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Why use cedar siding over other siding materials

Why use Cedar Siding over other Materials?

Determining the best type of siding to install can be a tricky decision for homeowners and builders. People must take into consideration siding material and installation costs, in addition to what will work with existing designs.

Cedar softwood is generally the perfect choice for people who value a natural vibe and durability. However, there are several other reasons why you should choose cedar siding over other materials.

And fortunately, Longhouse is here to clarify why homeowners and builders make that selection.


Primarily, when it comes to siding, it’s a good idea to compare the unique features of cedar with other siding materials.

For instance, staining can be problematic with Birch siding since it can become blotchy and may require painting. Therefore, Western Red Cedar would be the ideal choice since it can be pre-stained any colour or left in its natural state. Additionally, it may be purchased in a wide selection of grades, textures, and dimensions.

Hardie-plank, although popular for siding projects, is a man-made product; it does not grow naturally in the forest like cedar.

Vinyl siding may be the more affordable option, but cedar siding is often thought to be more aesthetically pleasing. Over time, cedar typically increases the value of the home more so than vinyl.


Untreated cedar is sustainably sourced in BC and requires minor processing or treatment, unlike other man-made siding options. Left in its natural state, cedar is totally biodegradable and reclaimable. When considering the environment and future generations, cedar is an ethical choice.


Since cedar has an open cell structure, it naturally retains outstanding insulation properties. The density of this structure means less heat flow through the wood. Thereby, cedar prevents heat from escaping over winter and cold from escaping over summer. That means lower energy costs for homeowners.

The heat flow reduction further provides an acoustic barrier from noise. Cedar further protects the structure of the home from the harmful effects of excess moisture and dry air.


Cedar remains durable, whether painted, treated, or untreated. Indeed, with proper care and maintenance, cedar siding can last for decades. Applying a finish increases the lifespan of cedar.

Since it resists rot, bacteria, and mildew, cedar is prone to fewer problems than other types of wood siding. It also resists splitting, shrinking, and warping.


Cedar buildings blend into the environment for a seamless appearance. This softwood siding traditionally represents warmth and since it’s been around for a long time, is indicative of more high-end buildings. Cedar siding has a grain pattern that makes it more resilient and looks naturally beautiful.

Moreover, cedar circulates a fragrant wood scent, making it a pleasing addition to the interior and exterior of any building.


Undeniably, there are countless choices for cedar siding finishes. It may be left untreated in its natural state, painted, or covered with a clear coat. As well, cedar siding can be selected in diverse patterns, such as board and batten, tongue-and-groove, and wavy or non-wavy bevel.

Overall, cedar delivers limitless appealing qualities to consider when choosing the best siding. Genuine cedar is a natural choice for homeowners who take pride in maintaining their home, and value style and longevity.

In addition to its many other benefits, it’s good to know that cedar may also be a reusable resource down the road, and not end up in a landfill. Contact our specialty wood products professionals for more information about why cedar siding is spectacular. Call us today at 1-250-248-5887 or email us at longhousetrading@telus.net.
5 ways to add touches of cedar to your home

