WSU: Watch For Western Red Cedar Dying Off

Washington State University researchers are asking for your help in monitoring the concerning die-off of the western red cedar. Postdoctoral fellow Joseph Hulbert said this red cedar is an important species to the Northwest for cultural value and as a value of the region’s industrial heritage.

“It’s really characterized by the tops dying in a lot of trees over years or sometimes in a single year. In a single year we could see a whole entire crown die back and basically the branches become barren.”

Hulbert noted there are also cases in which entire trees are dying. He said it’s part of the Forest Health Watch where they try to crowdsource community science projects.

“This will help understand where we’re seeing die-back, where the worst spots are and we can start to see patterns in what the sight characteristics are like. This will help us identify where the trees are vulnerable and that will ultimately help us determine which environmental parameters are important for understanding this die-back.” 

Hulbert noted anyone can help. All you need is a camera and snap photos of locations where trees are healthy, dying back, or dead.

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]

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