Why Western Red Cedar Is Special-Staining Western Red Cedar In 5 Easy Steps

Cedar is a renowned wood type and a household name for woodworkers, homeowners, and constructors. It guarantees aesthetically pleasing and durable structures for any commercial, residential, professional, or DIY projects.

Furthermore, Cedarwood comes in different species, including the Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, and Eastern White Cedar. You are spoilt for choice regardless of your woodwork deliverables.

However, whereas the rule of thumb is to always get the best lumber type, sometimes you’re confused about which Cedarwood to purchase for the best outcome. So, let’s answer why western red cedar is special

Western red cedar has a signature sweet aroma, natural beauty, stability, and durability make Western Red Cedar perfect for fencing, decking, cladding, and any landscaping applications.

Moreover, the wood is highly revered for its natural resistance to insect attacks, rot, and decay. Better still, it lasts longer than other wood types despite harsh environmental conditions.

Therefore, whether you’re working on a small home improvement or a large scale commercial project, Western Red Cedar should be your top choice. It does not disappoint!

Check out this article for more insight into Western Red Cedar, how it compares to other Cedar species, what to expect from it, and the best ways to finish or treat it for a durable outcome.

What Is Western Red Cedar?

Why Western Red Cedar Is Special
Western Red Cedar Wood

This Cedar species is botanically known as Thuja Plicata. The tree gets its name from its origin in the United States and the Western Coast of Canada. Moreover, Western Red Cedar is among the most widespread trees in the Pacific Northwest.

Pacific Red Cedar, Western Red Cedar, or giant Cedar is a coniferous softwood with evergreen leaves all year round. It has a pretty quick growth rate of about 30 to 60 cm annually.

The tree species features a cone-like shape when young and can grow to 20 and 35 Meters high. Further, on the Pacific Coast, it grows up to 60 meters or 200 feet with a three to four meters trunk diameter.

The Cedar’s small, scaly, and pointed leaves are in opposite pairs with white patches underneath. Also, an excellent way to identify the tree is to crush its leaves between your fingers. It will give off a distinctive, sweet pear drop or pineapple-like smell.

Further, despite Western Red Cedar’s common name, it is not a ‘true Cedar.’ The tree comes from the Thuja species rather than the Cedrus genus. It only gets its name from smelling and resembling actual Cedars, like Deodar Cedar, Lebanon Cedar, and Cypriot Cedar.

You can easily identify this Cedar type by looking at its leaves, flowers, and fruits.

  • Leaves. The leaf bases cover the twigs and create flattened foliage sprays in opposite pairs. In addition, leaves springing from the twigs are tiny, only two to three millimeters long, and scale-like featuring an ovate shape. They also have a dark glossy green hue above and whitish markings beneath.
  • Flowers. Western Red Cedar is monoecious, meaning that male and female flowers grow on the same plant. The male flowering cones are tiny and inconspicuous whereas the female ones are reddish-purple and grow near the branch’s tip.
  • Fruits. The tree’s small woody cones are slender and oval shaped with a brown hue. Then, the seeds are brown ovals with narrow wings on each side.

Western Red Cedar is shade tolerant and thrives in areas with a cool, mild, and moist climate. Besides, it grows in low-to mid-level elevations along the British Columbia Coast and in the wet belt area near the Columbia and Rocky Mountains.

The tree is found in mixed-species and uneven-aged stands with Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir, Black Cottonwood, Western Hemlock, and Red Alder. It also grows with Western Larch and Engelmann Spruce at higher elevations.

The perfect growing terrain for this Cedar type is characterized by a lush layer of huckleberries, ferns, and Devil’s club, with a carpet of mosses on the forest floor.

Western Red Cedar Uses and Applications

  • Commercial Purposes

The tree produces wood with impressive commercial properties. For instance, it is moderately soft, fairly lightweight, and low in strength. Moreover, it has excellent working attributes and can take a smooth, satin finish.

Western Red Cedar wood works well with both hand and machine tools, planes, and shapes excellently, and can be sanded to guarantee a smooth surface. It also glues easily and delivers a moderate screw and nail holding ability.

The Cedar wood produces thujaplicin, which makes it naturally rot and fungus resistant. Therefore, you can expect your commercial project to last for decades despite harsh environmental conditions.

  • Outdoor Wood Projects

Western Red Cedar is naturally immune to decay and insect damage. Hence, it does not need chemical treatment to guarantee longevity. Better still, the wood’s superior durability, dimensional stability, and aesthetic beauty make it ideal for exterior residential or commercial applications.

