Alaskan Yellow Cedar has almost always been referred to as nootkatensis (so named for the Nuu-chah-nulth people of Canada). Yellow Cedar was first classified as a Cupressus species, then a Chamaecyparis species (where it had remained for roughly 160 years). It was recently reclassified from Chamaecyparis to a newly established genus called Xanthocyparis, then to Callitropsis, and then back to Cupressus.
Carving, boatbuilding, siding, flooring, decking, outdoor furniture, musical instruments (flutes, guitar soundboards), boxes and chests, and numerous utility/construction are common uses of Yellow Cedar. The aroma of Yellow Cedar is comparable to that of raw potatoes. In terms of decay resistance, it is said to be robust to highly durable, as well as resistant to most insect attacks.