|Home : Learning Center|
|About Cedar & Cypress|
Cedar is a lightweight and dimensionally stable wood that lies flat and stays straight, which means it resists the natural tendency to crack and check as you might find in many other wood species. Its distinct cell structure discourages moisture rot by allowing it to dry out faster than outdoor furniture made from tropical hardwoods.
Western Red Cedar is incredibly thermal coefficient, meaning even on hot days, it is cool to sit in.
Its bacterial and fungal resistance coupled with the fact that Cedar is 80% the strength of Oak, makes it the most desirable wood to use for building outdoor furniture.
Western Red Cedar fibers contain oils that act as natural preservatives to help the wood resist rot and decay making it excellent furniture material for moist or humid climates. These properties also make Cedar a very popular material for hot tub and sauna areas.
Among other things these naturally occurring organic compounds called (thujaplicins) give off that distinct cedar aroma that is pleasant to humans but a deterrent to insects, moths and other wood pests. This also makes Eastern Aromatic Red Cedar the choice material for closet liners and blanket storage chests.
CONSIDER THE ADVANTAGES OF USING CEDAR
Unlike Plastic or Resin furniture, Western Red Cedar will not bow or sag over time or blow across your yard. Your Cedar furniture will hold its handsome appearance year after year with very little maintenance. Cedar and our Southern Cypress products are an all around safer, healthier, natural alternative for patio furniture and outdoor dining sets than other wood materials that have been treated with chemical preservatives. Also safe for organic gardening if the wood is left unfinished in its natural form.
OUR CEDAR AND CYPRESS PRODUCTS ARE A NATURAL ALTERNATIVE TO CHEMICALLY TREATED WOOD.
Much of today's outdoor furniture consists of (chemically) pressure treated materials. These materials hold up outdoors because they are soaked in a toxic stew of chemical preservatives that are strong enough to require warning labels for those who handle it. The three primary ingredients in pressure-treated woods are: copper, chromium and arsenic (CCA).
A controversy exists on the extent of arsenic exposure due to physical contact with CCA wood surfaces. Such surfaces include playground equipment, decks and picnic tables built using CCA treated wood. Studies have shown that virtually no inorganic arsenic is absorbed through the skin, but is readily taken up by ingestion. Thus, the potential exposure is hand to mouth, and therefore, children are considered the most vulnerable to this potential risk. (Contact your local Environmental Department for more information.)
The Cedar Tree
From Northern British Columbia, Canada, to California, a rugged spine of mountains stretches for almost 1,500 miles parallel to the Pacific coast of North America. Along the slopes and in the valleys of these mountains, the humus-rich soil nourishes mixed softwood forests in vast abundance.
The majority of Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) grows in coastal forests. Western Red Cedars grow also in the drier interior forests of British Columbia, Washington, Idaho and Montana where they are smaller in stature with a tight knotted growth characteristic. Aromatic Red Cedar is a member of the juniper family. Cedars rarely grow in pure stands but are generally found in association with other species. Western Red Cedar forests are predominantly managed forests, in which controlled harvests, natural regeneration and reforestation programs ensure a perpetual harvest.
A red cedar log is composed of white and red sections of wood. The white section nearest the bark is referred to as "sap wood" and the red, inner section is called "heart wood".
A Wood Of Warmth And Beauty
Whether used in patio furniture, panelings, ceilings, doors, windows, posts or beams, the presence and prestige of cedar enhances the aesthetic structure of any type or design.
The Gift Of Durability
Western Red Cedar "heart wood" contains natural oils that act as preservatives to help the wood resist insect attack and decay. Properly finished and maintained, Western Red Cedar ages gracefully and endures for many years.
Aside from being the choice material for Outdoor Patio and Garden Furniture, Cedar is the preferred material for all outdoor applications that seek visual harmony with the landscape combined with stability and durability. Various uses range from furniture products to siding and patio decking, fences, planters, screens and shelters.
Indoors, cedar's dimensional stability makes it perfectly suited to a variety of uses in high moisture areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and saunas.
Beauty aside, the purely practical, dollars-and-cents value of cedar offers other benefits: the wood's cellular structure creates interior air spaces that give it an insulation value higher than most woods and much higher than brick or concrete. Buildings which feature cedar paneling, ceilings or siding tend to stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Cedar also has excellent sound suppression and absorption qualities.
A Wood For Craftsmen
The same structure that gives cedar its excellent insulating and sound suppressing qualities makes it a lightweight wood, easy to handle and craft for both the professional and do-it-yourselfer. Cedar is a pleasure to work with using either hand or machine tools. The wood can be cut, shaped, planed, sanded, nailed and glued easily. It is free of pitch and resin and it finishes to a richly glowing surface that can be enhanced with semi-transparent or full-bodied stains.
Characteristics of White Cedar Log Products:
|It's normal for all cedar log furniture to endure the natural process of checking
as the wood "seasons". Checking
occurs as a wooden log releases moisture across or through the annual
growth rings. It does not affect the structural performance or integrity
of the wood. All logs which contain the heart of the tree will develop
lengthwise cracks or checks. The check never goes deeper than the heart.
Since moisture is a factor in the checking process, the depth and span of the checks will vary upon placement outdoors. Direct sunshine contributes to the drying of logs, therefore widening their cracks. Moisture and indirect light will shrink cracks.
Although White Cedar possesses much of the same cell properties of western red cedar, (which makes them both the desired woods for outdoor use), it contains much less of the natural acidic tannins that help to preserve western red cedar. Therefore white cedar will not last quite as long as western red cedar wood.
The Cypress tree grows mainly along the southern coastlines and inland areas. The tree produces an oil called cypressine which acts as a natural preservative within the wood. This inherent characteristic of the Southern Cypress makes it durable and extremely resistant to harsh weather conditions, insects and fungus.
Since Cypress wood lacks sap and doesn't bleed, it takes well to sealers, stains and paints. Its color varies in shades of light to dark honey. If left outdoors unfinished in its natural state, the appearance of the wood will become a light pewter color over time.
The lumber is lightweight, scarce of knots, medium textured, and dimensionally stable with a closed straight grain. It is easy to cut, saw, nail, and resists splitting, warping, checking, splintering and cracking. Cypress wood compliments any interior or exterior architectural style from Rustic, Traditional to Modern.
Cypress siding has been commonly used for years on coastal and resort homes. It was also used by colonial builders for their homes, barns, cotton gins, warehouses, boatbuilding and docks. Cypress wood has even been reused from 100 year old structures. Other beneficial uses today include: porches, bridges, shingles, shutters and greenhouse construction.
Copyright © North Cedar.
Contents of this website including custom graphics, site design, textual descriptions and information may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.