5 Ways to Add Touches of Cedar wood to your Home

Most builders agree that cedar wood is organically handsome with the inherently lovely scent of nature. This sustainably sourced softwood is also popular with homeowners who want to modernize their homes. Still, if designing a cedar overhang for your front entryway doesn’t go with your current aesthetics, there are other ways to incorporate cedar into your home. Longhouse cedar is locally sourced and renewable. We have five innovative ways to add touches of cedar wood to your home.  
  1. Cedar Fence
  • A new cedar wood fence provides privacy, structure to your property, shade, and a natural sound barrier.
  • Cedar fencing can be left in its natural state or stained any colour to match your home and outbuildings.
  1. Cedar Planters or Shelving
  • Cedar planters overflowing with flowers and greenery blend in perfectly to any home exterior design.
  • Cedar shelving strategically built in below windows around the home offer an excellent place to display your favourite flowers or herb garden.
  1. Cedar Furniture
  • Cedar benches offer well-appointed sitting areas throughout your landscaping.
  • Cedar furniture on your deck gives friends and family a stylish place to take in views. Further, Adirondack chairs and side tables can accentuate other wood touches around the home.
  1. Cedar Deck
  • Cedar blends in exquisitely with natural surroundings. A cedar deck offers a pleasing atmosphere to relax and entertain in your outdoor living space.
  • Cedar decking boards come in a variety of grades that provide a distinct look to each individual deck. Cedar boards can also be ordered pre-finished.
  • A cedar deck will increase the value of your property while providing durable deck enjoyment for decades with regular maintenance.
  1. Cedar Screen
  • Well-appointed cedar screens offer privacy and a backdrop for landscape lighting.
  • A cedar screen can also provide visual interest, texture, and shade to your home.
  Homeowners needn’t commit to a home constructed entirely of cedar wood. Highlighting your home with cedar is a great way to infuse your living space with the warmth and beauty of natural wood. Fortunately, there are several superb ways to add a touch of cedar to your home. Increase curb appeal and modernize the appearance of your home. Contact Longhouse Specialty Forest Products today, 1-250-248-5887. We’re here to help you connect your home to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest with fresh touches of cedar wood.

How to Extend Deck Season

Canadians revere deck season since it tends to be short and sweet. Spring typically arrives late and Winter too early. Exactly how can you get the most out of your outdoor living space and extend deck season?

Well, it’s easier than you think. Choose one or more of these hot trends in outdoor living. Devise a budget, research your elements, and get the entire family involved in the construction process.

Before you know it, you’ll be unwinding in the cool atmosphere of your deck in style and warmth, no matter what the season.


The element of fire adds both warmth and cozy vibes to a chillier deck season. If you don’t already have a fire pit, now is the perfect time to build or buy one. Indeed, there is one to suit every budget.

A fire adds a deck focal point and visual interest for families and friends to relax on cool evenings. Cuddle a warm beverage wrapped in a woolly blanket and gaze at the stars.
Fire Elements: Fire Pit, Wood Stack, Lanterns, Candles, Outdoor Propane Patio Heaters, Overstuffed Comfy Furniture.

Fire Accessories: Campfire Roasting Forks, Cozy Pillows, Warm Blankets, Woolen Area Rugs (safely away from the fire), Deck of Cards, and Board Games.


Building an outdoor kitchen brings the entire family outside for a deck dining experience. Get your grill on this winter and dine under the stars on your deck.

Kitchen Elements: BBQ, Moveable Storage Table, Beverage Station, Fridge, Countertop, Paper Towel Holder, Kettle for Hot Beverages.

Kitchen Accessories: BBQ Tools, Grills, Make-Your-Own Hot Beverage Station (for hot chocolate or mulled cider), Winter Themed Mugs, and Patio Lights.

Hot tubs are possibly the most popular way Canadians keep warm outside at home. A hot tub installed on your deck ensures family and guests can keep warm and relaxed all winter long.

Hot Tub Elements: Hot Tub Sized for your Family, Hot Tub Cover, Winter Cover or Gazebo, Stereo System with Wireless Speakers, Hot Tub Lighting.

Hot Tub Accessories: Floating Tray for Hot Drinks, Spa Caddy, Thick Jacuzzi Robes, Polycarbonate Wine Glasses & Mugs.
*Remember to never leave candles unattended.

The prospect of winter doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck inside your home. Gather friends and family for some memorable evenings on your outfitted winter deck. Make new memories and stay connected.

Maintenance needn’t be too time-consuming either. With a little cleaning and winterizing, your deck will be ready to enjoy at the end of every workday.

Plant or add pots of a few wintery trees while you’re at it. We could all use more trees! Besides scenting the cool air, a forest of Frasier Firs adds a naturally beautiful aesthetic, creating instant calm on your wintery deck.

Get inspired and make deck season last longer for many years to come. And be sure to check out Longhouse Specialty Forest Products for Yellow or Western Red Cedar decking. We’re here to make your deck dreams last longer. Call us today at 1-250-248-5887.
Prevent mold growth on your deck

How to Prevent Mold Growth on your Deck

Storm season is upon us once again here on the West Coast. From spectacular waves breaking along the shores to wicked rain and windstorms, the fall season is an exciting spectacle to witness. On the other hand, excess moisture falling from the sky brings mold issues that must be dealt with.

