Cedar Wood Properties | Cedar Uses, advantages, and disadvantages (2023)

Table of Contents

Introduction

Cedar Woods is known for making quality home furniture. It gives a great appearance, cedar is aromatic and natural insect-repelling wood. Because of its durability quality, it is used for extreme weather and external application. Its many special properties make it different from other wood.

Cedar is not a wood of a particular species. Rather cedar includes many species of wood. More than 15 cedar species are available counted into the cedar families. They are very close to each other and they differ in properties of color, hardness, and rot resistance. They are used on the basis of their properties.

Its dark color, lightweight, and soft texture make it beautiful and more demanding. It is used for fencing, decking, siding, trim, and many other applications. Due to its aromatic properties, It is also used for clothing storage and oil. It is famous all over the world.

Wood ColorPinkish-red color to dark color
Tree HeightGenerally 130-160 ft. (50 m).
Found atNative to the high altitude mountains of the western Himalayas and the Mediterranean region.
Uses of CedarCedar oil, fencing, decking, siding, boatbuilding, musical instruments, and many more.
FinishingCedar has good finishing qualities.
WorkabilityIt is easy to cut and shape. Great workability properties.
TypesSoftwood
AvailabilityIt is easily available in many regions
DurabilityIt is extremely durable. Therefore it is used for Boat Making.

Cedar Wood Uses

1. Clothes storage

Cedar Lumber is famous for its aroma. It is widely used for clothing storage such as wardrobes, chests, and trunks. It is also naturally antibacterial and antifungal. So that it is a good option for clothes storage.

2. Cladding

Cedar Lumber is widely used for Cladding applications. Cedar lumber has a good visual appearance and gives a fine uniform texture. It is also strong. It is used to make interior and exterior cladding.

Cedar is a softwood that is light in weight. Some think that softwood is weaker than heartwood but it is not 100% true. Cedar is the best option for exterior cladding as it is a stable wood species. Western Red Cedar is famous for cladding.

3. Ceiling

For the production of the ceiling, paneling is pine, cedar, larch, oak, beech, mahogany, and many. All these woods have good density. So it is better for the ceiling and roofing. It gives a dark brown color from light yellow. The constructor prefers using cedar to the ceiling. Because it is the most budget-friendly wood and naturally rot-resistant wood.

4. Shingles

The most commonly used wood on shingles today is western red cedar. Eastern white cedar is also a good option. Cedar’s heartwood has good decay resistance. For shingles or exterior applications. Being temperature resistant, it is perfect for Shingles.

The durability of the wood should be good. Because it is constantly exposed to the wind, rain, and other elements. The effect of the weather continues on it. So high-quality grade cedar shingles and wallaba shingles are the best option shingles.

5. Musical Instrument

For the Musical Instrument spruce, cedar, mahogany, and Sapele (alternative of mahogany) are famous. The choice of wood for the musical instrument depends on what you are striving for in the way of sonic character. But Western Red Cedar and Yellow Cedar are famous for making musical instruments.

6. Cedar Wood oil

Cedar oil is produced from the foliage, wood, roots, and bark of cedar. Cedarwood oil has many uses in medicine, art, industry, and perfumery. It has been in use since the time of the ancients. First used by Sumerians and Egyptians.

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Cedar Wood advantages and disadvantages

Cedar Wood advantages

1. Lightweight

Western Red Cedar is a lightweight wood species. So it is easy to use at high altitudes. There is Sufficient moisture in cedar. So less likely to crack and warp.

2. Great workability

western red cedar and other Cedars have great workability. It is very easy to work with small and big machines. It can be used in more tangled spaces.

Cedar is a nice wood to turn but it is soft. It can be easily cut and curved. It holds nails and screws easily. The cedar surface holds glue, polish, and paint well for a long time.

3. Price

Many species are counted in the cedar family. Many wood species have prices lower to higher. Because of this, you have many price ranges of cedar available in the market. So you have many options based on your budget.

4. Availability

To use wood for any major project, it is very important that the wood used is available in the market and nearest location in reasonable quantity. Cedar is famous worldwide and It is a group of more than 15 species of wood. Which is found in almost every country or mountain area.

5. Temperature Resistant

Cedar has very good temperature resistance properties. So that it is suitable wood material for roofing and siding. Western red cedar is famous for external purposes. These properties are due to their straight-grained and moisture content.

6. Durability

Along with moisture, chemicals are also found in cedar. Which is used as oil. This oil prevents insects and fungus. Due to chemicals, cedar lasts for 30-40 years. If maintained properly, it remains durable for more years.

The durability of any wood depends on many things. Such as contact with weather, maintenance, and moisture.

