Yellow Cedar

  • Yellow cedar. Photo: Jonathan Taggart
    Yellow cedar
    Photo: Jonathan Taggart
    Whistler Day Lodge, B.C. Photo: K. K. Law
    Whistler Day Lodge, B.C.
    Photo: K. K. Law
    Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Merritt, B.C. Photo: Nic Lehoux
    Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Merritt, B.C.
    Photo: Nic Lehoux
    Yellow cedar. Photo: Jonathan Taggart
    Yellow cedar
    Photo: Jonathan Taggart

Yellow-cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) is one of the world’s most durable woods. Yellow-cedar has a distinctive and uniform yellow colour. The narrow band of sapwood is very similar in colour to the heartwood. The wood is fine textured and straight grained. Yellow-cedar's natural extractives make it a decay resistant wood and aromatic when cut. 

Yellow-cedar is well-suited for flooring and bridge decking because of its strength, hardness and wearing properties. It is resistant to corrosion and the elements, which makes it a regular choice for industrial uses like flumes, chemical containers, horse stables, floors or outdoor seating in sports facilities. It is used extensively for boat building, sauna manufacturing, fine cabinetry and interior and exterior millwork. 

The wood is incredibly easy to work and prized for applications in joinery, carpentry, decorative panelling, furniture, mouldings and cabinet work. Yellow-cedar wood's fine, even texture makes it a top choice for carvings and turnings. It is sometimes used in speciality construction projects such as temples and shrines.

Structural grades are commonly used for exterior applications such as bridges, decking, stairs and for landscaping. In North America structural grades are in accordance with the National Lumber Grades Authority(NLGA) rules for dimension lumber. Yellow-cedar is currently marketed under the Northern Species group and is used structurally for its appearance and decay resistance.