Surely, relaxing and enjoying outdoor living on the deck is a great Canadian pastime. However, the relaxation aspect is accompanied by the maintenance aspect. Taking good care of your gorgeous cedar deck will make last upward of 15 years and avoid early, pricey replacement.
Fortunately, the experts at Longhouse know how to help prevent mold growth on your deck.
Keep Your Deck Clean and Clear of Debris
A regular cleaning goes miles toward preventing mold growth on your deck.
To begin with, sweep the deck frequently with a soft-bristled broom. Doing so not only sweeps away dirt and damp leaves but also swoops away microscopic mold spores. Every few weeks should suffice. Just make sure to avoid using a stiff broom that can damage cedar material.
A second step is to clean your deck annually with an eco-friendly oxygen bleach solution. Simply add water to the bleach per the manufacturer’s directions. Sweep first, then apply to decking with a soft scrub brush. Let sit, then spray with a garden hose.
Seal the Deck

A new deck will last longer with a sealant. This should only be done under dry weather conditions. Cedar decking should be sanded prior to staining to help the stain adhere.

Longhouse Specialty Forest Products offers pre-finished custom cut cedar decking. Decks should be resealed every few years for durability and optimum protection from mold growth.

Decrease Moisture Underneath the Deck
If a deck is low to the ground, there might not be enough space for moisture to evaporate. Luckily, there are several methods to increase ventilation.
Firstly, you can drill holes around the perimeter. Otherwise, you can replace the deck skirt with lattice work.
Another option is to install a drainage trench and pipe to direct water away from the deck. Once a trench is dug, a drainage pipe can be placed and covered over. Doing so effectively protects your deck after rainfall.
Deter Mold Growth
There are several methods of inhibiting mold growth on your cedar deck.

One method involves keeping the deck dry. This is easy if you’re building a new, covered deck. However, there are many other ways to keep a deck dry. Mop or sweep away standing water after rainfall and snow build-up after snowfall. Install eavestroughs and downspouts that direct water away from your deck—repair leaks immediately.

Be aware of items placed on the deck that can encourage water to collect. Keep potted plants in saucers to catch excess rainwater. Further, let sunlight shine on the deck after heavy rains. Pull back moveable deck coverings to let the sun dry it out.

Don’t clutter your deck with too much furniture as it prevents it from drying out. Instead, place items in storage over the winter months.

Finally, select plastic outdoor area rugs over bamboo. Bamboo tends to take in moisture, thereby fostering mold growth.

Of course, the ideal way to prevent mold from growing on your deck is to keep it clean and dry. Good luck with that on the rainy West Coast! Nevertheless, even a covered deck can have recurring mold growth. Following the steps above helps get rid of moisture build-up on cedar material, even in wet areas.

Protect your cedar deck investment and extend its life and your enjoyment of your beautiful outdoor living space.

Has your deck has met the end of its life? No problem! Give us a call at 250-248-5887, and we will help you to update your outdoor living space to have it looking just the way you like.
Cedar and Douglas Fir differences

