Benefits of Western Red Cedar for Wood Fencing
Western Red cedar is a popular tree with many material uses, especially in the Northwest. Wood from the tree Native Americans once called –the tree of life — has had many uses over the centuries, most recently as a highly popular fencing material. So what is it that makes this wood such a coveted choice for cedar fences?
Western Red Cedar Facts
Thuja Plicata, commonly known as Western Red cedar, is an evergreen tree that is native to western North America. It ranges up to 65-70 meters tall and 3-4 meters thick in trunk diameter, and it can live extremely long — the oldest in the region is 1,460 years old.
Native Americans used this unique wood for canoes and other structures they designated as holy. Even the Ancient Egyptians once used cedar oil as part of the process when mummifying their great leaders. This rich history has led to Western Red cedar being the wood of choice for many centuries, with no sign of stopping even today in our world of advanced technology.
Western Red cedar offers insulation for your yard, blocking the cold winter winds. This is because of the cedar fence’s natural ability to insulate with air pockets deep within its cellular structure. Furthermore, a cedar fence is great for holding in your yard’s temperature so as to keep it a bit warmer than usual in the winter.
In addition to being a great wind blocker, cedar is also great for blocking sound. In fact, a cedar fence has 70 percent of the noise reduction qualities of a solid concrete wall. This makes a great fence for those who like to throw loud parties!
Natural Insect Repellent
The natural cedar oil produced by your wood fence is a great deterrent to annoying bugs such as termites, moths and mosquitoes. In effect, your cedar fence acts like a moat, protecting your yard from many different insect nuisances.
Western Red cedar is one of the most durable woods known to man. This is a result of its natural thujaplicins, which help ward off decay-inducing fungi. It is for this reason that fencing material made from this cedar has an exceptionally long life span, if properly cared for.
Resistant to Warping
Similar to the way our body maintains equilibrium with the outside environment, the hydroscopic qualities of Western Red cedar take in water and release it in a regulatory way. This makes the wood water friendly, protecting your fence from the harmful effects of exposure to water, such as warping and rotting.
Stable and Flexible
Western Red cedar also has the qualities of being both flexible and strong at the same time. For instance, it is a fourth the weight of redwood but has more than half the strength of oak. This gives it remarkable stability when holding even the most awkward of positions.
Easy to Stain
Western Red cedar lacks resin, which helps it easily bond with adhesives. This makes it easy to stain, as it will not reject the materials used. What’s more, the grain of the cedar also makes it easy to nail and saw.
With all of its great qualities, Western Red cedar is second to no other wood. Its all-around natural strengths make it the wood of choice in the Northwest.
~Ben Anton, 2010