [24]. Mature incense-cedar's thick bark offers sufficient protection from excessive heat. Most studies find that only an occasional mature incense-cedar will succumb to surface fire. Moderate- to high-severity surface fires that damage trunks, however, make the trees susceptibile to dry rot infection [12,19,24]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : Crown damage: Generally, incense-cedar does not replace foliage, buds, or twigs killed by fire. Thus, the amount of green foliage present in scorched crowns following fire is reasonably close to the amount of foiliage that will be present in the future [27]. PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Enhanced incense-cedar seed germination occurs on the exposed mineral soil seedbed created by low-severity fire [19,24]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : In the central Sierra Nevada, spring is the most satisfactory season for low-severity burning to thin stands of incense-cedar. Insects, however, may attack young trees weakened by the treatment [23]. Incense-cedar showed an 8 to 12 times greater chance of mortality by insect attack after fire than before fire. Heavy losses from insects will continue for about 2 years after burning [24].


SPECIES: Calocedrus decurrens | Incense-Cedar
REFERENCES : 1. Arno, Stephen F.; Hammerly, Ramona P. 1977. Northwest trees. Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers. 222 p. [4208] 2. Atzet, Thomas; McCrimmon, Lisa A. 1990. Preliminary plant associations of the southern Oregon Cascade Mountain Province. Grants Pass, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Siskiyou National Forest. 330 p. [12977] 3. Bailey, Lowell F. 1948. Leaf oils from Tennessee Valley conifers. Journal of Forestry. 46(12): 882-889. [13265] 4. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434] 5. Biswell, H. H.; Gibbens, R. P.; Buchanan, H. 1966. Litter production by bigtrees and associated species. California Agriculture. 20(9): 5-7. [12692] 6. Brockman, C. Frank. 1979. Trees of North America. New York: Golden Press. 280 p. [16867] 7. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 8. Fowells, H. A. 1941. The period of seasonal growth of ponderosa pine and associated species. Journal of Forestry. 39: 601-608. [12690] 9. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 10. Hartesveldt, Richard J.; Harvey, H. Thomas; Shellhammer, Howard S.; Stecker, Ronald E. 1975. The sequoia of the Sierra Nevada. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. 180 p. [4233] 11. Horn, E. E. 1938. Some wildlife-forest relationships. Transactions, 3rd North American Wildlife Conference. 3: 376-380. [15135] 12. Horton, Jerome S. 1949. Trees and shrubs for erosion control of southern California mountains. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, California [Pacific Southwest] Forest and Range Experiment Station; California Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry. 72 p. [10689] 13. Kotok, E. I. 1933. Fire, a major ecological factor in the pine region of California. In: Pacific Science Congress Proceedings. 5: 4017-4022. [4723] 14. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 15. Lanner, Ronald M. 1983. Trees of the Great Basin: A natural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 215 p. [1401] 16. Leach, Howard R. 1956. Food habits of the Great Basin deer herds of California. California Fish and Game. 38: 243-308. [3502] 17. Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373. [1496] 18. Martin, Robert E.; Johnson, Arlen H. 1979. Fire management of Lava Beds National Monument. In: Proceedings of the 1st conference on scientific research in the National Parks: vol. 2; 1976 November 9- 12; San Francisco CA. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service: 1209-1217. [1537] 19. Powers, Robert F.; Oliver, William W. 1990. Libocedrus decurrens Torr. incense-cedar. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 173-180. [13382] 20. Pryor, L. D. 1940. The effect of fire on exotic conifers: Some notes on the effect of fire on exotic conifers in the Australian capital territory. Australian Forestry. 5: 37-38. [11391] 21. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 22. Schimke, Harry E.; Green, Lisle R. 1970. Prescribed fire for maintaining fuel-breaks in the central Sierra Nevada. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 9 p. [11189] 23. Show, S. B. 1915. Light burning at Castle Rock. Proceedings of the Society of American Foresters. 10(1): 426-433. [12767] 24. Show, S. B.; Kotok, E. I. 1924. The role of fire in the California pine forests. Bulletin No. 1294. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 80 p. [4719] 25. Stein, William I. 1974. Libocedrus decurrens Torr. incense-cedar. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 494-499. [7692] 26. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 27. Wagener, Willis W. 1961. Guidelines for estimating the survival of fire-damaged trees in California. Misc. Paper 60. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 11 p. [4611] 28. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992] 29. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 30. St. John, Harold. 1973. List and summary of the flowering plants in the Hawaiian islands. Hong Kong: Cathay Press Limited. 519 p. [25354]


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