7. Attractive Appearance

Cedar is generally a more attractive wood, with dark reddish color tones and stained, and treated for a beautiful finish. Due to its uniform grain, it gives a great look for siding and roofs.

Cedar Disadvantage

1. Requires Maintenance

Due to being softwood, cedar needs regular maintenance. Some experts say that if you are using cedar for siding, roofing, or any other external purpose, then it Requires maintenance every year.

2. Flammable

Cedar is a flammable wood. Which can cause trouble for many customers. The main reason for being flammable is the presence of oil in it. To deal with this issue using specially treated cedar.

3. Fading Color

Changes color over time due to chemical reactions. This process happens very quickly when it is exposed to sunlight. If you are using Cedar for the exterior application then after about 2 weeks. The color will rapidly change from red to gray.

Hard to identify: Real cedar is not easy to identify. In the United States of America and many other countries, other wood is sold to customers as cedar. For a person who does not know much about wood, it is difficult to identify real cedarwood for such a person. Due to this, customers often cheat in the market. To avoid this, you should have enough knowledge about cedar.

4. Sensitive

Cedar is a sensitive wood. So it can be more easily scratched or dented by furniture and pet claws. If you are using cedar for flooring, you should use furniture leg pads and carpets. It needs regular maintenance and uses polish to protect the floor.

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5. Weak

Cedar is a common material in construction. But many constructors do not want to use it for structure building material. Because they believe that white cedar is not for heavy loads as cypress, redwood, and pressure-treated lumber.

Types of Cedar Wood

Cedar Wood Properties | Cedar Uses, advantages, and disadvantages (1)

1. Incense Cedar

Properties: Heartwood is light to medium reddish-brown and sapwood is light brown to white in color. It has a straight grain and fine uniform texture.

Workability: Great workability, nails, screws, and paints hold very well.

Uses: It is used to make pencils, Venetian blinds, fence posts, siding, and various exterior applications.

2. Northern White Cedar

Properties: The scientific name of northern white cedar is Thuja occidentalis. Northern White Cedar, Heartwood is pale brown and the sapwood is white. small knots are present in the wood. Uniform straight-fine grain gives a uniform look.

Workability: Overall good working characteristics. Due to the softwood. It has poor screw and nail holding capabilities

Uses Fences, shingles, piles, canoe, railroad, and paper (pulpwood).

3. Western Red Cedar

Properties: It is found in pinkish-brown to a yellowish-white color. Western Red Cedar has a straight grain and a medium to coarse texture. It is naturally Rot resistant. A great choice for external uses.

Workability: Easy to work with both hand or machine tools. Glues, nails, and screws hold well.

Uses: Shingles, siding boatbuilding, boxes, crates, and musical instruments.

4. Eastern Red Cedar

Properties: It is also known as Aromatic Red Cedar. It is found in colors ranging from reddish or violet-brown to yellow. Eastern Red has a straight grain, usually with knots present

Workability: Generally easy to work with a hand tool. Sometimes there is a problem with machine work due to knots.

Uses: Fences, carvings, outdoor furniture, pencils, bows, and small wooden specialty items

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5. Lebanon Cedar

Properties: Lebanon cedar also called Cedar of Lebanon. The heartwood of this species is light reddish-brown and the sapwood is light yellow to white in color. There are irregular grains present. It is very durable, and generally resistant to insect attack. A great choice for external applications.

Workability: Easy to work with hand and machine tools. Sometimes due to irregular grains, there is difficulty in machine work. But overall Turns, glues, and finishes well.

Uses Veneer, cabinetry, and building construction.

6. Spanish Cedar

Properties: Spanish cedar has a light pinkish to reddish-brown color. colors tend to darken with age. The grain is straight or shallowly interlocked.

Workability: Spanish Cedar is easy to work with hand and machine tools. Sometimes sanding is required for a smooth surface.

Uses Veneer, plywood, cabinetry, musical instruments such as flamenco and classical guitars, and boatbuilding.

7. Alaskan yellow cedar

Properties: As the name itself suggests, this light is yellow in color. Color tends to darken with age upon exposure to light. The grain is usually straight and a uniform medium to a fine texture. This is Rot Resistance. So it is very durable.

Workability: Easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Holds Stains, glues, paints, and finishes well.

Uses: It is famous for boatbuilding, siding, flooring, decking, outdoor furniture, musical instruments, and carving.

8. Cyprian Cedar

Properties: This is a unique species of Cedar. Its usage and availability are low. It is found in parts of Cyprus, Turkey, and Syria. It is very similar to the Lebanon species of cedar. Cyprian Cedar has small, rounded leaves

Workability: Easy to work with hand and machine tools. Overall turns, glues, and finishes well.

