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Western Red Cedar Thuja plicata

AROMATIC AND DURABLE UTILITY SOFTWOOD
The straight grain and durability of western red cedar, which is not a true cedar, make it popular for building greenhouses and sheds. Being quite weak, it might be thought unsuitable for the small sections that are needed in the production of greenhouses, but the straight grain means that it is easy to use, with limited risk of splintering. That it is lightweight helps too. The bark can be used for making rope.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS
Type Temperate softwood
Other names Giant arborvitae, canoe cedar, shinglewood, giant cedar
Similar species Sequoia or redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), white cedar (7. occidentalis)
Sources North America and Europe
Color Red-brown, but sometimes pink with contrasting white sapwood. Ages to a silver-gray color that needs no finishing for outdoor use.
Texture Coarse
Grain Straight
Hardness Soft
Weight Light (23 b./cu. ft.) (370 kg/cu. m)
Strength Weak and does not bend well
Seasoning and stability Seasons best when milled into thin boards. Very stable once dry.
Wastage Low
Range of board widths Good
Range of board thicknesses Good
Durability Generally good

SUSTAINABILITY
There is some concern that the best western red cedar is running out and that the species does not regenerate readily. Certified western red cedar is available.

AVAILABILITY AND COST

The supply of good western red cedar is gradually diminishing, and therefore it is rising in price, but it is still an economical lumber for outdoor projects.




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Updated: 12/2017   copyright 2011 Rowecraft