Alaskan Yellow Cedar – Product Information Sheet

September 27th, 2021

Alaskan Yellow Cedar is a species gaining global notoriety for its extreme durability, natural resistance to rot and insects, easy workability and outstanding beauty. For decades this species has been almost entirely consumed by the Japanese lumber market – used extensively in Buddhist temple production, post & beam construction, traditional Japanese interior mouldings, window casings, and sauna and hot tub production – in situations where natural wood without treating or preservatives was needed, Alaskan Yellow Cedar was chosen.

For decades past Alaskan Yellow Cedar has traditionally been more expensive when compared to its counterpart Western Red Cedar. Not only are its rot resistant properties and durability superior to those of Western Red Cedar, but Alaskan Yellow Cedar is also a relatively rare species – making up only 5% of BC’s coastal forests. As such this species can be marketed a couple different ways depending on how you want to approach your customer base.

Value-added approach

  • Priced below Wester Red Cedar product alternatives
  • Emphasize durability, longevity, and its natural resistance to rot, insects and decay. Create value for the customer by communicating to them they’re getting a more affordable product that can last longer than the WRC alternative can.

Exclusivity approach

  • Priced above Western Red Cedar product alternatives
  • Emphasis on difficulty required to source this lumber and exclusivity of it in the forest, improved strength, durability, natural resistance to rot, insects and decay when compared to Western Red Cedar alternatives.

We have customers in the US who find success using each of these approaches. You know your customer base best and how you envision marketing this species, these are just suggestions from our end to help and provide support.

Benefits when compared to Western Red Cedar

  • Better resistance to decay and insect attack than Western Red Cedar
  • Harder and denser than most softwoods, won’t dent or scratch easily like Western Red Cedar.
  • Very fine grain and uniform texture – not uncommon to see 50-60 growth rings/inch.
  • Better stability and strength than Western Red Cedar – less prone to twist, cup, split and especially bend when left in the elements.
  • Longer lumber lifespan than Western Red Cedar

Additional characteristics of Alaskan Yellow Cedar

  • Environmentally sensitive as it does not need chemical treating
  • Holds nails and screws without splitting and can be glued without difficulty
  • Extreme durability
  • Uniform yellow colour
  • Fine grain and texture
  • Resists splitting and slivering, it is highly resistant to wear
  • Contains no pitch or resins

A note on durability and longevity of this lumber – we work with a facility that builds Alaskan Yellow Cedar water tanks in New York City. The lifespan of one of these tanks without any chemical preservation or treating is on average 27 years. Incredible for a natural, eco-friendly species. The rot0resistance in the wood comes from tannins – a natural preservative in the fibre that helps repel against moisture, insects , and decay.