Atlantic White Cedar tree – 5/22/18

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/22/18

Observation Time: 9:35 a.m.

Observation Location: banks of Beaver Brook (upstream of the tennis courts)

Common Name: Atlantic White Cedar tree

Scientific Name: Chamaecyparis thyoides

Comments: Atlantic White Cedars live almost exclusively in freshwater wetlands and are considered an obligate wetland species. They prefer habitats where the soil is saturated with water at least during the majority of the growing season. Though this tree species is not listed as threatened, Atlantic White Cedar wetlands are considered a globally threatened ecosystem, and often serve as carbon sinks because of their peat-building abilities. Caterpillars of the Hessel’s Hairstreak butterfly feed exclusively on C. thyoides, where its green color helps keep it camouflaged.

Sharon’s 250-acre Atlantic White Cedar swamp naturally purifies and stores the rainwater that recharges the springs that feed Lake Massapoag and the aquifers that provide Sharon residents with drinking water.

More Information: Wikipedia

The bark of Atlantic White Cedars has a spiral pattern up the tree trunk: