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Thuja plicata is an evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae, native to western North America. Its common name is western redcedar, and it is also called Pacific redcedar, giant arborvitae, western arborvitae, just cedar, giant cedar, or shingle wood.


Western Red Cedar is one of nature's truly remarkable materials, not only does it have distinctive beauty, but also natural durability with centuries of proven performance. When it comes to versatility, durability and pure good looks, Cedar is one material that has it all.
Grown in western Canada, Cedar is used as the timber of choice in a wide variety of ways. It's natural to care resistance, dimensional stability and long lasting durability make it ideal for exterior applications such as siding, fascia, soffit, decking or exterior furniture. Its character and pleasant aroma adds to the uses of interior applications such as panelling and sauna, closet linings and panelling on walls and ceilings.
Centuries ago native people of the Pacific Northwest recognized the value of using sustainable materials, Western Red Cedar’s natural durability performance characteristics and versatility made it a preferred choice for building ocean going canoes houses and lodges. Today, discerning architects and builders around the world enhance their projects with this beautiful and sustainable material. Nature still knows best, for despite all efforts in imitation no man-made product can match the beauty performance and longevity of Western Red Cedar.

Western Red Cedar has twice the stability of most common conifers. The stability is a result of its low density and shrinkage factor. The resistance to warping, cupping and twisting makes it especially useful for external use. Given the choice for external cladding Adanack will choose Cedar every time as it has it all.
Building with this renewable timber actually helps with greenhouse gases, Canada forest base is still abundant after 150 years of harvesting for every Cedar tree that is harvested at least 3 trees are replanted, over the last few decades the North American forests have actually grown by 20%. Here at Adanack all our Cedar timber is 100% PEFC certified.
Western Red Cedar is the best thermal insulator among the commonly available softwood species and is far superior to brick concrete or steel.
A specific peculiarity of the wood is its ability to take and hold stain of the finest tint without discoloration.

On Request – Fire treatment coatings available


General Description

The sapwood is narrow and white in colour, and a heartwood is reddish Brown. After drying the wood assumes a uniform reddish-brown tone, but after long exposure to the weather the colour is lost and the wood becomes silver-grey. This weathered appearance is sometimes purposely sought by architects. 


This versatile timber is used in a variety of ways be it external or internal to musical instruments. It is particularly  suitable for cladding, sheeting, exterior use, joinery, gates, fencing and garden furniture.
We have used Cedar in every type of project imaginable and will recommend it with confidence every time.


Thin sizes dry readily with little degrade, but the timber generally tends to hold its moisture at the centre and care is needed with thick stock to avoid internal honeycombing and collapse. The timber holds position well after drying with practically no tendency to warp and check, while movement due to shrinking and swelling and changing atmospheres is small.

Working Properties

Cedar is very easy to work with and it machines up very good as well as been easy to work with by hand. It can however scratch and dent very easily. With gluing or fixing you get a great finish and with it’s fine straight grain it is the easiest wood you will work with.


Western Red Cedar is excellent as an external cladding and is classed as a durable timber all over the world. The heartwood contains extractives that are toxic to decay. The two principal extractives that are responsible for decay resistance are thujaplicans and water soluble phenolics. Cedar is Class 2 standards BSEN 360-2 and has an expected lifespan of 50 to 100 years.


One of the lightest commercial softwoods the density of Western Red Cedar at 12% moisture, it weighs approximately 23.5 pounds per cubic foot with a relative density of 0.32. Cedar’s low density enhances its insulation value making it an ideal choice for external cladding.

Mechanical Properties

It's lightweight and soft timber contributes to low strength properties when compared with European Redwood it is some 20 to 30% inferior in blending strength and about 15 percent less stiff. It is also much less resistant to splitting and indentation on side grain than other woods.

Coating/Non Coating

Western Red Cedar does not require a treatment, over time it will fade out to a silver grey in colour. At Adanack we have an in-house coating system where we will advise you on the best stain or coating for your project from any of our suppliers Sikkens, Teknos or European Wood Coatings. With the stains and coatings we carry it really brings out the natural beauty of this remarkable timber.

Fixings & Fasteners

You need to use stainless steel fixings, nails or screws with this beautiful timber. We will be only too happy to advise what the best type of fixing will suit your projects.

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