Eastern white cedar

(Thuja occidentalis)

Eastern white cedar is a slow-growing conifer, native to northeastern North America. Averaging a height of 15 to 20 metres and a diameter ranging from 40 to 90 centimetres, it can reach over 20 metres at maturity with a diameter of 120 to 150 centimetres. It has remarkable longevity and some specimens live to be 800 years old. Its wood is stable, finely textured and extremely long lasting. It offers exceptional natural resistance to insects and decay, resulting in excellent durability. Its structure makes it a very good insulating material when it comes to sound and heat. Cedar does not require any preservatives or special maintenance. It is a natural alternative to treated wood. Its pleasant fragrance makes it highly prized for interior woodwork.

White cedar qualifies in natural durability class 1 as per standard EN 350-2. No other softwood has previously obtained this rating!


The sapwood is a creamy vanilla colour. The heartwood is straw yellow and may contain small knots.


Its surface is smooth with no splinters. The wood is soft, lightweight and even-grained.


Easy to mill, resistant to splits, good nail- and screw-holding abilities; good gluing properties. Can be painted, stained or varnished. Excellent permeability. Resistant to fungi.

Common applications

Exterior siding: clapboard, boards, trim, shingles. Roof shingles. Patios, decks, verandas. Mouldings and furniture components. Outdoor or indoor furniture that is untreated, stained or painted. Doors and windows. Posts, fences and trellises. Mulch. Wharfs and boats.

Machine properties in decreasing order of the overall performance of 17 species*
SpeciesRabotage bon à excellentSanding excellentBoring brad point good to excellentBoring multiple spur good to excellentMortising fair to excellentShaping fair to excellentTurning fair to excellentAverage
Red pine8368968078729682
Yellow birch89529886567810080
Eastern white ceddar71941006856609878
Hard maple698298100385610078
Jack pine5784947662589475
White birch7089888667410072
Black spruce6652928052689071
Eastern white pine785210086245810071
Soft maple63409298425010069
Scots pine6640968036709469
Norway spruce6674965670585067
White spruce6752925044746263
Balsam fir4754946264525461

* Values are the pourcentage of tested specimens reaching the indicated performance.

Shingle Grading

The Canadian Standards Association sets the grading rules for Eastern White Cedar shingles: A (extra), B (clear), C (2nd clear) and D (utility; includes shims.). Standard length is 16 inches (406.4 mm) except for grade D.

Standard dimensions available

Thickness by width (length) in English measurement system [thickness by width (length) in metric system] Net dimensions may vary among producers.

Fencing Components

1" x 3" (3’ à 8’) [25,4 mm x 76,2 mm (0,91 m à 2,44 m)]

1" x 4" (3’ à 8’) [25,4 mm x 101,6 mm (0,91 m à 2,44 m)]

2"x 3" (8’) [50.8 mm x 76.2 mm (2,44 m)]

2" x 4" (8’) [50.8 mm x 101.6 mm (2,44 m)]

4" x 4" (6’ à 8’) [101.6 mm x 101.6 mm (1,83 m à 2,44 m)]

5" x 5" (6’ à 8’) [127 mm x 127 mm (1,83 m à 2,44 m)]

Interior and exterior cladding

1" x 3" (8’) [25,4 mm x 76,2 mm (2,44 m)]

1" x 4" (8’) [25,4 mm x 101.6 mm (2,44 m)]

Non-structural components for log houses

4" x 4" (8’ à 20’) [101,6 mm x 101,6 mm (2,44 m à 6,1 m)]

5" x 5" (8’ à 20’) [127 mm x 127 mm (2,44 m à 6,1 m)]

6" x 6" (8’ à 20) [152,4 mm x152,4 mm (2,44 m à 6,1 m)]


Thickness: 1 1/2" et 2" [38,1 mm et 50,8 mm]

Width: 6" [152,4 mm]

Length: 8’ à 12’ [2,44 m à 3,66 m]

Other dimensions produced upon request