Western Red Cedar


Western Red Cedar heartwood is renowned for its high decay-resistance and its good insulation properties, far superior to brick, concrete and steel.

Therefore structures built from Western Red Cedar will be cooler in summer and warmer in winter. It has very good weathering characteristics which makes it popular for exterior applications.


Colour – When freshly machined Clear Western Red Cedar seems to vary from a light straw colour to a dark red/brown, but the colour becomes more uniform in natural light. It is much sought after for its ‘weathered’ appearance. The grain is typically straight and even.


  • Density – It has a low wood density and low shrinkage factor which means it is unlikely to warp or twist.
  • Movement In Service – Dimensionally stable and holds its place well in use.
  • Flame Spreading Rate – Western Red Cedar’s flame spreading rate and smoke developed classification is considerably below the maximum limits set by most building codes. (Class II)
  • Smoked Developed Classification – 98
  • Durability – Long lasting when properly treated.

Working Properties

  • Machines – Well
  • Cutting – Resistance is small but can have a tendency to fray during cross-cutting
  • Planes – Clearly
  • Sands – Clearly
  • Saws – Easily
  • Nails – Easily
  • Glues – Well


  • The lack of pitch or resinous extractives contributes to its good finishing properties which means it can take a variety of coatings, paints and stains exceptionally well, provided it is dried and properly primed, all of which can be undertaken by Illingworth Ingham (M/cr) Ltd. Polishes well too.