Different Types of Cedar Wood (Explained)

Cedar is a very famous and versatile wood. It is highly used in outdoor furniture. It comes from a tree called Cedars and it has different types.

Each type is different from others and serves a different purpose as well. Cedar trees are found all over the world.

Let me give you something about this tree. It has needle-like leaves which color ranges from green to intense blue. These trees grow around 100-feet long, that is the maximum height. But most cedar tree height remains between 50 to 80-feet.

The cedar tree has some aromatic qualities and that is why they are used in essential oils, creams, lotions, soaps, etc.

The wood has a lot of health benefits. According to research, cedarwood essential oil can greatly help people from getting over fatigue and stress.

Moreover, the wood is used in Aromatic therapy as well. If I keep saying the benefits of this very tree, this article will go very long which might make you feel bored.

So let’s get into the main point which is the types of cedarwood.

Types of Cedar Wood

In this guide, we will be looking at 5 types of cedar that are popular. And I will be mentioning the nature, the purpose of these types so that you can understand well.

Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar wood

This wood comes from a western red cedar tree. Western red cedar wood is the most famous wood among all the cedars for construction.

Almost everyone uses this wood for their outdoor wood items. Furniture, fence, railing, siding, deck, etc. western red cedar wood is used everywhere

The reason behind the popularity of this very wood is it comes with an ability to repel water and it can also prevent decay. Apart from that this western cedar looks pretty cool as well.

It is a low-density wood and is extremely lightweight. And this makes cutting this wood to any shape super easy. However, when cutting this wood you would want to be very careful.

The sawdust this wood produces can be a cause of breathing issues and rashes in the skin. Doesn’t matter whether you are sensitive or not, make sure to wear proper face gear so that no sawdust gets inside your eyes, nose, ear, or mouth.

As I have mentioned before, the western red cedar looks very natural. The tone it gives is a reddish-brown tone which has a slight pinkish hint.

Northern White Cedar Wood

Northern White Cedar Wood

Northern White cedarwood is also known as Arbor Vitae. It is native to the Northeastern quarter of the United States and Southeastern Canada.

This wood is very lightweight, even lighter than the western red cedarwood. Due to this lightweight, it is extremely fragile. You can even cut this wood down to pieces without any sharp cutter or power tool.

Like the western red cedar this one also produces a lot of sawdust which can cause breathing problems and skin rashes, so be very careful when cutting this wood down.

Use a proper face mask so that no dust gets inside the nose, mouth, eyes, or ears.

You can detect northern white cedar pretty easily, just look for the thin line of creamy white sapwood. That would be surrounded by wood’s brown inner section. It includes the knots as well.

Like the western red cedar, this wood also prevents decay and also prevents the insects from damaging the wood. It is also used in outdoor wood items. Plus, people consider this wood for use on the boats as well.

Eastern Red Cedar Wood

Eastern Red Cedar Wood

Eastern Red Cedar Wood is known as JuniperusVirginiana. This wood is widely available on the eastern side of the US. This tree gets 20 to 40 meters wide and can get 100 meters tall.

This wood is highly aromatic because it comes with an extremely strong and woody smell. Not only that, this wood gives essential oil as well which can be used on the drawers or closets in order to prevent the insects from damaging it.

Eastern red cedar isn’t lightweight like Wester or Northern white cedar. Nor it is very heavy. It is pretty balanced wood and also can be shaped nicely with the power tool and hand tool.

It gives a pinkish-red tone with a slight purplish hint. The sapwood of this wood is white and knots are available on this wood.

This wood works best in the open regions. Furniture or other wood items that are made of this very wood must not be kept in confined spaces.

And like the northern and western red cedar, this wood also makes a lot of sawdust to ensure your safety otherwise you might be dealing with breathing problems and rashes.

Alaska Cedar Wood

Alaska Cedar Wood

Alaska Cedar Wood is widely known as Yellow cedar and it highly grows in the Pacific Northwest of British Columbia to Alaska.

It is very dense and hard cedarwood. This wood color is yellow and comes with tight rings which ensure that this wood grows really slow.

This wood is widely used on canoe paddles, decks, railings, etc. This wood is a little lightweight but extremely durable. Not only that, but this wood is also used on musical instrument constructions.

As I said before, it is a yellow-colored wood and comes with a creamy white hue along with deep streaks. However, when lumbering the wood will start to shine.

Spanish Cedar Wood

Spanish Cedar Wood

This one is scientifically called CedrelaOderata. This cedar wood is pretty lightweight, it is almost like mahogany wood. A popular choice among the builders and woodcutters.

They use this wood for constructing furniture, windows, cupboards, cabinets, etc. It is a highly moisture-resistant wood. Not only that, it repels water and has the ability to prevent the insects from damaging the wood as well.

This wood is straight-line wood which makes it very easier for people to cut it down. The tone of this wood is a little pinkish and reddish. However, as it starts to age, it keeps getting dark. It is also a very durable wood.


These are the 5 types of cedar wood which are extremely popular. The information I have provided should be enough for you to understand the nature of each type and the use of them. Hope it helps!

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