The Difference Between Cedar and Douglas Fir

Selecting the right type of wood to build with can be a challenge. Yet, with the right information and expertise from Longhouse professionals, you’ll be sure to make the best decision for your next construction project.   Understandably, there are both benefits and drawbacks to using either Cedar or Douglas Fir. Though they are both softwoods, they are not identical. Weighing the pros and cons of each species of wood helps in the decision-making process. Hence, let’s compare the difference between Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir.   WESTERN RED CEDAR (Thuja Plicata)  
  • Source: Western Red Cedar is available FSC certified from the coastal rain forests of Vancouver Island.
  • Strength and Stiffness: 54 and 8200 respectively.
  • Ability to hold screws and nails: Moderate.
  • Appearance: Straight grain with few knots, Western Red Cedar siding boasts a soft red-brown colour.
  • Design: Cedar affords a timeless, natural beauty to modern home builds. Clear grade cedar siding may be used to clad an entire building or as installed as tasteful accents. Western Red Cedar is also available in a knotty version that provides a rustic aesthetic. Cedar wood also grants exterior durability due to its inherent resistance to rot and insect infestations.
  • Lightweight Cedar shingles are highly insulating and provide additional heat retention to homes. Longhouse offers Western Red Cedar shingles in two grades: No 1. (Blue label) and No. 2 (Red label).
  • Stain: May be ordered pre-stained in any colour you select. Alternately, may be left untreated to weather naturally.
  • Typical Applications: Siding, decking, accents, outdoor furniture, shingle roofing.
  DOUGLAS FIR (Pseudotsuga Menziesii)  
  • Source: Sustainably sourced from old-growth forests on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
  • Strength and Stiffness: 85 and 13,440 respectively. Maintains a high weight-to-strength ratio.
  • Ability to hold screws and nails: Very good.
  • Appearance: Unique straight grain, generally orange or monochromatic blonde in colour, Douglas Fir wood is naturally lustrous.
  • Design: One of the finest timbers for heavy construction, Douglas Fir is often the choice for large commercial buildings and log homes. It is also used to manufacture beautifully designed doors, sashes, and windows. The softwood is also an excellent choice for stunning flooring, cabinets, and general millwork.
  • Stain: Numerous finishes available, Douglas Fir may be fire treated with non-toxic retardant.
  • Typical Applications: Heavy-duty construction functions, such as timbers and beams. Often found in large West Coast heritage buildings. Excellent for both industrial and residential builds due to its load-bearing capabilities. Also ideal for wide plank flooring in high traffic areas.
  Truly, each wood species offers distinct characteristics for construction. Knowing the innate qualities of both wood materials makes it easier to determine the suitability for a variety of applications. A good tip is when it comes to structural weight-bearing capabilities, Douglas Fir comes out ahead for sizeable builds. Fortunately, Longhouse has the quality softwood lumber you need, whether Western Red Cedar or Douglas Fir. These two popular woods are both superb options for modern builds. Give us a call at 250-248-5887 to get your next project started today. 
Soffits Fascias

Everything you Need to Know About Soffits and Fascias

Rooftops are a vital part of any structure and good maintenance is integral to prolonging the life of a home. Moreover, homeowners should be familiar with each roof element and the role each area plays in keeping a home safe and structurally sound. Although the terms soffit and fascia are often discussed together, each one retains a separate purpose. Mainly, soffits and fascias increase air ventilation and protect other areas of the home. Fortunately, everything else you need to know about soffits and fascias may be found here.


  • The exterior soffit is the bottom section of the roof overhang. This includes an arch or projecting cornice.
  • Soffits are typically made from aluminum, fibre cement, recycled material, steel, vinyl, or wood.
  • The key function of this area of the roof is to decrease cooling and heating costs. Vented soffits allow for the ideal airflow required to preserve a healthy, breathable home.
  • Another function of soffits is to protect the interior of a building or house.
  • Soffits also guard the exterior of the home from bats, birds, and other small creatures. If they can’t get inside the home, they can’t cause any damage.
  • Without a soffit, a roofing system is unfinished and vulnerable to moisture.
  • Soffits installed inadequately may result in an overheated attic and lead to expensive cooling bills in the summer. During the winter months, rain and snow could accumulate and lead to mold development in the rafters.
  • Aesthetically, soffits cover the ventilation system in the attic and look better.
  • Soffits are designed to be installed from the external wall to fascia boards.
  • When the roof is level with the edge of the outside walls, the fascia itself might contain soffits for venting.
  • Essentially, soffits increase the lifespan of roofing material by guarding the rest of the home from harsh weather.
  • Regular maintenance of soffits is key to making them last longer. Soffits should be inspected often for mold, mildew, holes, warping, peeling, and pests, such as wasp nests. Repairs should be made as soon as possible by the homeowner or a professional.
  • Cleaning is straightforward with a solution of bleach and water applied with a soft brush or broom.


