Five Points Trail Guide Sign 10 - Cedar Swamp

Eastern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) is native to Eastern Canada and is well established in this part of the forest, forming a cedar swamp ecosystem. A Cedar swamp is an unusual feature in the Carolinian Zone. This species grows naturally in moist forests and coniferous swamps, where other larger and faster-growing species cannot compete successfully. It also grows on cliffs and other sites with reduced tree competition. Eastern White Cedar is a desirable winter food for deer with its soft foliage. The largest known Eastern White Cedar is on South Manitou Island in Michigan and measures 34 m tall and 175 cm in diameter. Talk about a grandpa tree!

Another interesting tree species present here is Tamarack (Larix laricina). This species, while it has needles rather than leaves, sheds them in the fall like a deciduous tree! Tamarack is a boreal tree species so it is rare in this part of the province.

Eastern White Cedar Eastern White Cedar Foliage

Image Source: Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)