Different species of trees live all around us. In fact, there are more than 60,000 tree species throughout the world. Among that long list, is the ever-popular cedar tree. The sniffling and sneezing folk out there most definitely know about cedar trees. Cedar pollen ranks as one of the worst allergens for many people. It is so common that there is even a name for it. Ever heard of cedar fever?
Cedar trees aren’t all bad, though. While they are known for their allergy-producing abilities, cedar wood is highly sought after for building and construction projects. It is extremely versatile and offers benefits that easily outshine other types of wood. No doubt you are surrounded by numerous products made of cedar wood, including furniture, fences, boats, greenhouses, door frames, window frames, and house siding.
Why is cedar wood so popular? Let’s explore the characteristics and qualities of three types of cedar wood: western red cedar, northern white cedar, and incense cedar.
Western Red Cedar
If there were a contest for the most used type of cedar fence wood, western red cedar would hold the top spot. Western red cedar is an excellent option for all sorts of projects.
- The visual appearance alone attracts a lot of homeowners to this beautiful wood choice. The tight, even grain pattern is very appealing, and the moderate to coarse texture gives a rich luster.
- Compared to other types of wood, western red cedar does not contain many knots. Rather, it has a clear and blemish-free look, which is a good thing. Since large knots can fall out over time. Wood with fewer knots tends to hold up better.
- Although considered a softwood, western red cedar is a very strong and stable softwood. Why? When the tree grows and forms rings inside the timber, the rings stay closer together compared to other softwoods, which gives the wood strength and durability.
- Western red cedar is decay resistant and repels water. The wood releases natural oils that protect it from weathering and rotting.
- Most cedar wood comes with a smell, and western red cedar is no exception. You can consider it a bonus feature, though. Insects hate its aromatic superpowers, and the natural oils and acids fight off pesky insects that would otherwise cause damage to the wood.
- It has a reddish-brown hue. As with other types of cedar wood, it will slowly turn to a silver, grey tone as it ages.
- This type of cedar wood is lightweight and easy to work with. Overall, western red cedar reigns supreme and continues to be a popular wood choice for a variety of home projects.
Northern White Cedar
Northern white cedar has similarities to western red cedar, but differs in a few ways. If you are searching for a crowd-pleasing type of cedar wood, the natural beauty of northern white cedar can’t be beaten.
- Northern white cedar is rot-resistant and naturally fights off decay. This quality makes it particularly advantageous when used for shingles, cabin logs, paneling, cedar wood fencing, and boats. Canoe enthusiasts especially love to work with northern white cedar wood.
- The grain pattern typically is straight, and the texture is even and fine.
- You can find knots in this type of wood, but they are usually small and sporadic.
- Northern white cedar ranges in color. The heartwood comes across as a pale brown or tan color, while the narrow sapwood follows after its name and appears whiter. Some northern white cedar has a yellow tone as well.
- It is a durable and lightweight wood. You will get many years out of northern white cedar with its long-term sustainability qualities.
One of the most fire resistant and drought tolerant trees in California, incense cedar is a popular type of cedar wood in its own right.
- Incense cedar can hold up in all sorts of weather conditions and climates. Actually, some may debate that incense cedar (without a protectant) withstands inclement weather better than western red cedar.
- It is non-resinous, a property that makes incense cedar a great choice for window and door frames, railroad ties, telephone poles, furniture chests, shingles, and cedar fence boards and posts.
- The color of incense wood makes it stand out from other types of cedar wood. Incense wood does not have the same strong red tones as western red cedar. The heartwood has a light brown, reddish look, with the sapwood more of a light tan or off-white color.
- Incense cedar is smooth, which lends to why it is so easy to work with and used in a variety of applications. Woodworkers love how it behaves with machinery and hand tools.
Incense cedar wood is a strong, reliable wood option. If you want a cedar wood that is well-known for its workability, go with incense cedar wood.
A Cedar Wood That’s Right for You
With so many valuable characteristics, you can’t go wrong with cedar wood. Its natural self-protective qualities make it exceptionally durable and stable, and its eye-catching appeal is a beautiful addition to any property or home. Plus, you can expect unsurpassed longevity from all types of cedar wood.
Are you in need of wood? Consider cedar wood for your next home project.