Redcedar, Western (Thuja plicata)

Redcedar, Western is a domestic softwood


Western redcedar (Thuja plicata) grows in the Pacific Northwest and along the Pacific Coast to Alaska. It is also called canoe-cedar, giant arborvitae, shinglewood, and Pacific redcedar. Western redcedar lumber is produced principally in Washington, followed by Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.


The heartwood of western redcedar is reddish or pinkish brown to dull brown, and the sapwood is nearly white. The sapwood is narrow, often not more than 2.5 cm (1 in.) wide. The wood is generally straight grained and has a uniform but rather coarse texture. It has very low shrinkage. This species is lightweight, moderately soft, low in strength when used as a beam or posts, and low in shock resistance. The heartwood is very resistant to decay.

Primary Uses

Western redcedar is used principally for shingles, lumber, poles, posts, and piles. The lumber is used for exterior siding, decking, interior woodwork, greenhouse construction, ship and boat building, boxes and crates, sashes, and doors.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.