Huckleberry plants love cedar trees. They love them so very much, that they grow their best in the rotting trunks and stumps of these beloved nurses. The cedar trees are so invaluable to indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Cedar is known to many indigenous groups as The Tree of Life. In the case of growing from its dead and rotting mass, this is how these lovely little hardy berry plants, known as Vaccinium parvifolium, are able to survive for centuries. This is the best place in the forest for them to grow and hopefully live a very long life, producing wonderful little berries that are filled with anti-oxidants and a bittersweet fruit that is such a joy to pick and eat. Vacciniums come in many forms… and this one is indigenous to the Pacific Northwest Coast which can be found in numerous indigenous groups/tribes/nations’ territories.
Without the wonderous nutrients found in rotting cedar, this little vaccinium would possibly cease to exist. The nutrients found in the rotting wood of the cedar provide this plant with everything it needs to survive and sustain itself. You will find numerous baby plants springing from dead cedar trees, as well as finding them establishing themselves within the trunk and roots of living cedar trees, and around the base of the trunks. When choosing to plant these lovely little gems in your garden, be sure to source out some rotting cedar tree to place around the roots of the plant, as well as dark rich soil. Keep it in a semi-shaded place, to allow it to grow at its natural slow pace. it takes years for huckleberry bushes to grow to a significant height. plants that are about knee high, are close to 10 years old. so consider this when planning your indigenous garden, and create space for ferns, as well as moss or succulents, to create a damp ground cover for their best chance of survival. Each of these plants will all grow well in a semi-shaded area, with a cedar tree placed somewhere in the midst. Or… if you live on the edge of the forest… please plant as many indigenous plants as you can. 🙂