A Washington state man has been fined more than US$37,000 for stealing old-growth western red cedar trees in the US.

He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and ordered to repay the value of the trees to the federal government, set at US$37,688, after pleading guilty to theft of federal property at an earlier hearing.

The 27 cedars are believed to have been between 400-600 years old and were taken from a 20-acre site near White River.