No wonder so many people have fallen in love with Western red cedar. From Pacific Northwest native longhouses to luxury contemporary homes, Western red cedar has been the object of homeowners' affection for hundreds of years. Some Pacific Northwest native tribes called it the Tree of Life. Perhaps it should be called the Tree of Love.
"Western red cedar offers endless choices to fit the style of any house," says Loren Sinner of LS Cedar. It's a favorite of architects, builders and homeowners who want to do everything from add a touch of class to create an entire home of distinction.
"Western red cedar is simply one of the world's most beautiful woods," says Paul Mackie, "Mr. Cedar" of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association. "No man-made material can duplicate Western red cedar's naturally luxurious appearance."
Western red cedar looks great in whatever it wears. Its natural colors radiate warmth. It is free from pitch and resin, making it ideal for a wide range of stains and finishes.
Western red cedar's natural durability makes it the premier choice for siding, decking, outdoor living spaces and other exterior home use. "When properly installed and maintained," says Sinner, "Western red cedar can provide a lifetime of service."
Chalk it up to great genes. Western red cedar fibers contain natural compounds that act as preservatives, making the wood extremely long lasting. These compounds provide natural resistance to moisture, insects and decay.
Its performance qualities make it easy to build with and maintain. The even grain and consistent density make Western red cedar less likely to swell, warp, cup or twist than any other woods, soft or hard. It lends a mark of quality to any home. Its light weight and consistency make it an ideal wood to cut, saw, nail, glue and handle - even a handsaw can easily go through it.
Sustainable, Low Impact
As our understanding grows of the need to tread lightly on our planet, so does our appreciation of Western red cedar's gentle environmental footprint. "Western red cedar is a renewable resource that's also biodegradable and recyclable," Mackie said.
Western red cedar is harvested and reforested in a sustainable, renewable manner, unlike materials such as metal, cement, stucco or plastic, which must be mined from the earth or manufactured. The environmental impact of producing Western red cedar lumber is significantly less than for chemically manufactured or milled building products.
Chemical or mineral building materials do not decompose naturally and potentially spend hundreds of years in landfills. As a wood product, Western red cedar decomposes and returns to the environment. It also can be reused, whether as beams or particle products.
Western red cedar's natural preservatives also mean that it needs minimal chemical treatments, unlike the toxic chemical preservatives used in pressure-treated woods.
For more information about Western red cedar, visit www.wrcla.org.