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Donald B. Zobel
Port-Orford-cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), also called Lawson cypress and Port Orford white-cedar, is known for its grace in ornamental plantings and for its versatile wood. As logs, mostly exported to Japan, it brings higher prices than almost any other conifer in the United States. This valuable tree, however, has a very limited range and an uncertain future. Management of Port-Orford-cedar has become impossible in much of its range since the introduction of a fatal root rot that is still spreading. Old-growth forests are being depleted rapidly, and the use of second-growth forests is complicated because early growth is relatively slow. The commercial future of one of the most beautiful and potentially useful trees will depend on development of silvicultural practices that minimize infection by root rot.