Western Red Cedar Lumber

Western Red Cedar siding

Western Red Cedar siding

Western Red Cedar, which is not technically a true Cedar, is a tree from the Cypress family. It is sometimes spelled “Western Redcedar,” and, although both are truly misnomers, Western Red Cedar does exhibit many of Cedar’s same qualities. For example, Western Red Cedar is a softwood, but it is often used in outdoor applications because its natural characteristics make it very well-suited for exterior projects. Even the untreated lumber is quite rot resistant as a result of high levels of extractives, which act as a natural fungicide.

Western Red Cedar is also very stable once dried, but because the drying process for this lumber can sometimes be difficult to perfect, it is important for consumers to select the right wholesaler. The lumber specialists at J. Gibson McIlvain, a centuries-old wholesaler of high quality lumber, are experts at dealing with this lumber, so they’re a great source of information.

Western Red Cedar grows in a very large region along the west coast of the United States and Canada, but, while this wood does grow plentifully, concerns have been rising about the continuing availability of this wood. This concern is largely the result of Western Red Cedar’s rapidly increasing popularity, but with greater environmental awareness and more responsible forestry practices, the supply has already begun to balance. In fact, the rate of replanting for this species is five to one, meaning that future generations will see more Western Red Cedar than any who came before them.


Western Red Cedar siding

Western Red Cedar siding

Western Red Cedar lumber, in addition to being durable, is also considered very beautiful. The wood has a long, straight grain pattern and also exhibits warm undertones – an appearance that lends itself well to any design.

In exterior applications, Western Red Cedar is a wonderful choice. The wood has a low density, making it very lightweight, and as such, it was traditionally popular for use in shingle making. It is also used to construct exterior wood siding, trim, outdoor furniture, decking projects, and even interior millwork. What’s more, its exceptional weather resistance allows Western Red Cedar to come in direct contact with the ground, and as such, it is often used to construct fence posts, sheds, trellises, pergolas, and other outdoor structures.


  1. Scott Wheeler says

    I was looking to build a pergola and have read that Western Red Cedar is my best choice, but I have had a hard time finding it in the size I want. Do you ship and are 6X6 and 6X4 posts available. Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks, Scott

  2. Scott,

    We do ship nationwide and we do carry 4×6 and 6×6 Western Red Cedar. I would get you air dried material that is great for exterior structures like a Pergola. I have passed your info on to my sales manager but if you like you can also submit a Request for Quote and let us know exactly what sizes and how much you will need in addition to the delivery address so we can get you an accurate overall quote.

  3. jake murphy says

    just looking for a rough price on 6×6 western red cedar

  4. Jake, I have passed your inquiry on to one of our sales staff but as far as rough pricing you can expect $9-11 per linear foot on 6×6. This pricing will vary depending on what grade you are looking for as well as how dry the material is and of course how much you buy.

Share Your Thoughts