Thuja plicata (Cupressaceae)


#qMaterial.BotanicalName# wood colour
Thuja plicata (Cupressaceae) wood grain



Price Rating:


Material Grade:
2/3 Clr & Btr

370 kg/m3

Typical Tree Height:

Trunk Diameter:

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Western Red Cedar

Our Cedar is normally kiln dried, but please refer to the product descriptions. For cladding/exterior use this is air dried - please indicate your use or specify the desired moisture content.

When newly cut, the heartwood can vary from salmon-pink to dark brown. It changes to a reddish-brown over time and eventually to a silver-grey when exposed to the elements. It is chosen for its weathered appearance and is often left unfinished for that reason. The sapwood is white-cream and clearly differentiated from the heartwood. Western red cedar has a straight and even grain with a coarse texture. It is non-resinous, and has a distinctive cedar smell, but is not a true cedar. It is naturally very durable although soft and bruises easily, therefore great for cladding, fascais etc. but not ideal for decking or external joinery. It is often used for timber green houses. 

At Wooduchoose we offer Western Red Cedar, or Cedar for most of our products. We recommend as; Cedar cladding, Cedar cover fillets, Cedar beading, Cedar mouldings. There are many other products that this wood can be used for.

Material Type:

Also Called:
Red Cedar, Giant Arborvitae, British Columbia Red Cedar, Canoe Codar, Pacific Red Cedar, Shingleowwd, Giant Cedar,

Durability Notes:
Western red Cedar weathers very well. It can, however, suffer from attack from the western cedar borer when growing, and the common furniture beetle when seasoned. It is challenging to treat with preservatives but can be succesfully left to naturally weather. It is a very common external cladding timber.

The drying and seasoning of Cedar is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Cedar - Thicker timber sections must be dried with care to avoid honeycombing and collapse. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Western red cedar has very low resistance to shock loads and very low stiffness. Its bending and crushing strength are low and it does not steam bend well. It works easily with hand and machine tools. It nails well without splitting and glues and screws well. The wood planes well and has only a minor blunting effect on cutting edges. It straight grain allows it to be split easily for roof shingles. Its acid properties can corrode iron, so copper, galvanized or stainless steel fixings should be used.

Typical Uses:
Guitar parts, ship and boat building, roofing shingles, exterior cladding (siding), beehives, sheds and greenhouses, and decorative veneer.

More Info:
Roots and bark were used for baskets, bowls, ropes, clothing, blankets, and rings.

Spiritual Properties:
Cedar cleanses negative atmospheres. Used for the creation of sacred spaces. Related to longevity, protection, and preservation. Often used to summon helpful spirits during rituals and invocations.

Moisture Content:
12-18% KD

Considered as of least concern by The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (last assessed in 2011)

Wood Worker's Thoughts:
Lightweight, easy to handle, cuts and machines well. Smells nice! Finishes well. Only real downside is that it bruises easily so cannot be used for flooring or furniture (or windows, doors or any high traffic/high usage items). Very good for greenhouses though due to it's low maintenance and durability. Generally a nice timber to work with.

Interesting Facts:
Western red cedar has a history of use by the indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast (North America). Some tribes refer to themselves as "people of the red cedar". Used for totem poles, masks, utensils, boxes, instruments, canoes, vessels, and houses.


Wood Database feature on: Cedar


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