Uses: Glass house and shed construction, shingles, interior finishing, exterior boarding and cladding, beehive construction, poles, posts and fences.
General Description: Western Red Cedar is straight grained, rather coarse textured, with a prominent growth ring figure and non-resinous. The timber's heartwood shows considerable colour variation when fresh, from a dark chocolate-brown to a salmon pink colour, perhaps variegated, maturing down to a reddish-brown and, in time, to silver-grey – this weathered appearance sometimes sought-after by architects. Weight is 370 kg/m³ (23 lb/ft³); specific gravity .37.
Western Red Cedar has low bending and crushing strength, with very low stiffness and resistance to shock loads. Steam bending classification is very poor.
Thin stock dries readily with little degrade, but thicker sizes tend to hold moisture at the centre and care is needed to avoid internal honeycombing and collapse. This is especially true of UK timber. There is small movement in service.
The timber is durable. Standing trees liable to attack by the Western Cedar borer and seasoned timber liable to attack by common furniture beetle. Resistant to preservative treatment.
Family Name: Cupressaceae
Latin Name: Thuja plicata
Distribution: Canada, USA and introduced into the UK and New Zealand.
Also known as: British Columbia red cedar (UK); giant arborvitae (USA); red cedar (Canada).