A coastal plain tree in the southeastern United States, the Atlantic White Cedar has nearly disappeared as the land it needs to grow is overtaken with other hardwood species, development and forest land has been converted to agriculture. Although not listed as an endangered species by conservation groups, ArborGen has already recognized the need to conserve and manage the tall, aromatic Cedar.
Early settlers saw the benefits of the Atlantic White Cedar with its ability to avoid rot and the ease with which it could be worked. They used the wood for buckets and shingles as well as for boats. This was during a time of plenty, the wood readily available. Now the greatest concentration of this tree can only be found in limited quantities in Carolina bays and wetlands scattered along the Eastern Seaboard. Many of these areas are federal and state-controlled as preservation sites and efforts are underway to replant the Atlantic White Cedar. One great example of a wetlands restoration program involving Atlantic White Cedar is The Great Dismal Swamp located along the North Carolina and Virginia border.
To help with the reforestation of these vital wetlands, ArborGen’s SuperTree Nursery® in Bellville, Ga., is growing hundreds of thousands of Atlantic White Cedar seedlings annually. Growing these seedlings is labor intensive with the rooting, planting and cultivation work being done by hand.