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Cedar, Yellow (Alaskan)

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.

Thicknesses

Subject to availability

4/4
5/4
6/4
7/4
8/4
9/4
10/4
12/4
16/4
20/4
1/2"
3/4"
1"

Distribution

Northwest coast of North America

Scientific Name

Cupressus nootkatensis

Specific Gravity: Basic

0.42

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

0.5

Janka Hardness

580

Colour/Appearance

Heartwood is a light yellow. Sapwood is a similar whitish/pale yellow and isn't distinct from the heartwood. Colour tends to darken with age upon exposure to light, (though when left exposed outdoors it weathers to a uniform gray).

Grain/Texture

Grain is usually straight, though sometimes wavy, with a uniform medium to fine texture.

Endgrain

Resin canals absent; earlywood to latewood transition gradual, colour contrast medium; tracheid diameter small to medium.

Rot Resistance

Reported to be durable to very durable regarding decay resistance, and also resistant to most insect attacks.

Workability

Easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though pieces with wavy grain may produce tearout during planing. Holds paint well. Stains, glues, and finishes well.

Odor

Alaskan Yellow Cedar has a distinct scent that is similar to raw potatoes.

Allergies/Toxicity

Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Alaskan Yellow Cedar has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability

Supply of this wood is limited. Expect prices to be high for a domestic species, particularly for clear pieces free of knots.

Sustainability

This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.
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