Western Red Cedar: Our Choice of Material
We use the best grade of cedar: A and Better, clear, vertical grain, kiln dried western red cedar from British Columbia.
The first thing you should know is that western red cedar comes in different grades. These different grades will affect the longevity and performance of an outdoor structure. With a Trellis Structures product you are getting the highest grade of cedar available.
With lesser grades of cedar, or other species of wood, you will have certain imperfections, but with the high grade of cedar that we use, there will be no knots, there will be no lifting of grain. Western red cedar is extremely stable, is resistant to warping and checking and has the lowest rate of shrinkage of any wood.
Given the quality of the wood that we use, the lifetime of our structures can be 50 years or longer. The tight grain in this high grade of western red cedar is very resistant to insects and decay. Any other grades or types of cedar will not have this extended life span.
Because of the high grade of cedar that we use, our structures are virtually maintenance free. Left untreated, the wood will weather to a lovely silvery gray. If you choose to grow vines on the structure, the silvery gray color of the cedar will blend beautifully with the vines.
If you decide to stain your structure a color, the cedar will accept any number of solid-bodied or semi-transparent stains extremely well.
There are many benefits, both environmentally and structurally, in using western red cedar for outdoor garden structures.
Longevity: Western red cedar is among the most resistant to decay of all domestic woods, so it is the ideal choice for outdoor garden structures.
Wood is also very durable. Churches in Norway and temples in Japan have lasted over a thousand years. In North America, there are many examples of historic wood buildings from the 16th century that are still standing. Even the foundation of the Empire State Building rests on woodpiles!
Advantages of a cedar structure: Because our products are made of western red cedar, they offer significant advantages over structures made of metal or vinyl. They can be easily repaired if damage should occur over the course of the lifetime of the structure.
Unlike man-made materials, a structure designed with western red cedar has infinite possibilities for customization of shapes, sizes, style and color.
The right choice for your pergola: Our structures can be easily altered. For instance, if you want to increase the density of the top of your pergola for added shade, you may add additional purlins (the smaller cross peices of cedar) at anytime. If you want to hang blinds or suspend fabric from the structure, you can accomplish this by using hooks or other mechanical fastenings, which are easily placed into the wood.
The right choice for the environment: Western red cedar is a renewable resource, responsibly grown and harvested and is recyclable and biodegradable.
From the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association website: www.wrcla.org "Western red cedar is the ultimate green building material. It is responsibly and sustainably harvested in the publicly managed forests of British Columbia, Canada. The province has exceeded United Nations guidelines by setting aside more than 12% of its land base as parkland. Less than 1/3 of 1% of BC's Cedar growing stock volume is harvested each year. For each tree harvested, three are replanted. The fact is, there are more forests in North America today than there were 100 years ago. These young forests are excellent carbon sinks. They also release oxygen back into the atmosphere contributing to a healthier environment."
Environmental impact: Western red cedar surpasses metal and vinyl in the following categories:
Energy use: Energy saved in manufacturing processes with wood far exceeds that of other construction materials.
Resource use: Western red cedar is a renewable resource, which is harvested and replanted as a crop.
Pollution reduction: Cedar can be recycled and used in other ways after its initial life. Cedar is 100% biodegradable and is often used to feed and protect plants in the form of mulch. Our western red cedar comes from Canada's sustainable, managed forests. New manufacturing technology allows every part of the tree to be used so that nothing is wasted. Wood is the only major building material that is renewable — a reason why Canada's forest base is still abundant after 150 years of harvesting.
All Western Red Cedar Lumber Association members are in the process or have achieved certification under one or more independent third party certification systems (CSA, SFI or FSC). Wood, and western red cedar specifically, has the least impact on the environment throughout its life cycle. Western red cedar requires significantly less energy to produce than other materials and unlike man-made alternatives, western red cedar is biodegradable."
From the www.wrcla.org website: "Western red combines form and function like no other wood species or man-made material. Do not get misled by claims of other species using "cedar" in their name. Only western red cedar has the unique, natural performance characteristics and exceptional beauty that bring warmth, character and longevity to homes and commercial buildings around the world."