Western Red Cedar

Types of Wood

Western Red Cedar


Common Name(s): Western Redcedar, Western Red Cedar

Scientific Name: Thuja plicata

Distribution: Pacific Northwest United States/Canada

Tree Size: 165-200 ft (50-60 m) tall, 7-13 ft (2-4 m) trunk diameter


Why Love Western Red Cedar?

Builders and homeowners around the world continue to appreciate the natural beauty of Western Red Cedar, a wood with roots of use that date back centuries to the Native Americans who first named it the "Tree of Life." Today, Western Red Cedar also provides unmatched durability and versatility - qualities that make it perhaps the most beloved and valued of the building woods.


Natural durability

  • Western Red Cedar is an incredibly durable timber that’s perfect for the outdoors.
  • It’s classified as a durable wood by building codes across north America, which permits the use of its heartwood in exterior applications without preservative treatments.
  • The heartwood contains extractives (called Thujaplicans and Phenolics), that are toxic to decay-causing fungi.
  • The tree’s ability to produce these extractives increases with age, making the outer regions of heartwood the most durable.
  • Western Red Cedar carries a durability rating of 1 in USA and Canada .


Thuja plicata  is a large to very large tree, ranging up to 65 to 70 m (213 to 230 ft) tall and 3 to 4 m (9.8 to 13.1 ft) in trunk diameter, exceptionally even larger. Trees growing in the open may have a crown that reaches the ground, whereas trees densely spaced together will exhibit a crown only at the top, where light can reach the leaves. It is long-lived; some individuals can live well over a thousand years, with the oldest verified being  1460 years.