You can use the Western Red Cedar for various outdoor projects, such as roof shingles, decking, portable buildings, poles, posts, ship and boat building, exterior siding and cladding, and weather boarding.

The lumber also guarantees successful projects for greenways, public art, patio furniture, greenhouses, gazebos, sheds, garden boxes, urban parks and landscape design, and pergolas.

  • Indoor Wood Projects

Western Red Cedar is attractive for interior applications like doors and windows, sashes, ceiling and wall paneling, and custom millwork. Besides, its dimensional stability is perfect for window blinds, moldings, and sauna paneling.

You can also use this wood for musical instruments, thanks to its excellent acoustic resonance attributes.

  • Spiritual and Cultural Purposes

Western Red Cedar holds vital spiritual and cultural meaning for British Columbia natives. They use it for essential oils, spiritual ceremonies, medicines, and other cultural uses.

Interestingly, the wood is also the provincial tree emblem for British Columbia. Its robust strength is celebrated in its native land and tales say that one could receive strength by standing with their back to the tree.

Indigenous people use most parts of the plant. For instance, the roots are dried and braided into baskets and hats. Then, the strong Cedar withe is strong, lightweight and naturally grows in long strands, making it perfect for ropes and lashing.

The plant’s bark is dyed and processed into threads for clothing, hats, blankets, mats, baskets, fishing nets, and ropes. Also, dried back is an ideal tinder for torches and matches.

Pros of Western Red Cedar

  • Accommodates Various Wood Projects

Cedarwood is light and porous, giving excellent insulating value needed in building products. The lumber has a remarkable dimensional stability, meaning that it won’t change its dimension and size despite fluctuating humidity, weather, or temperature conditions.

Most wood types warp when exposed to moisture, but Western Red Cedar remains flat and straight. Therefore, you can comfortably use it for brackets, corbels, braces, rafter tails, gable brackets, screen doors, decks, pergolas, window shutters, and gazebos.

Western Red Cedar resists moisture, insect damage, and rot more than other wood species. You can leave them without a finish or paint and expect a durable structure.

However, it is prudent to periodically maintain the Cedar surface. Also, paint or stain it to match or compliment your home and deck’s decor.

  • Beauty

Aesthetically speaking, there is no substitute for the Cedar’s natural beauty. The wood is imbued with superbly rich, yet decidedly crisp, tonal attributes. Furthermore, real Western Red Cedar emboldens traditional home decor, and sublime outdoor structures, inspires innovative interiors, and provoke cutting-edge architectural designs.

  • Versatility

Western Red Cedar is free from pitch and resin, meaning it’s perfect for accepting and holding various beautiful finishes. It also accommodates conventional solid colors, dark stains, semi-transparent products, and shabby chic bleaches.

  • Sustainability

Western Red Cedar is superior to synthetic products when it comes to sustainability and environmental performance. While other building materials produce greenhouse gasses, lumber removes these gasses from the atmosphere.

Unlike cement, composites, and brick, Western Red Cedar is renewable and biodegradable. It comes from the most sustainably managed forests around the globe.

Cons of Western Red Cedar

  • Cost

Western Red Cedar is more expensive than other wood types. In fact, it is even more pricey than other Cedar species. Besides, the lumber originates from Canada, making it more costly in the United States.

All the attributes that make lumber a perfect choice for construction and woodwork also make it expensive. In the wood world, you get what you pay for. Thus, choosing a durable, beautiful, and fire-resistant wood type requires you to pay more.

  • Flagging

Western Red Cedar is prone to flagging. This is when scattered leaves and branches throughout the tree become brown, wither, and eventually die. Worse still, this activity is more prevalent with the Western Red Cedar than other Cedars.

The tree grows in moist and temperate conditions, so hot weather can cause flagging. On the other extreme, too much water from flooding, pests, and diseases can cause the disorder.

  • Vulnerable to Pests

Although Western Red Cedars can withstand great hardships, they still suffer from pests, both big and small. Mites infest the tree’s leaves during hot and dry seasons, compromising its growth.

Root weevils also eat the twig’s tips and their larvae consume the root system. Further, numerous beetle types, including the flatheaded Western Cedar borer and the bark beetle attack old and weakened trees.

Mice and other rodents gnaw away the plant, normally at its base though the marks will be seen quite high up. Also, dogs are a threat as their urine can kill the leaves of the Western Red Cedar.

