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Possible Culturally Modified Tree (CMT) Western Redcedar

This Western Redcedar shows evidence of being culturally modified at one point during it’s life due to the bark-stripped scar present.

The bark from a Western Redcedar is easily removed from live trees in long strips, and was commonly harvested by Native Americans in the past for use in making mats, rope and cordage, basketry, rain hats, clothing, and other soft goods.

The harvesting of bark must be done with care because if the tree is completely stripped it will die. To prevent this, the harvester only harvests from trees which have not been stripped before, and usually less than a half round of the bark is removed. Stripping bark is usually started with a series of cuts at the base of the tree above any buttresses, and the bark is peeled upwards. To remove bark high up, a pair of platforms strung on rope around the tree are used, and the harvester climbs by alternating between them for support.

Still today, the Sechelt Indian Band occasionally harvests bark for traditional purposes.

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