  • The horizontal sections of material that cover the space between the soffit and roof are fascia board. This board runs along the ends of a structure and typically attaches to the gutter system or other exterior elements.
  • Fascias are typically made from wood but may also be made from aluminum, plastic, recycled composite, or vinyl.
  • The main function of fascia is a point of attachment to gutters and drainpipe. Fascias also provide a barrier between the roof edge and the outside of the building.
  • Typically, fascia is installed beneath the roofline and behind the gutters.
  • Aesthetically, fascia creates a smooth appearance to the edge and shelters the roof from severe weather.
  • Although fascia board is not as susceptible to water damage as a soffit, they can unfasten if exposed to water. Moisture rots fascia and requires replacement.
  • Since soffits and fascias work together, maintenance is the same for both.
In any case, soffits and fascias are individual components of the roof with distinct functions. Installing soffits and fascias together helps prevent mold and mildew from occurring and damaging the structure. Knowing the difference between the two and providing regular maintenance saves homeowners from premature, expensive roof replacement. For more information or to have your soffits and fascias looked after give us a call at 250-248-5887 or send us an email at longhousetrading@telus.net.

Short- and Long-Term Benefits of a Cedar Deck

Summer is here and outdoor living is slightly different this year. With our governments urging us to physical distance and the COVID-19 pandemic, many have changed the way we live at home. To be sure, the time has never been better to assemble a home oasis and install a strong deck foundation. However, there are many different deck materials and designs to choose from. Cedar decks remain a popular choice because no manufactured product can compare to the longevity and natural beauty of cedar. But there are numerous other benefits to a cedar deck. To help homeowners decide for themselves, here is a breakdown of the short- and long-term benefits of a stunning cedar deck.


Affordability: During these turbulent times, budget may be top of mind for many homeowners. Fortunately, cedar decking is an affordable wood. Although it isn’t the least expensive deck material, its multiple benefits make it a wise investment now and in the future. Instant Beauty: Man-made deck materials cannot compete with the natural splendor of cedar. If you and your family are going to be spending a great deal of time outside around the home, you’ll want it to be a beautiful space. Cedar maintains robust, consistent tones that can be sanded and stained any colour to match your design. Families can enjoy your beautiful outdoor living space immediately with gorgeous cedar wood underfoot.  Versatility: Western Red Cedar, sourced on BC’s West Coast, is pitch- and resin-free, making it ideal for accepting and holding diverse stains, colours, and finishes. Cedar also offers a stunning array of dimensions, textures, and grades. With a little hard work, you’ll soon be enjoying the natural attractiveness of cedar in your outdoor space.


Durability: Cedar tends to last much longer than other decking materials. A durable wood that naturally resists rot, decay, and insect infestations, cedar also resists moisture absorption. This also means it doesn’t warp or split easily.  Longevity: Cedar has been used in decking and housing for a long time because it lasts. Proper maintenance (sanding and re-staining) only makes it last longer. Therefore, cedar makes an model deck material that can last 15-20 years with proper upkeep. Eco-Friendly: Most wood is environmentally superior to synthetically manufactured deck materials. Not only is West Coast cedar renewable and biodegradable, but it’s produced from sustainably managed forests.  Resiliency: Wet coastal weather is well-tolerated by cedar decking. Luckily, Longhouse provides custom cut cedar decking in Yellow or Western Red Cedar that withstands the elements.  Sweet Scents: The earthy, sweet scent of cedar wood oil helps to keep insects away. Therefore, cedar decking is perfect for incorporating a hot tub or sauna. Long-term Value: A home with a well-designed cedar deck holds its long-term value for a home sale down the road. The experts at Longhouse Specialty Forest Products recognize and understand the characteristics of building with cedar. We’re happy to help you select the best type of cedar decking for your local summer escape.

Customization is Key

Innovative home builders and designers are motivated to create a distinctive design that optimizes energy efficiency and style. Planning a new home is exciting and there are countless details to contemplate. However, the advantage is that you have the opportunity to choose the elements to incorporate into the overall design of your home. Customization is key in making your home uniquely yours. Further, high-performance homes focus on homeowner comfort, natural beauty, and sustainability. Cedar wood is ideal for modern builds since it checks all these boxes. Traditional cedar design evolved over time from First Nations communities. The readily available cedar wood was used to build canoes, paddles, totem poles, homes, and a variety of other items such as baskets and clothing. Striking cedar boxes with elaborate carving can also be found in upscale art galleries and gift shops today.  New cedar design trends abound in cedar wood furniture, fencing, musical instruments, siding, accent walls, ceilings, and roofing. Fortunately, there are several ways to make a project exceptional with cedar wood, both indoors and out.


