Eastern white cedar is a slow-growing conifer, native to northeastern North America. Averaging a height of 15 to 20 metres and a diameter ranging from 40 to 90 centimetres, it can reach over 20 metres at maturity with a diameter of 120 to 150 centimetres. It has remarkable longevity and some specimens live to be 800 years old. Its wood is stable, finely textured and extremely long lasting.
It offers exceptional natural resistance to insects and decay, resulting in excellent durability. Its structure makes it a very good insulating material when it comes to sound and heat. Cedar does not require any preservatives or special maintenance. It is a natural alternative to treated wood. Its pleasant fragrance makes it highly prized for interior woodwork.
The sapwood is a creamy vanilla colour. The heartwood is straw yellow and may contain small knots.
Its surface is smooth with no splinters. The wood is soft, lightweight and even-grained.
Easy to mill, resistant to splits, good nail- and screw-holding abilities; good gluing properties. Can be painted, stained or varnished. Excellent permeability. Resistant to fungi.
Exterior siding: clapboard, boards, trim, shingles. Roof shingles. Patios, decks, verandas. Mouldings and furniture components. Outdoor or indoor furniture that is untreated, stained or painted. Doors and windows. Posts, fences and trellises. Mulch. Wharfs and boats.
Western Red Cedar produces long, lightweight lengths of timber with a fine, straight grain and uniform texture that make it easy to cut, saw and nail with common tools. These features also contribute to its ability to be planed to a smooth surface or machined to any pattern. The lack of pitch and resin allows Western Red Cedar to hold glue bonds from a wide range of adhesives and provide a firm base for many types of paints and stains.
Western Red Cedar is one of the world's most durable woods. Natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage has long made Western Red Cedar the premier choice for either interior or exterior home use. Cedar fibers in the heartwood contain natural preservatives that are toxic to decay-causing fungi. The two principal extractives that are responsible for the decay resistance are Thujaplicans and water-soluble phenolics. The tree's ability to produce these extractives increases with age, making the outer regions of heartwood the most durable.
Most buyers of Red Cedar log homes are attracted to the natural beauty of the exposed heartwood. It is visually stunning softwood with a lasting aroma. Its warm cinnamon-red and deep amber color tones help accentuate the incredible beauty of the uniform, richly textured wood grains.
The base of Western Red Cedar logs are often irregularly flared and may be utilized in the construction of Handcrafted Cedar Log Homes to create unique log accents in support beams and posts for living areas.