  • Prone to Forest Fires 

Western Red Cedars have poor fire resistance due to their dense branches covered in flammable foliage, thin barks, and shallow roots. However, the trees can weather most fires, thanks to their size.

Western Red Cedar Vs Other Cedar Types

At first glance, it’s difficult to spot the difference between Western Red Cedar and other Cedar types. Besides, all Cedar varieties have a spicy, pleasant aroma that inspires Cedar-lined trunks, attics, and closets.

In addition, Cedar wood types have a similar face grain and are naturally resistant to insect, moisture, and fungal damage and decay. Thus, they are excellent for interior and exterior building applications.

That said, let us take a closer look to compare Western Red Cedar with other Cedar types used in woodwork. You’ll notice that though all Cedarwoods are perfect options, there are notable variances.

  1. Appearance

Western Red Cedar has a warm, attractive reddish-brown color with streaks of salmon pink, dark brown, and dark red. This rich, inviting color is a perennial favorite for architects and designers.

Other Cedar species, such as the Alaskan Yellow Cedar have a uniform pale yellow-white color with a straight grain. It provides an airy and versatile backdrop for outdoor spaces.

Further, the Eastern White Cedar has a natural lighter color and retains it even after treatment. However, unlike the Western Red Cedar, the wood adopts a gray to silver color if left untreated.

  1. Properties & Durability

Various Cedar types, including the Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, and Easter White Cedar are durable. They possess excellent natural resistance to fungal and insect attack. This attribute prevents shrinking, swelling, and warping.

The wood types are pitch and resin free, meaning they receive treatments, oils, and stains exceptionally well. As a result, you can expect a durable wood project with low maintenance demands.

Alaskan Yellow Cedar is quite dense, particularly so for softwood species. It is, however, lighter than the relatively lightweight Western Red Cedar, providing superior impact and scratch resistance.

Nevertheless, both Cedar varieties are native to the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest and share the same scientific tree family, known as the Cypress Family.

  1. Usability

Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Red Cedar, Eastern White Cedar, among other Cedarwood types, possess impressive physical properties and outdoor durability. They share many exterior applications, such as cladding, decking, and fencing projects, both commercial and residential.

But unlike its Western Red counterpart, Alaskan Yellow Cedar has a superior density, making it ideal for projects susceptible to knocks and abrasions, such as high-traffic stairs, outdoor furniture, and decking.

  1. Cost

Due to Western Red Cedar’s reddish brown tones, it is more expensive than other Cedarwood varieties. For instance, the wood costs about £1940 + VAT (£80 per m²), whereas Alaskan Yellow Cedar is £1,450 + VAT (£60 per m²).

Further, fencing using the Western Red Cedar needs approximately £3.50 per linear meter, while you only need to pay £2.40 for the Alaskan Yellow Cedar.

If you are working with a tight budget, consider Alaskan Yellow Cedar. It will guarantee most Cedarwood qualities. Better still, you can stain it to closely resemble Western Red Cedar.

  1. Aroma

Western Red Cedar and Eastern White Cedar have a sweet, citrusy scent, which lingers for sometime before slowly disappearing. As such, most builders or woodworkers often use it for sauna and ceiling lining.

On the other hand, Alaskan Yellow Cedar’s aroma does not last long. Some describe it as like raw potatoes and not as pleasant as Western Red Cedar. However, the smell soon dissipates. So, it’s not a big deal if you can apply a lovely finish.

  1. Size

Western Red Cedar trees are generally larger than other types, such as the Eastern White Cedar. They deliver a more comprehensive range of plank, board, and shingle size, making them suitable for roofing and decking.

Conversely, Eastern White Cedar trees are smaller, meaning you cannot get vast plank sizes. As such, they are more suitable for smaller applications like cabinet and furniture making.

Generally, all Cedar species are robust and excellent for multiple construction projects. But critical differences in their attributes make them stand out from each other, requiring you to get the most suitable type for your project.

Why Is Western Red Cedar So Expensive

Although Western Red Cedar is preferred for woodworking projects, you’ll have to spend a few more bucks. The wood has multiple desirable attributes including a pleasant scent, durability, and aesthetic appeal, making it more pricey than other lumber types.

Despite Cedar’s high cost, woodworkers and home decorators still use it for residential and commercial projects. Western Red Cedar costs anywhere from $5 to $20 per board foot, but it is worth the price.

