Western Red Cedar is resistant to decay. It’s a great traditional wood for outdoor construction. The heartwood of Western Red Cedar is pinkish brown, and can display random streaks of darker red or brown. The sapwood is a yellowish white color. Western Red Cedar is known for its aromatic properties as well. Despite its strong distinctive aroma, Western Red Cedar is not naturally repellant to termites and furniture beetles. With attentive maintenance, outdoor usage of Western Red Cedar heartwood could last for many decades.
Western Red Cedar is commonly used for shingles, exterior siding, decking, gazebos, pergolas, boat building, boxes, crates and musical instruments.
Western Red Cedar is generally commercially available in construction grades and less so in higher grades at local lumber yards.
Working with Western Red Cedar
WRC is easy to work with using either hand or machine tools. However, it does dent and scratch easily because it is not a very hard wood. WRC also glues and finishes well, but iron-based fasteners can stain and discolor the wood causing iron streaks in moist conditions.
Western Red Cedar’s natural range is along the Pacific Coast from the southern part of the Alaska Panhandle through British Columbia, western Washington, and western Oregon, reaching into the coastal Redwood forest of northern California. Inland from the coast, it can be found in a contiguous band east of the Cascade Range from central Oregon to southern British Columbia. Much farther inland WRC grows along the west slopes of the Rocky Mountains from Prince George, British Columbia, to northeastern Washington, northern Idaho, and western Montana.
At Specialty Lumber Solutions, we can provide higher grades of cedar milled to your specifications and shipped directly to your job site. Appearance grade cedar is available at most lumber yards, but if you need A & Better Vertical Grain Western Red Cedar, give us a call at Specialty Lumber Solutions.
Common Name(s): Western Redcedar, Western Red Cedar
Scientific Name: Thuja plicata
Distribution: Pacific Northwest United States/Canada
Tree Size: 165-200 ft (50-60 m) tall, 7-13 ft (2-4 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 23 lbs/ft3 (370 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .31, .37
Janka Hardness: 350 lbf (1,560 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 7,500 lbf/in2 (51.7 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,110,000 lbf/in2 (7.66 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 4,560 lbf/in2 (31.4 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 2.4%, Tangential: 5.0%, Volumetric: 6.8%, T/R Ratio: 2.1
From: The Wood Database