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Aesthetically, it is a naturally stunning building material with deep, tonal properties that accentuate the richly textured wood grains and exposed heartwood.
It is both pitch and resin-free, which means that it can hold a variety of finishes from semi-transparent stains to elegant dark stains. It is also incredibly durable and will prove to keep your structure attractive for years to come.
For centuries, the Western Red Cedar has been celebrated by the Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations as the “Tree of Life” using it to build longhouses, canoes, and totem poles. Thousands of years later and the red cedar continues to be a preferred building material.
Red cedar’s reputation for being a naturally durable wood makes it perfect for all outdoor projects. The wood is lightweight and valued for its high natural resistance and decay properties.
It is less susceptible to moisture, insect damage, and fungi growth. Cedar is also water damage resistant and can successfully weather long periods of heavy rain and other weather extremes such as snow, hail, and strong winds.
With its unsurpassed natural beauty, centuries of proven performance, low environmental impact, and natural resistance to decay/insects it’s clear to see the advantage of quality Western Red Cedar.
Western Red Cedar. Species: Thuja Plicata
Chinese Fir. Species: Cunninghamia Lanceolata
In 2005 companies across North America started to import wooden products in bulk from China which was originally marketed as “China Fir”.
China Fir (Species: Cunninghamia Lanceolata) was later marketed as “Chinese Cedar” to piggyback off the reputation of Western Red Cedar and other North American Cedar products.
In 2022 most of these products have ditched their association with China altogether and now simply refer to the products as Cedar. These products, however, are not Cedar, nor are they comparable to the quality of Western Red Cedar and other North American Cedar Products.
These labeling tactics are designed to confuse consumers into thinking they are getting a quality product comparable to Western Red Cedar, as well as devalue authentic Cedar lumber mill owners and employees across North America.
If you see a product with a generic “Cedar” label and a substantially lower price with no specificity, it is safe to assume that it is a Fir (Species: Cunninghamia Lanceolata) from China instead, and you can value it accordingly.
If you are, however, looking for quality Cedar Products made sustainably in North America from North American lumber mills and workers, make sure your products are made with Western Red Cedar or other established North American Cedar products.
Outdoor Living Today is partners with Real Cedar and uses PEFC Certified Lumber
Feel Free to visit www.realcedar.com to learn more about Certified Western Red Cedar and why it matters.