If you are doing some home landscaping that involves putting up decks or other structures, you want a wood that is insect and moisture resistant as well as pleasing to the eye. Western Red Cedar, grown along the Pacific Northwest, fits the bill quite nicely. The following is a brief description and history of this giant tree and an explanation of some of the benefits of using this fragrant wood. A couple of unusual uses for Western Red Cedar are also included.
Western Red Cedar - Thuja Plicata
Stretching as much as 230 feet into the sky and with a trunk diameter of up to 13 feet, the Western Red Cedar dwarfs most other tree species. Native Americans along the Pacific Northwest coast relied on the tree for shelter, canoes, clothing, medicine, even burials. Totem poles were, and still are, carved out of entire trees, depicting the history of a specific tribe or family lineage. The Native Americans and First Nations people of Canada still revere this tree, offering a silent prayer when one is harvested.
Benefits of Using Western Red Cedar
Two Out-Of-The-Box Uses for Western Red Cedar
In addition to being an excellent building material for decks and fences, Western Red Cedar makes eye catching pergolas and relaxing saunas.
Pergolas are decorative wooden structures that have semi-open tops. They can be free-standing, usually having four corner posts, or be attached to your home as a patio or deck covering. It's common to hang planters from the slatted roof tops or along the sides of the posts. This makes cedar the perfect wood because you can water your plants without fear of damaging the pergola. The color of the wood, whether you keep the reddish tinge or go rustically gray, provides a pleasing visual contrast to the flowers and greenery.
Western Red Cedar has been used for centuries by Pacific Northwest Native Americans to build saunas, or "sweat lodges." Saunas are just as popular today, often on the amenity list of upscale resorts. Most modern day saunas in the United States are built indoors. Outdoor saunas are catching on, though. Cedar prefabricated sauna kits are favorites of the DIY crowd. Or, you could come up with your own sauna design and visit your local lumber store. One popular sauna look resembles a giant wine barrel. That would be quite the conversation piece for your backyard space.
If you are interested in purchasing cedar lumber for your home landscaping project, then have a peek at this site.
15 January 2015
When was the last time you really looked at your roof? I had no idea how important yearly inspections of my roof was until I found myself footing the bill for a full roof replacement and interior ceiling replacement. Since then, I have learned how to inspect my own roof twice each year. I always inspect it each spring after the harsh winter elements have gone away and again in the fall before winter weather sets in. You can use the information compiled on my website to inspect the roof on your home and make the small repairs that will save you from full roof replacement.