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Slow growing and naturally durable, western Red Cedar has one of the longest life spans of any North America softwood.It produces long lengths of timber with true, straight grain.It is free from pitch and its heartwood has natural decay resistance.Its low density gives it an insulation value superior to most other species.Light weight, easy to work,easy to finish,possessing outstanding dimensional stability, Western Red Cedar is a prefered woodfor nearly all purposes where attractive appearance or resistance to weather is important.

One of the lightest commercial softwoods, the density of Western Red Cedar at oven-dry condition is approximately 22 pounds per cubic foot with a relative density (specific gravity) of 0.35. Cedar's low density enhances its insulation value and makes it an easy wood to transport and handle. Like all woods, Western Red Cedar is hygroscopic and will absorb or discharge moisture to attain equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere.However, it has a very low shrinkage factor and is superioe to all other coniferous woods in its resistance to warping, twisting and checking.

Wood is an excellent thermal insulator.This is an important characteristic since good thermal insulators help keep buildings cool in the summer and reduce heating costs i the winter. The conduction of heat in woods is directly related to its density.Woods with low density have the highest thermal insulating value because such woods contain a high proportion of cell cavities.In dry wood, these cavities are filled with air which is one of the best know thermal insulators.

With its low density and high proportion of air spaces, Western Red Cedar is the best thermal insulator among the commonly available softwood specials and is far superior to brick,concrete and steel.It has a coefficient of thermal conductivity (k value) at 12% mc of 0,.74 BTU in. per square ft.h degrees F. The R value (the reciprocal of k) for Western Red Cedar is 1.35/in. of thickness.


It is a large to very large tree, ranging up to 65-70 meters (213-230 ft) tall and 3-4 meters (9.8-13 ft) in trunk diameter, exceptionally even larger.Trees growing in the open may have a crown that reaches the ground.where as trees densely spaced together will only exhibit a crown at the top.Where light can reach the leaves.It is long-lived, some individuals can live well over a thousand years,with the oldest verified being 1.460 years.

The foliage forms flat sprays with scale-like leaves in opposite pairs,with successive pairs at 900to each other.The foliage sprays are green above, and green marked with whitish stomatal bands below: they are strongly aromatic,with a scent reminiscent of pineapple when rushed.The individual leaves are 1-4 mm long and 1-2 mm broad on the most foliage sprays, but up to 12mm long on strong-growing lead shoots. The cones are slender, 10-18 mm long and 4-5 mm broad, with 8-12 (rarely 14) thin, overlapping scales; they are green to yellow, ripening brown in fall about six months after pollination, and open at maturity to shed the seeds.The seeds are 4-5 mm long and 1 mm broad.witk a narrow papery wing down each side. The pollen cones are 3-4 mm long, red or purple at first, shedding yellow pollen in spring.