From Northern British Columbia, Canada, to California, a rugged spine of mountains stretches for almost 1,500 miles parallel to the Pacific coast of North America. Along the slopes and in the valleys of these mountains, the humus-rich soil nourishes mixed softwood forests in vast abundance.
The majority of Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) grows in coastal forests. Western Red Cedars grow also in the drier interior forests of British Columbia, Washington, Idaho and Montana where they are smaller in stature with a tight knotted growth characteristic. Cedars rarely grow in pure stands but are generally found in association with other species. Western Red Cedar forests are predominantly managed forests, in which controlled harvests, natural regeneration and reforestation programs ensure a perpetual harvest.
A Wood Of Warmth And Beauty
Western Red Cedar is, above all, a wood of exceptional beauty. In its natural, unfinished state, it has a richly textured, tactile grain combined with a palette of warm, mellow tones ranging from light amber to deep honey brown. No man-made material can duplicate the depth of cedar’s natural luster. It also remains subtly aromatic, and the characteristic fragrance of cedar adds another dimension to its universal appeal.
Whether used in furniture, wall paneling or ceilings, doors or windows, mouldings, railings, or posts or beams, the presence and prestige of cedar enhances structures of any type or design, contemporary or traditional, homes, offices, stores or public buildings.
The Gift Of Durability
Western Red Cedar contains natural oils that act as preservatives to help the wood resist insect attack and decay. Cedar is also a dimensionally stable wood that lies flat and stays straight. Properly finished and maintained, Western Red Cedar ages gracefully and endures for many years.
Cedar is the preferred material for all outdoor applications that seek visual harmony with the landscape combined with stability and durability: from siding, windows and patio decking to fences, planters, screens, shelters and garden furniture. Indoors, cedar’s dimensional stability makes it perfectly suited to a variety of uses in high moisture areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and saunas.
Western Red Cedar should be preservative treated if intended for use in applications where it comes in contact with the ground.
Beauty aside, the purely practical, dollars-and-cents value of cedar offers other benefits: the wood’s cellular structure creates interior air spaces that give it an insulation value higher than most woods and much higher than brick or concrete. Buildings which feature cedar paneling, ceilings or siding tend to stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Cedar also has excellent sound suppression and absorption qualities.
* Species information has been provided by www.woodworkingnetwork.com