Our Cedar

As a third generation sawyer, I have been working closely with wood for most of my lifetime, and that experience has given me the skills to create the highest quality cedar products available. For me, wood is more than just a product, it’s a living entity that needs crafting to reach its full potential.

At every stage of the milling process, our wood is inspected to ensure there are no black knots larger than three-sixteenths to one-quarter of an inch, no blems or discolorations. With an eye towards quality production that remains uncompromised, we are dedicated to maximizing quality control to ensure greater accuracy and a smoother finish.

Cedar Facts

Eastern White Cedar

In my humble opinion, Eastern White Cedar is the perfect wood. Its protective oils make it ideal for outdoor construction, like fences, barns, log structures, decks, docks or shingles. These same protective oils make it resistant to rot and insects alike, which preserves the lifespan of anything built with it.

When choosing wood for outdoor use, and particularly for anything related to waterfront property, such as docks, decks, cottages or fencing, white cedar is the ideal choice. It contains no chemicals or preservatives like you would find in pressure treated lumber that could leach into the water table, and affect water quality. There is no other wood that you can use for a dock and literally leave it soaking in water for years without it rotting.

When it comes to processing cedar, it is a sawyer’s dream wood. Cedar dries easily, and is flexible enough to cut with very little cracking or splitting, which can also make it easier to build with. Its natural grain is also very attractive, and weathers quite nicely. Even better, it is available locally, which means a smaller carbon footprint for its production.

White cedar is also the perfect material for log home building, not only because of the overall attractiveness of the wood, its weather resistance and that it is the lightest of any wood species indigenous to Canada, but more importantly because of its R value. White cedar has the highest R value of any other wood used for log home building, at 1.41 per inch of thickness.

Environmentally friendly, attractive, versatile for construction and long lasting…why would anyone choose anything other than white cedar?

Red vs. White Cedar

For the uninitiated, red and white cedar are often confused, but the truth is they are worlds apart in terms of determining which wood you should choose for your project, whether it’s a home, deck, or fence.

The similarities for these types of wood are extensive: they are both attractive, light, flexible, easy to work with woods that will work well for most projects. Red cedar has a particularly nice aroma, which is an added advantage for that type of wood, depending on its use.

But it is the differences that can often help purchasers determine which wood they are interested in using. Although both these woods are technically cedars, red cedar is most commonly known as western red cedar since it grows in western Canada.

This is part of the reason why white cedar is less expensive than red cedar, because it can be grown, milled, and ready for purchase with only a few miles travel between each process. This reduces trucking costs and makes it by far the more environmentally and carbon footprint conscious of the cedar family.

Although both red and white cedar as cedars, and both contain protective oils, white cedar will outlast red cedar in terms of longevity and rot and insect resistance. This also ties in with its environmental advantages, a project made in white cedar will last longer than in red cedar, meaning fewer trees cut to repair or replace rotting boards.

With a smaller dimension than red cedar, white cedar lumber will have more knots than its red counterpart. A smaller dimension means that finding wider width white cedar lumber will be challenging, and as a result will be more expensive.

Protecting Your Cedar

Don’t be persuaded by anyone that your cedar needs to be treated to preserve it. Both white and red cedar can be left to age to a beautiful, natural grey colour that blends in well with a natural environment. It’s the natural protective oils that preserve the wood for years and years, which makes it one of the few woods that can be used outdoors without treatment of any kind.

That said, sometimes people would like to preserve the colour of the wood, and to extend its lifespan a little longer, by staining, varnishing or painting. Treating your cedar product will preserve the natural character of the wood, and extend its lifespan. If you want to preserve the colour, find a product that offers UV protection, in order to preserve your wood’s colour. Not all products will preserve against discoloration due to aging.

That said, not all stains or paints are best for cedar and you should speak with your paint specialist before making your choice. When choosing stain, purchase it in a sample size first to try it on a piece of your wood so you will be sure of your end product. Find a product that will penetrate the wood, typically a stain versus a paint, which can reduce the time before it needs to be repainted.

To recoat the stain on an outdoor structure, pressure wash your product first and then follow the product directions for best coverage. Be aware that depending on the surface that you have stained, it may need to be recoated earlier if it is a heavy traffic area like a deck. If you are unsure if recoating is necessary, check and see if water will bead up on the surface. If it does you are fine with the existing coverage, but if it soaks into the wood, you will want to recoat to keep the elements out of your wood, reducing its lifespan.

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