Thuja plicata, commonly called western red cedar or Pacific red cedar, giant arborvitae or western arborvitae, giant cedar, or shinglewood, is a species of Thuja, an evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family native to western North America. It is not a true cedar of the genus Cedrus.
Western Red Cedar trees produce their own thujaplicin, a chemical substance that is known to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It’s also said to be an anti-oxidant. Long before it was used in modern construction, Western Red Cedar played a large role in the lives of Native Americans. So much that they called it “the Tree of Life”.
Native to the Pacific Northwest, where Cedar Country Lumber is located, we are proud suppliers of Western Red Cedar building materials for new construction, as well as historical restorations. Over the years, we have had the pleasure of working with the North Cascades National Park staff on many of their projects, including some at Stehekin.
Accessible only by foot, boat, or plane, Stehekin is located on the Northern shores of Lake Chelan in Eastern Washington and offers many outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, camping, and kayaking. For visitors wishing to spend the night with amenities, there are cabins, a house, and rooms for rent, as well as a restaurant and general store.
Special “thanks” to our friends, the Roberts, for capturing these photos on their recent trip to Stehekin!
Knotty Western Red Cedar Siding
Hand Split Western Red Cedar Shakes
Western Red Cedar Board and Batten Siding
Select Tight Knot Western Red Cedar
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One of the most defining elements to any home is the exterior siding. With so many choices of materials to choose from, it can be challenging to make a decision. However, nothing can compare with the real warmth and beauty that natural wood provides. It is readily available, easy to work with, and is one of the most Eco-Friendly building products available; and with proper care and maintenance, it will provide many years of service.
Following are a few of the most popular styles of wood siding that are available in Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar or most any other durable hard or softwood. Some are readily available, especially in Western Red Cedar, while others would need to be milled, which is one of our specialties.
To save you money and precious time on the job site, we can arrange to have your siding package pre-stained with a factory flood coat of most any solid, semi-solid or transparent stain of your choice. If you prefer to add color to your exterior siding with paint, pre-priming can be done on almost any siding package. By having your priming or pre-stain performed at the factory, all four sides of your siding will receive a nice even coat in a temperature-controlled environment, free of dirt and debris.
BEVELED (also commonly referred to as Clapboard) SIDING
Economical and beautiful, bevel siding is the most widely-used Western Red Cedar siding type. It is produced by re-sawing lumber at an angle to produce two pieces thicker on one edge than the other. Depending on customer preference, it is provided with either a smooth or textured face in both clear and knotty grades.
Bevel siding is installed horizontally to provide a shadow line that varies with the thickness of siding selected.
Available in many widths and thicknesses, this is just one of the many choices of Beveled Siding
Available in 16′ lengths, Clear, Finger-Jointed Bevel Western Red Cedar Siding is an attractive and very cost-effective choice when paint will be applied; providing all the performance and beauty of premium cedar siding.
Another interesting type of bevel siding is Skirl or “wavy” siding. Perfect for a rustic look. **currently unavailable 8/16/2021**
BOARD AND BATTEN
Board-and-batten siding is created when wide clear or knotty Western Red Cedar (or other material) boards are installed vertically with narrower boards, called battens, installed vertically over the joints. There are endless combinations of board widths that can be used to create this classic siding pattern suitable for large or small-scale applications; the most frequent being 1×3” battens with 1×10” or 1×12” boards. Additionally, the installation of the boards can be reversed with the wider boards installed over the battens to create a deep channel effect.
Classic Western Red Cedar Board and Bat Siding
A real cost saver when using this siding choice can be achieved by using “green” or unseasoned Western Red Cedar.
TONGUE AND GROOVE SIDING
Tongue and groove siding, commonly referred to as “T&G”, is created by boards that have been manufactured to have one protruding rib (tongue) on one edge and a groove on the other edge, so that the tongue from one board fits into the groove on the next board. By far the most versatile siding option, Western Red Cedar Tongue & Groove siding can be installed horizontally, vertically or diagonally. It is available with rough or smooth faces in various widths and thicknesses, as well as grades and patterns, including ones that when installed create a slight groove between the two pieces.
There are many readily available styles “off the shelf” in Western Red Cedar, and there is also the possibility of creating endless custom patterns in both Western Red and Alaskan Yellow Cedar, as well as other woods including Mahogany and other hardwoods such as Ipe.
Clear, Western Red Cedar Ship Lap and Channel siding are manufactured to order, as well as Ship Lap in Channel patterns in Alaskan Yellow Cedar and other exotic and domestic soft and hardwoods.
LOG CABIN SIDING
A perfect complement to your rustic home at a fraction of the price of building a log cabin, as the whole log is not used. This siding is manufactured with a flat back that makes installation over traditional structures easy and cost-effective with beautiful results. Log sidings are available in different sizes, in both Western Red Cedar and Spruce.
SHIPLAP and CHANNEL PATTERNS
Lap siding, available in many widths and thicknesses, is manufactured to have grooves on both sides that allow the boards to be installed over each other to create a waterproof barrier. Lap siding expands and contracts with changes in temperature without cracking or buckling, which makes it a very desirable siding choice in colder climates.
Channel siding is a popular type of lap siding that has a ½” overlap and a 1” to 1-1/4” reveal, that when installed, creates a channel between the boards. Normally supplied in unseasoned Western Red Cedar knotty grades, this product is commonly used when a rustic appearance is desired.
Because of the overlapping properties (one end of the board has a recessed area along its rear which receives the shaped top-rear end of the board next to it) it provides excellent weather protection while allowing for dimensional movement when installed vertically. However, it may also be installed horizontally or diagonally.
Clear, Western Red Cedar Shiplap and Channel siding are manufactured to order, as well as Shiplap in Channel patterns in Alaskan Yellow Cedar and other exotic and domestic hard and softwoods.
For tips on installing your Western Red Cedar Siding, please visit HERE