Ceiling: All eyes will go upward when you have a gorgeous cedar ceiling inside the home. Radiating natural warmth and with well-appointed lighting, a cedar ceiling shines. Kitchen Cabinetry: Cedar kitchen cabinets offer a distinct rustic charm in modern kitchens. They accept any colour of stain and paint easily, thereby making it a versatile wood. In addition, custom cedar cabinets look stunning in a log home. Red cedar kitchen cupboards add warmth. Staircases and Railings: Custom cedar stairs and railings are a stunning focal point in a well-designed home. Railings can also be artfully mixed with glass and metal materials for a modern aesthetic.


Cedar Fence Panels: Although somewhat expensive, pre-built Cedar fencing panels look beautiful. In addition, they come in several styles to suit individual preference. Arched, flat or lattice topped, cedar fencing readily accepts any colour of stain you want for a truly customized fence for your property. Decks and Lighting: Even though an environmentally friendly cedar deck is expensive and requires regular maintenance, it blends in superbly with nature. Be mindful natural cedar can be scraped or dented more easily than other types of deck material. Aromatic and long-lasting, cedar decks also resist insect infestations. Constructed with landscape lighting, cedar decking creates admirable evening ambience.  Outbuildings: A charming cedar garage or garden shed looks like it belongs when thoughtfully incorporated into your landscape design. Insect and rot resistant, natural oils in cedar wood help prevent UV rays and moisture from penetrating.  Custom Shingles: The perfect choice for its natural durability and strength, cedar shingles and shakes further make for visually appealing roofs. Custom cedar shingles are exquisite for beachfront homes and rustic cottages. They also offer a certain sophistication to upscale residences. Elegant and timeless, cedar roofing has lasting character and charm.  The additional benefits of a cedar roof include longevity, strength to withstand stormy conditions, and energy efficiency as cedar has inherent insulation qualities.


Wood Timbers and Beams: Western Red Cedar timbers come available in clear or knotty grades for both interior and exterior use. Not only for structural use, cedar timbers and beams can be used to make gorgeous overhangs for entryways, gazebos, and striking window frames. A thoughtfully customized home extends the indoor living space into the outdoors. Now you, your loved ones have multiple amazing areas to relax, entertain, and unwind. No doubt about it, renewable cedar wood structures just feel healthier. Source your local cedar from Longhouse for your next customized cedar build.
How to Achieve a Modern House Design

Elegant Accents

Cedar trees are inherently beautiful and grow abundantly on BC’s West Coast. While undeniably a versatile softwood for modern building and renovations, there are countless ways cedar wood is being incorporated in design features. Both designers and homeowners are beginning to feature elegant cedar accents in new and old builds. But first, Yellow and Western Red Cedar from Longhouse has a number of familiar uses. 

Common Cedar Features

  • Traditional wood gables over entryways
  • Attractive cedar fencing panels
  • Custom multi-level decking around the home
  • Aromatic chests and closets
  • Interior paneling
  • Park boardwalks
  • Planters
  • Wood beams
But cedar is further highlighted in awe-inspiring contemporary design as well.