Why Is My Western Red Cedar Turning Brown

There are a multitude of reasons why your Western Red Cedar is turning brown. They range from water needs and the soil type to insect, disease, and even too much plant food. Let’s break down these significant causes for better understanding.

  1. Water Needs

Western Red Cedar trees have relatively shallow root systems and are thus vulnerable to drought stress, especially on well-drained sandy soil. As a result, you need to water the plants regularly.

This condition is catalyzed by extreme changes in soil moisture like very wet seasons during winter followed by hot and dry summers. Maintain consistent soil moisture levels by watering and mulching the hedges during aridity periods.

If you see brown patches on your Western Red Cedar, test the soil by sticking a finger into the ground. It should be damp about an inch underneath the surface. If not, water the tree more often and for longer.

Unfortunately, excess water can cause root death due to insufficient oxygen in the root zone. So, avoid planting the Cedar downhill from regularly watered areas. Otherwise, excessive water accumulation at the root area increases the risk of fungal infections like mold and mildew.

  1. The Type of Soil Used

The type of soil causes the Western Red Cedar to turn brown. The wrong soil can be too clay-like or too sandy, limiting the oxygen levels getting to the root system. In addition, if too high or low soil Ph creates a hostile environment for the plant, leading to browning.

Another common problem is improper soil drainage. If the soil does not drain properly, water pools around the Cedar’s roots, causing the tree to stress and turn brown.

Western Red Cedar trees also need a specific soil type to thrive. For instance, if the soil lacks enough organic matter, the plant will not get the needed nutrients and eventually turn brown.

  1. Bad Twine and Cloth

Sometimes, the twine does not break down fast enough in the soil and might cut into the stem as it expands. Further, if you do not remove the twine during the tree’s growth, it will create a steady decline and even kill the tree.

Burlap sacking in Cedar trees also causes rot. Moreover, tree farmers use copper sulfate to treat the issue. But the compound can inhibit new root development if treated burlap is not removed.

  1. Flagging

Generally, flagging is a normal process in Western Red Cedar growth. Few tree branches have brown foliage around the outer edges. This activity is a sign of old growth to be shed by the tree and hence promotes healthy growth.

Flagging is common during late summer and early fall, especially in hot weather. It is scattered around the plant instead of clumping on one location. You can help reduce this occurrence by increasing the moisture content in the soil and pruning off affected areas.

  1. Root Desiccation

Hot summer makes new transplanted Western Red Cedar trees susceptible to drying. Therefore, take precautionary measures such as keeping root rounds wet during transportation.

Further, dead trees that are dug up have dry air between their roots and the growing hole. So, for the best outcome, transplant new hedges in a warm environment and water them consistently. This way, you help them take root.

In addition, keep your Western Red Cedars healthy during drought by watering them deeply and frequently, say once or twice a week.

  1. Insects

We have a few pests and insects that significantly hinder Western Red Cedar’s growth. For example, spider mites spin small webs across the tree’s branches to hold their eggs and eat the foliage, causing the Cedar’s branches to turn yellow or brown.

Weevils are another enemy to Western Red Cedar. They burrow into its bark to lay eggs and eat parts of the plant. Crawler mites also compromise the Cedar’s growth. They are generally brown, red, or yellow and create webs on the tree’s branches.

  1. Disease

Cedar-related diseases, such as root rot turn branches brown and eventually kill them. Unfortunately, there is no cure to this infection. But you can remove an affected tree to avoid spreading the disease to others.

Some fungus related diseases cause blights, which kills the foliage. It also causes the branches to turn brown and drop. Thankfully, you can treat your Western Red Cedar with a fungicide and control the disease.

  1. Too Much Plant Food

Adding too much plant food in the soil can damage Western Red Cedar’s roots and cause leaf tips to brown. Also, lack of fertilizer causes a decline in the tree’s general health and growth.

Therefore, fertilize the trees with the recommended formulation thrice in the growing period. This way, you keep them strong. In addition, comply with directions given on applying plant foots to guarantee that they reach the Cedar’s roots.

Also, do not feed Western Red Cedar during late summer as it needs to prepare for dormancy in winter. But you can still fertilize it with slow-moving launch nitrogen and phosphorus to guarantee a springtime boost.

Does Western Red Cedar Need to Be Treated

Western Red Cedar does not need to be treated. Moreover, a properly installed Cedar fence looks amazing for a long time. It resists harsh weather conditions while maintaining a straight and aligned appearance.

