Species Basics
Photo Gallery
For Growers
For Researchers
For Teachers and Kids
AWC News
Conversion Tables
Symposia Archive
Our Cause

Major Contributing Organizations
The Richard Stockton College logo
Swamp Research Center
NC State University logo

Management of Atlantic White Cedar

The management of a forest depends on the objectives of ownership.  If the primary objective is timber production, the treatment of stands will seek to optimize that objective, with other objectives taking less precedence. As stated earlier, the position of this website is that the best hope for conserving and/or expanding the AWC resource is to pursue a course of active forest management which has a sound ecological argument as well as profit potential for owners and stakeholders, private or public.  With this approach, part of the revenue generated by the forest could be used to perpetuate the forest.

The website also seeks to emphasize that active forest management and conservation of the AWC resource are compatible objectives.  In the future, preservation or passive management simply will not be sufficient to conserve and expand the AWC resource; a more active approach is needed, based on good science, sound economics, and rational public policy.

Obviously, without a forest, there is nothing to manage, so there is value in simply establishing more AWC in the landscape, wherever and whenever possible.  That said, however, the establishment of any forest stand is influenced by management objectives, so there should be specific objectives in mind prior to planting.

Forest management deals with a number of major issues, including 1) species selection and site selection,  2) regeneration of stands, including site preparation; 3) release of crop trees from competing vegetation early in the life of the stand (examples: cleanings, herbicide treatments), 4) manipulation of stand density (initial spacing, cleanings, thinning), 5) protection from damaging agents (insects, predators, disease, fire), 6) improving value (example: stem pruning, thinning), 6) creation of habitat for endangered or threatened species (example:  red-cockaded woodpecker in longleaf pine), 7) improvement of water quality (examples: riparian zones, created wetlands, buffer zones),  8) and stabilization and/or reclamation of degraded landscapes (examples: planting loblolly pine to stabilize eroding farmland, site conversion back to AWC [term for Underwood projects?], and 9) forest inventory (example: cruising for timber volume, assessment of animal or plant populations).

Management practices must recognize ecological and silvicultural characteristics of AWC.  Fortunately, there is already an extensive body of knowledge (examples:  archived publications).  Familiarity with this literature is important, but it is not the purpose here to review it in detail; instead, the goal is to use this knowledge to develop better management practices for AWC.  Understanding the nature and requirements of the species as well as knowing the history of its management can help identify where gaps exist in the knowledge, and what needs to be done to close the gaps. It is not enough, however, to simply know the best management practices for AWC.  There must be more effective efforts to draw attention to AWC, to convey the message about its good attributes, to expand its market footprint, and to effectively apply good management and conservation practices in real-world situations.

This section loosely addresses three topics: 1) basic information based on experience and early literature, 2) progress since 1990 (See archived conference proceedings), and 3) areas where additional knowledge is needed, with an eye toward increasing the importance and economic value of the AWC resource.  The site will focus on what is known about management of AWC, and determine steps that are needed to ensure the future of a healthy AWC resource.  The cornerstone of this effort will be the publication, Atlantic White-cedar: Ecology and Best Management Practices Manual (Mylercraine and Zimmermann, 2000).  

Revised May 28, 2013
Eric Hinesley, Susan Moore, and Kelley McCarter

For more information


Atlantic White Cedar Initiative
Campus Box 8008, Raleigh, NC 27695-8008
919-515-9563, 919-515-7793

Last Update: June 30, 2013 12:08 PM