Modern Cedar Accents & Features

  • Silvery grey West Coast style beach houses (unstained cedar left to age naturally)
  • Drop channel diagonal or vertical cedar wood siding
  • Other cedar siding designs, such as board & batten or tongue & groove
  • Warm wood siding paired with cool stainless-steel windows 
  • Mixed glass and cedar wood walls
  • Mixed vertical and horizontal installed wood siding
  • Classic, rustic knotty Western Red Cedar siding 
  • Cedar mixed with stone and steel materials for contemporary projects
  • Cedar deck furniture
  • Exterior and interior cedar beams
  • Rough sawn cedar fascia
  • Raised cedar box garden beds
  • Fire treated cedar on retirement homes and wood school buildings
  • Dark stained cedar (ie. Charcoal Grey) siding and decking
  • Sophisticated wood farmhouse renovations
  • Cedar clad roof with skylights
  • Stylish wood window shutters
  • Pre-stained cedar window frames
  • Graphic cedar accent wall inside the home
  • Pre-stained cedar front door
  • Pre-stained cedar garage door
  • Cedar shakes for roofs and siding
  • Privacy cedar panels installed around home exterior and landscaping
  • Outdoor or indoor cedar sauna
People have always been attracted to the rustic allure and versatile characteristics of Western Red Cedar. Innovative Northwest Coast Indigenous cultures used cedar to make baskets, canoes, totems, and medicines. They made cedar popular because it’s not prone to cracking, and therefore pliable, and also repels insects. Certainly, homeowners needn’t commit to designing a building entirely with cedar. There are countless design accents that can highlight cedar beautifully in any home scheme. Cedar adds a natural warmth and outdoor charm to any build, making it a popular building selection for designers and homeowners alike. Moreover, cedar wood presents a natural warmth that cannot be imitated by other materials. Our dedicated professionals at Longhouse Specialty Forest Products can help you plan for your next project. We also ship our custom cut Yellow and Western Red Cedar products worldwide.

From Coast to Coast

From Coast to Coast   Cedar trees grow lush and large on Vancouver Island, where visitors come from all over the world to enjoy their natural beauty. Undoubtedly, the smell of an old growth cedar forest is a sensual experience for the eyes and nose. From coast to coast, Canada has two recognized types of cedar trees and they each have unique characteristics. Also called ‘Tree of Life’ (arbor vitae), the cedar received this name as it was believed that the tea made from the leaves and bark of the Eastern White Cedar cured scurvy that affected Jacques Cartier’s crew during the winter of 1535-36. Originally, cedar was used to make totem poles, canoes, medicines, perfumes, clothing, tools, baskets, nets, and lodges by West Coast aboriginal people. No doubt about it, cedar wood is a versatile material! Two species of cedar (genus Thuja) are typically recognized in Canada: The Eastern White Cedar and Western Red Cedar. EASTERN WHITE CEDAR Eastern white cedar trees are aptly found in eastern Canada. They grow in the Maritimes, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence forests of Quebec and Ontario, in addition to parts of Manitoba and New Brunswick. They are also found on the western portions of Nova Scotia and PEI. These slower growing cedar trees can grow up to a modest 15-20 meters high over many decades. The diameter can be up to 1 meter. Branches are greenish-yellow scaly leaves with fan-shapes sprays. The bark is brown and stringy looking. The pale brown cones only grow up to 1-centimeter long and have scales with rounded tips. Eastern cedar is lighter in colour than Western cedar, with light brown heartwood and whitish sapwood. White cedars thrive in cool, moist, acidic soil and are often found near streams or creeks. They offer shelter and food to birds and other wildlife like deer, porcupine, squirrels, and snowshoe hares. WESTERN RED CEDAR This type will be the most familiar to Vancouver Islanders as it grows along the Pacific Coast of BC, including the Queen Charlotte Islands. Western Reds are also found in parts of Alberta. Another slow-growing cedar, it can reach an impressive 60 meters high with more than a 3-meter diameter trunk. Conical-shaped Western Red cedar trees can live up to 1,000 years old. The fragrant branches are comprised of glossy, greenish-yellow sprays with one and a quarter-centimeter cones. Deer and other wildlife feast on the foliage of the cedar along the West Coast and near the Rocky Mountains. Light to medium brown, the Western cedar generally has brown-pinkish heartwood with an almost white sapwood. Western cedar takes stain slightly better than Eastern cedar. When left unstained, the wood changes to a gorgeous coastal silvery grey. All cedar wood is typically soft, light in colour, resistant to decay and insects, with a woodsy aromatic scent. More durable than other softwoods, both types have a straight, even grain. However, the Western Red has a coarser texture compared to the Eastern White. Cedar is simple to work with since it’s easy to glue and machines easily. Typical uses of cedar include decks, cedar shakes and shingles, fencing, outdoor furniture, siding, and saunas. Cedar trees, also referred to as evergreen conifers of the cypress family, are also great trees to have in the backyard since they require little maintenance. Luckily, builders are able to purchase local cedar grown and sustainably harvested here on the island.