Nonetheless, although a protective finish is optional, it is recommended. Western Red Cedar’s natural resistance to unfavorable elements, insect damage, and rot is not in perpetuity.

Cedar is 30% more pricey than other lumber types, and even more expensive than pressure treated wood. Therefore, you’d want to preserve your investment and help it last longer.

Furthermore, professional woodworkers recommend waterproofing Western Red Cedar for outdoor applications. Cleaning and maintaining the project also guarantees durability despite the conditions.

Is It Better to Oil or Stain Cedar?

Oiling and staining Cedar are recommended strategies to protect it from rain, sun, molds, insects, and general weathering. Besides, lighter colors allow the wood’s grain to show through.

Previously, woodworkers favored stains because they deliver more color options. However, today’s pigmented oils are available in multiple hues and change the surface to your preference.

So, let’s discuss each technique for more insight and to determine which is best for your Cedar project.

  • Oiling Cedar

Wood oils are designed to penetrate deeply into Cedar wood and provide superior protection. They feature antifungal additives, color tone pigments, and water-repellent characteristics to deliver a beautiful and lasting project.

The oils protect Cedar from harmful UV rays and minimize uneven discoloration. Moreover, they refresh the lumber as it dries, keeping it supple and less likely to split, warp, or cup.

Thankfully, applying wood oil on Cedar is pretty straightforward. Plus, the wood is porous allowing the formula to penetrate deeply into its fibers.

There are two major techniques to apply wood oil to Cedar. You can use a brush or spray the formula after mixing it with mineral spirit. But the easiest way is by using a brush, which we’ll discuss here.

First, get the project supplies. They include

  • Wood oil
  • Mineral spirit
  • Abrasive finishing pads
  • Sandpaper
  • Glass jar or plastic cup
  • Rags
  • Tack cloth
  • Sponge brush, bristle brush, or lint-free cloth
  • Latex gloves.

Next, follow the procedure below.

  1. Prepare the Cedarwood

Surface preparation is among the most crucial steps before applying any wood finisher. Cleaned and well prepared wood is easy to oil and delivers a durable and beautiful outcome.

The first thing is to check whether the Cedarwood has an existing finish on the surface. If yes, remove it with sandpapers. Then, clean the lumber with a tack cloth to remove debris, dust, dirt, oil, grease, and other contaminants.

Also, apply Tri-sodium phosphate for stubborn dirt and grease stains. This way, you eliminate the chances of delivering a streaky and blotchy surface.

Finally, sand the surface with 120, 150, and 220-grit sandpaper to make it smooth and ready to accept the wood oil.

  1. Thin the Wood Oil

Mix the oil with an equal amount of mineral spirit in a glass jar or plastic cup. Then, stir it slowly. Thinning the formula before the application helps it to penetrate easily through the wood fibers.

  1. Apply the First Coat of Oil

Use the sponge brush, bristle brush, or lint-free rag to apply the first coat. Apply the formula generously and evenly throughout the surface without missing sport.

Saturate the Cedar wood fibers as deeply as possible. Further, the surface should look wet, not puddled. So, gently wipe off puddles to eliminate chances of getting a blotchy coat.

  1. Let the Surface Dry and Then Sand it

Give the first coat about six hours to dry before adding the next. But generally, the wood fibers are well saturated in fifteen minutes and the surface is significantly dry.

After six hours, sand the surface gently with an abrasive finishing pad to remove dust nibs. Remember, abrasive pads are better than sandpaper as they do not clog up. You can also wash and store them for future projects.

  1. Apply Subsequent Oil Coats

Wet the surface and sand it lightly with 220-grit sandpaper to open up the Cedar’s pores. The exercise boosts the wood’s contrast. But avoid sanding too deep as it can harm the first coat.

Alternatively, get a sponge for the wet sanding. You can rinse with mineral spirit and it will be back to new.

Let the surface dry. Then, apply the second coat of wood oil using the techniques you followed during the first one. Also, repeat the procedure for five to eight layers to guarantee a satisfactory finish.

NB: Wipe off unabsorbed formula with a clean rag after applying each coat. This way, you enhance the curing process without getting thick layers. Also, you’ll notice some dull surface areas. Do not worry about it as it is perfectly normal and will disappear with additional coats.

  1. Allow the Oil Dry and Cure Completely

The drying time for most wood oils is six hours and curing time is two weeks. Therefore, let the project sit for at least fourteen days before using it.