Uses: It is used for making veneer sheets, cabinetry, and building construction.

9. Atlantic White Cedar

Properties: It is also known as Southern White Cedar. This light is found in reddish-brown to pale yellow-brown to almost white color. The grain is straight, with a fine uniform texture.

Workability: Easy to work with all conditions. glues, and finishes well.

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Uses Boatbuilding, carving, siding, shingles, and construction lumber.

10. Port Orford Cedar

Properties: Its color varies from light yellowish-brown to pale yellow-brown. After exposure to sunlight, its color becomes even darker. The grain is “straight and uniform medium to a fine texture.

Workability: Easy to work. Holds paint well, stains glues, and finishes well.

Uses: Arrow shafts, musical instruments boatbuilding, boxes, chests, and best for interior application

How to identify native cedars?

Cedar Wood Properties | Cedar Uses, advantages, and disadvantages (2)

Cedar trees can be identified mainly by needles, cones, and bark. These are the following points given below that can help you identify cedar.

  1. It has bluish-green needles which are tufted.
  2. The cedar tree has reddish-brown bark that is easily peeled.
  3. The length of a mature cedar tree is 130-160 ft. (50 m).
  4. The cedar tree is found mainly in the area of ​​Cyprus, the mountains of Northern Africa, Turkey, and Northern Indian.
  5. True cedar has larger cones on top of the branches.
  6. It is a fragrant tree. There is a constant light fragrance from its wood.

Is Cedar Wood waterproof?

Cedar is not 100% waterproof. But it is more durable in contact with water than other wood. But it cannot withstand water forever. Some woods perform better in moisture areas, some are not. It all depends on the wood properties.

We can say Cedar is performing well in moisture. If we talk about wood then nothing is 100% waterproof. It is useful for this moist place after the treatments.

Is Cedar toxic to humans?

There are many species of cedar. Some are poisonous, some are not. It depends on what kind of cedar you used. Red cedar causes sensitivity in more people than white cedar.

Western Red is responsible for irritants, sensitizers, runny noses, asthma, nervous system effects, and NPC (rare).

While Port Orford is responsible for irritants, runny noses, asthma, kidney problems (diuresis). Here is a link to a wood-allergy database

The conclusion

Cedar is known for its beauty, versatility, and spicy aroma properties. It comes under the softwood category. This beautiful wood is famous all over the world.

Each wood has some pros with some cons. cedar also has some cons that are covered in this post.

Overall it depends on the user whether cedar is the right or not wood for your dream project.

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FAQs

What is the importance of cedar? ›

As a plant that has ensured the survival of people for thousands of years, cedar has become a powerful symbol of strength and revitalization. The deep respect for cedar is a rich tradition that spans thousands of years and continues to be culturally, spiritually, and economically important.

What is the major disadvantage of cedar shakes? ›

Requires More Maintenance

The biggest issue with cedar shake siding is the amount of maintenance that it requires. Cedar shakes require regular cleaning to keep them free from things like moss, algae, and mold. They also require surface treatments to protect from things like the elements, moisture, insects, and fire.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of pine wood? ›

Pros: Pine is low-cost, and it takes paint well, so it's great for kids' furniture. (The same holds true for birch and poplar.) Pine develops a nice, rustic patina from age and use, and it resists shrinking and swelling. Cons: Pine is a softwood, so it's prone to scratches and dents.

Is cedar a strong wood? ›

Outside, cedar has natural weather-resistant properties that make it a good choice for siding, shingles, decking, greenhouses, arbors and fences. It's considered to be a “durable” wood that can withstand exposure to the elements, but it's not completely rot-resistant.

What are the disadvantages of natural wood? ›

Disadvantages:
  • As timber is natural and cellular it moves with changes in climatic conditions. ...
  • Most timbers are prone to pest, rot, mold and fungi attacks, some are far better than others but they both require a minimum of LOSP or ACQ treatments for outdoor structures.
Mar 29, 2016

Is cedar weather resistant? ›

Due to its chemical properties, cedar is naturally weather-resistant and repels most bugs. But over the years it can crack slightly and develop a fuzzy surface texture unless it's periodically refinished. Cedar accepts sealers and stains beautifully and should be refinished every two to three years.

Does cedar have healing properties? ›

In particular, cedar is used for healing, restoring balance and protection against disease. Not only does cedar have anti-inflammatory effects, improves respiratory organs and decontaminates the air, the aroma is comforting and calming.

Is cedar wood harmful? ›

Occupational exposure to cedar and pine woods and pine resin (colophony) can cause asthma and chronic lung disease.

Is cedar wood harmful to humans? ›

The Western Redcedar (Thuja plicata) and Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), also known as aromatic Cedar. Caution- Eastern Red Cedar is actually quite toxic if ingested. Be sure to know the difference between the two trees if you're planning to use for medicinal purposes.

