What is Western Red Cedar
Native Americans call Western red cedar the "long life maker". It was used for a variety of ailments and it is still held in highest regard by all northwest coast peoples for its healing and spiritual powers.
Coincidentally, its Latin Genus name is Arborvitae - "Tree of life".
- It contains natural preservatives that resist moisture, decay and insect damage.
- Cedar has the ability to withstand extreme temperature variations including moisture and heat.
- No other wood has the insulating value of Western Red Cedar.
- Cedar is the choice of outdoor wood for most high-end custom homes in Canade and North America.
- Cedar's unique aroma also comes from naturally occurring thujaplicins in its heartwood.
The superior qualities of Western Red Cedar are summed up in this extract from the grading rules published by the Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau:
" The largest and finest of the cedars produced anywhere in the world, the Western Red Cedar is famed for its extraordinary durability and resistance to decay.
Western Red Cedar is a distinct species, possesing all the desirable qualities of the other cedars, and additional advantages besides:
It can be finished to a smooth, silky finish, it is free from pitch, it takes and holds stains and paints exellently and has superior glueing properties.
Its colour is extremely attractive, varying from almost pure white of the narrow sapwood to the light straw shade of dark redish-brown of the heartwood.
The wood of Western Red Cedar has a very low coeffitient of expansion, so that it does not shrink, swell or warp excessively, even when subjected to changing degrees of temperature and moisture.
It has prime insulating qualities and its pleasing odour is repellent to moths, insects and vermin.The wood is saturated to every fibre with a natural preservative oil which renders it virualy immune to decay and gives it extreme durability without artificial preservative treatment. It is not necessary to pain cedar to preserve its surface, as it does not deteriorate appreciably even under severe climatic changes."
The Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau is a private, non-profit lumber quality control inspection agency. Visit the website here.