Species in the Spotlight: Western Red Cedar

There are hundreds of fascinating tree species out there. From the great and mighty oak to the lesser-known Imbuia, our planet is full of incredible trees which give us life. At EcoChoice, we supply plenty of different timber species from across the world, including the Western Red Cedar, a giant in the forest. Read on to find out more about this species and see if it is the right timber for your project.

An Introduction to Western Red Cedar

The first thing to note about the Western Red Cedar is that it is not a cedar at all! It is actually in the category of false cedars, which are all species that were labelled incorrectly as cedars when they were discovered. This was usually because of the aroma of the bark, which is very similar to the famous Lebanese cedars. 

Western Red Cedars are most commonly found in America’s Pacific Northwest, though they are also now found right here in the UK, as well as in Australia, Hawaii and New Zealand.

What Does the Western Red Cedar Look Like?

The Western Red Cedar is an exceptionally tall tree, growing to around 230 feet when it reaches full height. It has a thick trunk, too, of around 10-23 feet in diameter. When not crowded, its leaves can reach the ground and form a pyramid shape, not unlike a Christmas tree, completely obscuring the trunk. When the trunk is visible, you will be able to spot its reddish bark, which is deep in colour and very durable. 

With beautiful evergreen foliage and easy growth, it is not hard to see why the Western Red Cedar has become a popular tree around the world!

What Does Western Red Cedar Timber Look Like?

The timber from this softwood species has a distinctive reddish-brown colour running through a lighter, yellow hued wood. It has a straight, tight grain with often quite obvious knots, which give it a unique look that adds to its popularity. With this timber, though, it is not just about look, but smell too. It has a sweet scent, almost like fruit (quite often likened to pears and pineapples) and very pleasant. 

Working Qualities of Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar timber is strong but remarkably lightweight, making it very easy to work with. It is easy to cut and curve, simple to finish, and stains very well, making it ideal for those who are not used to constructing with timber. It also goes against the notions of softwoods being less durable than hardwoods. The Western Red Cedar is incredibly durable and has a natural resistance to rot and water, making it an ideal choice for external applications such as cladding, which is where it is often recognised as one of the best choices around. 

Choose Sustainable Western Red Cedar Timber From EcoChoice

At EcoChoice, we stock a wide range of sustainable timber products, including Western Red Cedar. Sourced from responsibly managed forests, you can enjoy all the benefits of this beautiful wood without worrying about the impact on the environment. If you would like to learn more or find the timber species which is right for your project, feel free to get in touch with us today!

Image: Radoslav Cajkovic / Shutterstock.com

Tags: ,


How can we help?