Is cedar toxic to breathe? ›

In general, exposure to excessive amounts is considered to have an irritant effect on eyes, nose and throat in addition to pulmonary function impairment and is considered a human carcinogen. Western red cedar dust has also been shown to cause asthma.

What is the main disadvantages of wood? ›

Another disadvantage of wood is that it easily catches fire. Wood consists of organic compounds which are composed mainly of carbon and hydrogen. They can combine with oxygen and burns. Because of these properties, wood is classified as a combustible material.

What are the main advantages of wood? ›

The Benefits of Using Wood
  • Renewable, Recyclable, Natural. Timber is one of the few natural, renewable building materials. ...
  • Carbon Positive. ...
  • Low Energy Production. ...
  • Health and Wellbeing. ...
  • Fire Performance. ...
  • Natural Insulation.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of engineered woods? ›

What are its Advantages and Disadvantages?
Advantages of Engineered WoodDisadvantages of Engineered Wood
Their surfaces can also be enhanced with decorative laminates and attractive finishes.A major drawback of MDF is they are not water-resistant and hence exhibit a tendency to soak up water and swell.
11 more rows
Jul 28, 2020

What are the disadvantages of mahogany wood? ›

Mahogany wood is known for its hardness and long life.
...
Cons:
  • As it is very hard as compared to others, it is difficult to cut, give different shapes, and also have a tiring installation process. ...
  • As mahogany hardwood floors absorb sunlight, the color of the wood becomes darker over time.

Does cedar absorb water? ›

Another plus of cedar is its ability to absorb moisture in the air. Hot humid areas, especially, create a lot of moisture, and the clothes in your closet have a nasty tendency to absorb it all.

Does cedar wood break easily? ›

Cedar wood does not take impact very well. So dropping a heavy object on cedarwood will likely crack or split the wood. Also, if you hammer a nail into cedarwood and miss, the impact can split your wood.

Is cedar a long lasting wood? ›

Cedar wood projects typically last more than 20 years without splitting, rotting, or warping. White oak and teak are also long lasting woods that are resistant to decay, twisting, cracking, or warping.

Does cedar wood rot easily? ›

Properties. Western Red Cedar is one of the world's most durable woods, as it has a natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage. It has twice the stability of most commonly available softwoods due to its low density and shrinkage factors.

Is cedar a high quality wood? ›

Cedar wood is extremely durable and holds up well to outdoor weather conditions. Because of its characteristics, cedar fencing will generally outlast fences made from softer, less durable wood, such as pine.

Is cedar a good wood for a house? ›

Answer: Cedar is one of the most attractive and durable types of wood for house construction. It naturally resists damage from insects, moisture and temperature extremes. Most houses are made of western red cedar, not the aromatic species used for closets, so there is no cedar smell in the house.

Is Cedar Wood waterproof? ›

Due to its chemical properties, cedar is naturally weather-resistant and repels most bugs. But over the years it can crack slightly and develop a fuzzy surface texture unless it's periodically refinished. Cedar accepts sealers and stains beautifully and should be refinished every two to three years.

Does cedar repel bugs? ›

Use Cedar Mulch

Cedar has long been used as a natural way to repel and inhibit insects like termites, certain ants, moths, mosquitoes, and cockroaches.

Does cedar wood get moldy? ›

That said, its natural oils also make it susceptible to excessive moisture and other environmental threats. Combined with its porous nature, this makes cedar homes especially vulnerable to harmful mold spores.

Is cedar more weather resistant? ›

It is extremely stable, resilient to warping, cracking, and rotting. It doesn't swell or shrink with humidity and is naturally weather resistant. Cedar also has larger cell cavities than similar woods, giving it exceptional insulative qualities. These larger cells also make it naturally sound resistant.

Is cedar a toxic wood? ›

Occupational exposure to cedar and pine woods and pine resin (colophony) can cause asthma and chronic lung disease.

Is cedar hard or soft wood? ›

Examples of softwood trees are cedar, Douglas fir, juniper, pine, redwood, spruce, and yew. Hardwood refers to wood from broad-leaved trees such as oak, ash or beech.

Is cedar good for walls? ›

You won't find a more beautiful wood for finishing a house than natural cedar. It has a rustic appearance that catches and holds the eye. This precious wood can be mounted on the walls: Horizontally.

Is cedar a good insulator? ›

Cedar is a low-density, soft wood, making it lightweight and a good insulator. Cedar siding traps air and prevents it from leaving your home. Most siding materials allow air to escape from the house, but with cedar's natural insulating properties, it can help lower your energy bill throughout the year.

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