Canada’s giant, magnificent cedars can grow an impressive 60 metres tall provided they have rich soil to sink their roots. We find these ‘thuja plicata’ trees throughout the Pacific Northwest. They thrive at altitudes of 2,300 meters around Crater Lake in Oregon. No wonder these forest giants are a Canadian icon representing toughness and longevity!
The Red-Brown Timber Ideal for Exterior Use
The ‘soft’, red timber that sawmills cut from cedar logs has few knots in the straight, tight grain. Calgary homeowners value the wood for its distinct appearance, aroma, and its high natural resistance to decay. Hence they use it for decking, posts, windows, joists, shingles, and siding because it comes from trees that are incredibly robust.
Wood from mature red cedars contains a natural chemical substance that acts as a fungicide, and prevents timber rotting. This effect can last as long as a hundred years.
No wonder the indigenous Americans of Coastal Oregon adopted the title ‘The People of the Red Cedar’. For they used the glowing red, brown wood for their houses, totem poles, ceremonial masks, and even their canoes.
Red Cedar Wood in the Construction Industry
Pioneer settlers were quick to catch on to the benefits of using the wood when building their log cabins and houses. It proved a worthy substitute for the European oaks their forefathers used for half-timbered houses and mighty sailing ships. They also loved the inviting rich colours, and the way the wood processes and cuts smoothly.
Their descendants in Calgary still value it for the way is stays stable despite harsh weather, and is equally well-suited for interior and external applications. They find it’s distinct appearance, aroma, and high natural resistance to rot attractive It also nails and screws well so all-round it is superb for shingles and sidings.
Comparing White Pine With Red Cedar Wood
The best construction woods come from trees that grow slowly and produce quality timber. White pine is often used as an alternative to red cedar for furniture, trim, and structural purposes. Both are robust, ‘soft’ woods that are easier to work with than hardwood ones. However red cedar does earn a Junka hardness rating that’s double that of pine and this often tips the scale in its favour.
Valiant Exteriors therefore recommends genuine Canadian red cedar for our shingle and siding projects. Pine is cheaper of course and therefore some of our competition too. You get what you pay for in our industry. With us, you pay affordable prices for quality that should simply last longer.