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Yellow Cedar

Yellow Cedar is also known as Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Western Cypress and Sitka Cypress for use for exteriors cladding decking and fencing.

Yellow Cedar is used in similar applications as the more common Western Red Cedar thuja plicata. Both Cedars are softwoods have good natural durability and do not need any preservative treatments to enhance their durability against biological decay due to the presence of tannins.

Western Red Cedar Shortages have brought Yellow Cedar to popularity and the many advantages of Yellow Cedar over Western Red Cedar are now known in Europe. This has led to a spike in demand in recent years for Yellow Cedar. Yellow Cedar has not been used very much commercially in Europe but has been very popular in the Asian markets especially Japan.

They are sourced and supplied from the west coast of the US mainly BC Coast of Canada where larger slow grown forests produce the good quality wood.

Some of differences between Yellow Cedar and Western Red Cedar are listed below:
  • Yellow Cedar is a heavier and denser wood than Western Red Cedar which is a softer and more lightweight wood
  • Western Red cedar absorbs stains and wood finishes better in comparison to Yellow Cedar Colour differences, Yellow Cedar is a more uniform consistent creamy light brown yellowish colour in comparison to Western Red Cedar which can have large colour variation from light creamy colours to deep golden reddish brown.
  • Yellow cedar is more durable than Western Red Cedar
  • Smells and odours – Yellow cedar has a strong acidic smell compared to that citric sweet aromatic smell of western red cedar
  • Yellow cedar weathers to a more uniform natural silvery grey colour to that of western red cedar that can be very unform and patchy in the early stages of weathering.
  • Yellow cedar is common for exterior cladding, Garden Buildings, Summer houses, Sheds, exterior decking, fencing slats, roof shingles, posts and heavy construction beams and bridge construction.
  • Western Red Cedar is used mainly for cladding, Garden Buildings, Summer houses, Sheds saunas, shingles, shakes and fencing.
  • Why you can use either of the cedars for the exteriors
  • Both Cedars are naturally durable
  • Few knots plenty of clear grain these are both visually Graded the same way and imported sourced from Canada based on the R List e.g No 2 Clear and Better or 4 Clear and Better Grades from The National Lumber Grades Authority (NLGA)
  • Both Cedars are supplied mainly from sustainable sources and have abundant supply as PEFC Certified and some as FSC Certified.
  • Both cedars will weather to a silvery grey colour

If you are looking for an importer or supplier in the UK Timber Focus is an importer and distributor of Yellow Cedar for Cladding, fencing screen slats and decking.

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