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Everything You Need to Know About Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar is an eco-friendly timber that is sure to leave an impression! With striking colour and beautiful natural texture, it’s used commonly in a number of applications that range from external cladding to finer woodworking. Read on for more of what you need to know about Western Red Cedar.

Is Western Red Cedar a hardwood?

Western Red Cedar is actually a softwood, although it is still used commonly in construction projects. The timber has a hardness rating of 1.5 on the Janka scale.

Where does Western Red Cedar grow?

As its name suggests, the Western Red Cedar grows throughout the Western states of the United States of America, in regions such as British Columbia.

What does Western Red Cedar look like?

Western Red Cedar has a distinctly reddish hue to it’s timber, distinguishing it from some of the other Cedar species found in similar areas. It’s grain is generally rather straight and uniform, producing a texture that contains many fine details.

How fast does Western Red Cedar grow?

As a relatively fast grower, the Western Red Cedar can typically reach the height of 5 metres in its first 10 years of life. It can reach heights of up to 70 metres in height when grown in suitable conditions!

Does Western Red Cedar need to be treated?

Western Red Cedar may require exterior coating or treatment if you would like to preserve the condition of the timber. If a weathered look is something you desire, leaving it untreated will allow this to happen for exterior applications.

How should I finish/treat Western Red Cedar?

How you finish the Western Red Cedar depends entirely on your final application, as well as personal preference. Generally speaking, it takes external finishes well.
A full-bodied stain will preserve the natural texture of your timber, while concealing much of the more naturally occurring colours and look with a new colour. You can also find more subtle treatments on the market, which only slightly changes the colour of the timber while helping to protect it from the elements.
Due to Western Red Cedar’s striking, deep red colour, we recommend the use of a more subtle treatment, so you can preserve this natural beauty.

Can Western Red Cedar be painted?

Western Red Cedar may also be painted if you choose! The nature of the timber makes it very receptive to paint and other finishes. If you paint it, choose the colour wisely as it will likely stand the test of time.

What is Western Red Cedar used for?

Western Red Cedar is widely used in more decorative uses due to it’s naturally stunning appearance. You can expect to find this timber used in exterior cladding, internal panelling, windows, doors, fencing and much, much more. It’s also commonly used in joinery.

Is Western Red Cedar sustainable ?

One of the greatest aspects of using Western Red Cedar in your next project is that it has a carbon footprint of zero. Some of the world’s most sustainably-managed logging forests produce Western Red Cedar. It’s an option that will leave you with peace of mind, while also maintaining a stunning finish!

Is Western Red Cedar durable?

Western Red Cedar, while classed as a softwood, is very durable. Due to it’s ability to resist shrinking and it’s natural resistance to rot and boring insects, it’s remarkably durable and will withstand the elements for a considerable length of time. In order to get the most out of this timber however, you should make sure that you are taking the steps required to maintain it.