What is Western Red Cedar

What makes Real Cedar the right building material for your next project? Well, for starters, this highly revered, durable wood is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attacks, which means anything you build with it will last longer and require less maintenance.

A Quick History of the Western Red Cedar

Cedar is not actually a cedar, but belongs in the Cupressaceous family, along with cypresses. It is known by many names, Pacific red cedar, British Columbia cedar, canoe cedar, giant cedar, or just red cedar. Licata, the species name, derives from a Greek word meaning "folded in plaits", a references to the pattern of its small leaves. It is one of two arborvitaes native to North America. Arborvitae comes from the Latin for "tree of life". Coincidentally, Native Americans of the West coast also address the cedar as "long life maker". Cedar trees have been very important to humans for hundreds of years. Cedar trees were used by natives to make canoes and other boats. The wood of cedar trees was also used to make weapons, boxes, bowls and baskets. The bark of cedar trees was used to make blankets, capes and costumes.

About Cedar Trees

The western red cedar is a large evergreen tree, ranging between 40 to 150 feet (12 to 45 meters) tall and up to 22 feet (7 meters) in trunk diameter. Trees growing in the open may have a crown that reaches the ground, whereas trees densely spaced together will exhibit a crown only at the top, where light can reach the leaves. It is long-lived; some individuals can live well over a thousand years, with the oldest verified being 1460 years. Cedar trees grow in the Pacific Northwest of North America where weather is damp, and where fungus, microorganisms, and insects subject trees to destructive conditions. The cedar tree have developed self-protective qualities that allow the tree to fend off insects, rot and temperature related stresses. That makes cedar wood very useful as home building material where humidity, temperature, and cracking are a common problem.

About Cedar Wood

Cedar is a light, porous type of wood. This gives it a good insulating value perfect for use as a great building product. Cedar has remarkable dimensional stability. This means the wood doesn't change its size or dimension despite weather, humidity or temperature conditions. Many types of wood will warp when subjected to moisture, but cedar stays straight and flat which makes it perfect for manufacturing Cedar Brackets, Cedar Braces, Cedar Corbels, Cedar Rafter Tails, Cedar Gable Brackets, Cedar Screen Doors, Windows Shutters, Pergolas, Gazebos, Cedar Decks and more. Cedar stands up to moisture, resisting rot and resisting insect damage better than other woods. Cedar products can be left without a finish or paint applied, however it will need periodic maintenance. In some cases, homeowners want their cedar building products to be stained or painted in order to match their home's decor.


Aesthetically, there really is no substitute for the natural beauty of Real Cedar. Imbued with decidedly crisp, yet superbly rich, tonal properties, Real Cedar can create sublime outdoor sanctuaries, embolden traditional home decor, provoke cutting-edge architecture and inspire innovative interiors. Imagine – all that dynamism packed into one beautiful building material! No wonder Real Cedar is a designer’s dream come true.


Western red cedar is pitch and resin-free. Which means it’s ideal for accepting and holding a wide range of beautiful finishes including elegant dark stains, shabby chic bleaches, traditional solid colours and naturally beautiful semi-transparents. Real Cedar also offers a wide range of lumber dimensions, surface textures and grades. Ergo, no matter what your desired effect is, Real Cedar’s got the wood for you.


Independent studies prove that when it comes to environmental performance, natural wood is superior to synthetic products in every way. While other building materials generate greenhouse gasses, western red cedar actually removes greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere. And unlike brick, cement and composites, Real Cedar is renewable and biodegradable. Plus, Real Cedar is sourced from the most sustainably managed forests in the world.