As far as commercial soft woods go, Western red cedar is one of the softest. “Oven-dry condition is approximately 21 pounds per cubic foot with a relative density (specific gravity) of .32.” Western Red Cedar’s comparatively low density heightens its insulation value and makes it an attractive choice when transporting and handling. Western Red Cedar shares its water absorption properties with all woods but it has a very low shrinkage factor. This means that it has a higher resistance to warping, twisting and checking more than any other coniferous wood. Thermal insulation is an important consideration in a building material because it indicates how cool a building will remain in the summer and conversely how warm it will stay in the winter. Woods with the lowest density have a higher rate of cell cavities per area, which makes them the best thermal insulators. Western Red Cedar ranks among the best thermal insulator of the readily attainable softwoods. Well-maintained Western Red Cedar will provide decades of enjoyment and durability. “Straight grain and uniform texture” “Clear or knotty grades with smooth surfaced, combed or rough sawn finishes; kiln dried or unseasoned (green); flat grain and vertical grain.”
Western Red Cedar offers a subtle variety of coloring from soft ambers, rustic cinnamons and deep browns. Uses: Siding, decking, fencing, molding, windows, doors, posts, beams, paneling, outdoor projects, interiors and saunas. The incredible aroma of natural cedar offers more than just a pleasing scent. It is a natural deterrent to decay-causing fungi and insects, resists moisture, and aides in preserving the wood. These qualities make Western Red Cedar a natural for the fencing industry.
Native Americans coined the Western Red Cedar the “Tree of Life.”
The low density, low shrinkage factor and high thermal insulation value mean that Western Red Cedar “lies flat, stays straight, and holds fastenings tightly.” It produces boards that are long and lightweight featuring a fine and straight grain and consistent texture. These features work together to produce a wood that is easy to cut, saw, nail, plane or fit to any pattern. This, coupled with a lack of pitch and resin make Western Red Cedar a very workable wood and an excellent choice for holding a stain or paint color. This wood is also very durable and if properly finished can sustain exposure to heat, cold, rain and sun over long periods.