For centuries builders and artisans have valued Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) and Eastern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) for their natural beauty and durability.
Cedar – Beautiful and versatile
- Wonderful spectrum of natural colours.
- Versatile uses.
- Easy finishing.
- Natural preservative.
- Distinctive aroma.
- Acoustic insulation.
- Architectural design.
Colours – Unfinished Red Cedar has richly textured grain with colours ranging from mellow ambers, reddish cinnamons and rich sienna browns. The White Cedar sapwood has a creamy vanilla colour while the heartwood is straw yellow. If untreated and exposed to the elements it turns into a silvery gray. The warm cedar coloring is complimented by a uniform, fine-grained texture with a satin luster.
Usages – Cedar is ideal for siding and shingles, decking, moulding, windows, doors, posts, beams, fencing, garden furniture, interiors and saunas.
Easy finishing – Because cedar is virtually pitch and resin free, the wood easily accepts a range of finishes, from fine oils and stains, to solid coatings and paint.
Natural preservative – Cedar contains natural preservatives that resist moisture, decay and insect damage.
Aroma – Cedar’s unique aroma comes from naturally occurring thujaplicins in its heartwood. These compounds are toxic to decay-causing fungi and preserve the wood to give it long lasting appeal.
Acoustic insulation – Acoustic properties of cedar walls and ceilings provide sound insulation necessary to quieten rooms.
Architectural design – Cedar compliments any architectural design – from turn-of-the-century to contemporary.
Cedar’s Natural Characteristics
Dimensional Stability – The dimensional stability of cedars is a result of their low density and shrinkage factors. They lie flat, stays straight, and holds fastenings tightly. Western Red Cedar is a large tree and its lumber has twice the stability of most commonly available softwoods. Eastern White Cedar is a smaller tree and lumber is available in widths up to 150 mm.
Workability – The lack of pitch and resin allows cedars to hold glue bonds from a wide range of adhesives and provide a firm base for many types of paints and stains. Western Red Cedar produces long, lightweight lengths of timber with a fine, straight grain and uniform texture that make it easy to cut, saw and nail with common tools. These features also contribute to its ability to be planed to a smooth surface or machined to any pattern. The bottom section of the Eastern White Cedar produces clear wood that is perfectly machined into shingles to serve as roof and wall cladding.
Natural Preservative – Western Red Cedar and Eastern White Cedar are among the world’s most durable woods. Natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage has long made cedars the premier choice for either interior or exterior home use. Cedar fibers in the heartwood contain natural preservatives that are toxic to decay-causing fungi. The two principal extractives that are responsible for the decay resistance are Thujaplicans and water-soluble phenolics. The tree’s ability to produce these extractives increases with age, making the outer regions of heartwood the most durable.
Flame Spread and Smoke Development Ratings – Western Red Cedar has flame spread and smoke development classifications that are superior to the minimums set by most building codes, which permit the use of cedar heartwood without preservative treatments.
All-Weather – Both Canadian cedars are wood species that are naturally at home in the outdoors. Properly finished, they will last for decades, even in harsh environments. Their natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage make it the ideal choice for a surface that is exposed to sun, rain, heat and cold all year round.
WRCEA – Western Red Cedar Export Association
Eastern White Cedar at Quebec Wood Export Bureau: