What is Cedar

What is Cedar

Cedar West

Western Red Cedar is beautiful, versatile timber, commonly used for applications such as windows and doors, shutters, lining and cladding.

Cedar delivers impressive acoustic properties, will remain dimensionally stable under most weather conditions and is not prone to shrinkage or swelling.

Due to its versatility, it can be used for both internal and external applications. Natural preservatives provide resistance to fungus and insect attack, while its low density offers very good thermal insulation qualities.

Visually, Western Red Cedar is renowned for its natural beauty and is favoured for its rich and inviting colours and lovely variations in tone. Cedar is also extensively used for paint-finished joinery due to its unique stability and exceptional ability to accept and retain many different types of finish.

Why Choose Cedar?


Western Red Cedar remains dimensionally stable in most weather conditions and is not prone to shrinking or cracking.


The structure of Western Red Cedar helps to absorb and dissipate sound, giving it excellent acoustic qualities.


The rich, inviting colour tones of Western Red Cedar bring beauty, energy and warmth to any design.


Cedar contains naturally occurring preservatives that provide resistance to termites and insect attacks.


The density of cedar makes it an excellent thermal insulator, helping to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.
Technical Data
Botanical Name:Thuja plicata
Preferred Common Name:Western Red Cedar
Other Names:Giant Arbor-vitae, British Columbia Red Cedar, Red Cedar, Canoe Cedar
Species Type:Softwood
Weather Conditions:Suitable for exposed weather conditions
Origin:British Columbia and western states of the USA
Cedar Durability:Class 2 – from 15 to 40 years above ground weather exposed
Cedar Density:Unseasoned – 430-530 kg/m3 | Seasoned – 350 kg/m3
Cedar Flame Spread Rating:69 (Class II rating)
Cedar Smoke Developed Rating:98
R Value:R1.34 per 25mm of thickness. This equates to an R1 for 18mm thick cladding
K Value (12% mc):0.74 BTU inch/ft2 h0 F

Our range of Western Red Cedar has been responsibly and sustainably sourced from well-managed forests.

Designers and builders can specify our Western Red Cedar products with confidence. All of our cedar is sourced from suppliers with Chain of Custody accreditation from the Forest Stewardship Council® or certification from the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest CertificationTM.

Forest Stewardship Council® The FSC® Chain of Custody records the pathway that the timber takes from the forest to the consumer. Compliance with the standard gives you assurance that the product originates from a sustainable, well-managed forest.

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest CertificationTM is the world’s largest forest certification system. The certification standards enable buyers to identify timber products that are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards.


Western Red Cedar has exceptional dimensional stability. Due to its low wood density and low shrinkage factor, cedar remains stable in most weather conditions, and is not prone to shrinking, warping or swelling. This makes it ideal for use in the Australian climate.

The natural oils and extractives found in Western Red Cedar also make it naturally resistant to fungus attack and make the timber unappealing to termites and other insects.

A durable and versatile timber, Western Red Cedar is suitable for both internal and external applications.


Western Red Cedar is an impressive thermal insulator. With its low density and high proportion of air spaces, cedar is the best thermal insulator among the commonly available softwood species and is far superior to brick, concrete and steel.

Cedar also has fantastic acoustic qualities. The open cell structure of the timber is able to absorb and dissipate sound energy. With the right engineering, floor, ceiling and wall assemblies made from wood can provide effective economical sound insulation and absorption. Western Red Cedar is particularly effective in this regard and can be used to help reduce noise or to confine it to certain areas.


Western Red Cedar is favoured for its rich and inviting earthy tones.

Cedar has a fine texture and straight grain with growth rings often visible. The true beauty of this durable softwood is most evident when used for appearance based applications such as external cladding and windows.

The heartwood ranges from a pale brown or honey colour through to a richer dark brown, with older growth timber somewhat darker in appearance. The sapwood is a paler yellowish white colour.

Western Red Cedar can be finished with a range of different products to create beautiful designer looks. Click here for inspiration: Designer Looks with Cedar.


It’s important to choose a timber that is dimensionally stable as the base product for painted joinery to create a low maintenance product with an excellent surface finish.

Western Red Cedar is the ideal choice for paint-finished joinery as it is one of the most stable timbers available. Cedar exhibits minimal movement in most weather conditions, which helps to protect the painted surface and ensure the joinery continues to look fantastic for many years.

Cedar also has a remarkable ability to accept and retain many different types of finish. The fine texture of the timber provides the perfect base to create an elegant and luxurious painted finish.

Contact us today to find out more about using Western Red Cedar for your next project.

Disclaimer: The information herein is general in nature and should not be relied upon as specific professional advice. For advice about your specific circumstances, we recommend you contact the governance in your local area. Cedar West does not accept any liability or responsibility for actions taken based on this information.

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