Northern White Cedar in the Thumb

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#11)  Re: Northern White Cedar in the Thumb

Postby InglesLuke » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:06 pm

That makes sense, they need to stay cold obviously, but I guess the calcitic soils, outcrops and the rocks in general are just a desire for the tree rather than a absolute necessity. I imagine they still grow best on the cold calcitic slopes though.

Luke
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#12)  Re: Northern White Cedar in the Thumb

Postby wisconsitom » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:39 am

Yes, coolness favors the species.  It's not calcitic materials however that it seems to associate with, but the somewhat softer carbonates like this dolomite.  Not that dolomite is soft, but compared to calcitic carbonates, it is somewhat more so.  

Our woods is full of old, fairly large Thuja o's.  But the next twenty over-the continuation of the same swamp, there are some real impressive ones back in there.  This is all spring-fed country and the groundwater is slowly moving, not truly stagnant.  This too seems to matter for Thuja o.  It prefers moist soils, sure, but it would prefer that that water be both mineral-rich and in movement.  This is precisely the case in our swamp;  Beside the springs gurgling out of the ground, there is sheet flow off the field (that we've planted with trees now) and that movement leads to healthy trees.  When you see northern white cedar in closed-off bogs further to the north, like where a highway backed up a swamp and now the whole forest is in decline.....these cedar never amount to anything.  But put that same tree on a site more like I describe, with soil having a more nearly neutral pH, and in soil having some degree of CEC (cation exchange capacity- a basic measure of a soil's ability to retain nutrients), even if a very wet site......and they will do 100 times better.  Now....take that same tree in plant it in some upland situation with regular well-drained soil.....and it will grow even better.
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