Usually, wood oil cures slower than standard formulas. But it eventually delivers a nice, polished surface that is well dried and cured. In addition, the finish cures into a hard state and guarantees durability.

  • Staining Cedar

Although wood stains penetrate the wood to some extent, it is generally a film-forming coating. Also, unlike most oil finishes, you only need two coats to deliver adequate protection.

Re-treatment times vary depending on weather conditions and exposure to the elements. However, experience gives an average of four years. After this, the coating stops beading water and the wood starts to absorb and retain moisture.

The Cedar’s constant movement from wet to dry causes a breakdown in the stain’s surface coating. As a result, it eventually cups and splits.

Thankfully, proper application of wood stains guarantees a durable finish. In addition, frequent touch-up ensures that the coating remains intact, protecting the wood underneath from damage.

Applying a wood stain to Cedar begins with getting the needed supplies. They include

  • Foam brush
  • Pre-stain conditioner
  • Vacuum or stiff brush
  • Medium and fine-grit sandpaper
  • Synthetic bristle brush
  • Tack cloth
  • Natural bristle brush or staining rag
  • Wood stain
  • Polyurethane clear coat for outdoor Cedar
  • Gloves
  • Wood stain stir stick

Next, follow the process below.

  1. Sand the Surface

Use a medium-grit paper to rub the surface. Rub it back and forth, following the wood grain. Further, smooth the entire wood and follow up with fine-grit paper, using the same technique.

  1. Remove Loose Debris

Use a stiff brush or a vacuum to remove loose debris and powder left after sanding. Then, rub down the surface with a damp or tack cloth to remove remaining fine powder.

  1. Apply the Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

Apply the conditioner with a foam brush to help the wood stain penetrate the surface more evenly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best outcome.

  1. Mix the Wood Stain

Wear gloves to avoid staining your hands. Then, open the can, and mix the formula thoroughly with a stir stick. Also, scrap along the container’s bottom to mix the pigment thoroughly.

  1. Apply the First Coat

Use the staining rag or the natural bristle brush to apply the stain. Cover the entire surface with one stain coat, following the wood’s grain.

Next, let the formula remain on the lumber for five to fifteen minutes or as the manufacturer recommends. But do not exceed the recommended time. Otherwise, the second coat may not adhere properly.

Wipe away excess formula with a clean grain, following the wood’s grain. Then, let the coat dry. After fifteen minutes, or so, assess the color of the finish and apply a second coat if it’s too light.

  1. Let the Cedarwood Dry Overnight

Allow the finish to cure overnight. Then, apply an even polyurethane clear coat according to the manufacturer’s directions. Also, sand the first coat and apply a second one for added protection.

Here’s How to Stain Cedar Wood:

Now that we know what oiling and staining Cedar entails and its benefits, when should you use each technique?

  • Use a wood stain when working on a Cedar deck as it maximizes the boards appearance and longevity.
  • Use wood oil when your Cedar project is in a high-moisture, humid, and rainy area. Boards only absorb too much oil or stain, but the former nourishes the wood. Better still, wood oil makes the surface rainproof.
  • Use wood stains when looking for a perfect color match. They are more pigmented than oils and match your preferred colors closer.
  • Use a water-based wood stain if you want to complete the project quickly. The formula dries faster than other alternatives.
  • Use wood oils when you want to maintain Cedar’s natural color. Stains are perfect for altering the lumber’s color, but stains enhance it.

The decision to use wood stains or oils depends on your project requirements and personal expectations. Moreover, both options guarantee maximum protection and durability to Cedar wood.


Western Red Cedar is a versatile and resilient wood species suited for various interior and exterior projects. It is among the most valuable conifers due to its unique texture, color, and durability.

The tree grows at low to mid elevations in wetter parts of the Southern interior and along the British Columbia coast. It is also a significant spiritual emblem for indigenous people along the Northwest Pacific Coast.

However, despite all the benefits attributed to the Western Red Cedar, some woodworkers wonder what the fuss is all about and feel it’s overrated. So, the above is a discussion to help satisfy any curiosity.

Why Western Red Cedar

The Western Red Cedar species guarantees excellent workability, dimensional stability, a pleasing reddish-brown hue, and impressive natural durability. In addition, it guarantees a steady wood project, even with less maintenance.

As a result, Western Red Cedarwood is a preferred material for outdoor applications, such as fencing, cladding, decking, and landscaping where attractiveness and weather resistance are a priority.

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