Is Cedar a Hardwood or Softwood? Is Cedar the Best Choice In 2022?

Cedar makes a perfect wood for different woodworking projects, whether household furniture or commercial workpieces.

The wood’s unique attributes make it different from other lumber types. For instance, it is aromatic, natural insect-repellent, and gives a lovely appearance.

However, given Cedarwood’s impressive durability and wide application range, many users wonder: Is Cedar a Hardwood or Softwood?

Cedar is a softwood, not a hardwood. Hardwood trees are angiosperm, meaning they produce encased seeds and are flowering. 

On the other hand, Cedar is a gymnosperm species, so it’s non-flowering. Therefore, the wood, per definition, is softwood.

Cedar does not belong to a particular wood species. Instead, it includes many lumber categories, and you’ll find more than ten species counted in the cedar families.

Read the article below for more insight into cedar wood, its properties, benefits, drawbacks, and how to coat it for added longevity.

What Is Cedarwood?

Cedar Siding In: How Long Does Cedar Siding Last?Cedarwood is lumber from a cedar tree.

Further, the tree is an evergreen plant from central and south America. And it comes in at least thirty well-known species.

But the trees are in three primary categories: Cupressaceae, Pinaceae, and Meliaceae.

Cedar trees are easy to distinguish. They have brown or dark-gray barks featuring thick ridges or square-shaped cracks.

In addition, the plants grow to about 98 and 131 ft. tall and eight feet in diameter.

Cedars are monoecious, producing male and female cones on one tree. Also, they have a straight wood grain pattern with many knots.

However, a few species have beautiful and figured grains.

Furthermore, the reddish-brown or pinkish-red heartwood has purple tone traces. But the shade changes gradually to silver or gray as the lumber ages.

Hardwood does not always mean that it’s hard. The term only points out that the wood is from angiosperm trees.

Angiosperm means that the plant is flowering.

On the other hand, gymnosperm means that the tree is non-flowering. In addition, the tree’s seeds are primarily cones.

Cedar is not flowering. Therefore, it is softwood, not hardwood.

Generally, hardwoods are much denser and thus harder than most softwoods.

But some softwood variants are equally hard or even harder than some hardwood variants.

In short, softwood does not have to be soft, and hardwood is not always hard.

Also, you do not have to use hardwood when creating sturdy wood pieces. Some softwoods are even a cheaper and better alternative.

Types of Cedar Wood

Most woodworkers only come across one to two cedar species in their lifetime. But Cedarwood is available in multiple categories, each with unique qualities.

The most notable species include:

  • Incense Cedar

The wood can either be heartwood or sapwood.

Heartwood has a light to medium reddish-brown hue, whereas sapwood is light brown to white.

Incense cedar has a straight grain and fine even texture. It also features exceptional workability as screws, nails, and paints hold very well.

You can use the lumber to make Venetian blinds, siding, pencils, fence posts, and other exterior applications.

  • Western Red Cedar Wood

This lumber comes from Western Red Cedar and is suitable for decking, shingles, and siding construction.

It is famous for exterior applications due to its excellent decay resistance and unwanted water repellency.

The Western Red Cedar is a member of the cypress family. Thus, it can grow up to 200 feet with a ten-foot trunk diameter.

Further, this wood is lightweight and low in density, making it easy to cut and shape.

However, using hand or power tools on the lumber exposes you to rashes and breathing problems.

Therefore, consider hiring professionals if you are highly sensitive.

Western Red Cedar possesses a remarkable reddish-brown hue with pink hints, making it perfect for musical instruments.

The lumber also has thin white sapwood, which disappears during processing.

But fortunately, it retains knots, especially if it’s lower-grade cedar wood.

  • Northern White Cedar Wood

The wood’s scientific name is Thuja Occidentalis, and sometimes woodworkers call it ‘arbor Vitae (Tree of Life).

It is native to South Eastern Canada and the North Eastern Quarter in the U.S.

Northern White Cedar’s Sapwood has a white hue, whereas heartwood is pale brown. And it is suitable for shingles, piles, railroad, pulpwood, fences, and canoe.

The lumber boasts of multiple popular cultivars like:

  • Booth Globe
  • Techny
  • Emerald Green
  • Hovey
  • Compacta
  • Lutea
  • Hetz Junior
  • Nigra
  • Ericoides
  • Douglas Pyramidalis

The Northern White Cedar logs are lighter than red Cedar.

In addition, they are fragile and easy to cut without using sharp power devices like backer boards and sharp cutters.

Hence, they are convenient for various applications.

Unfortunately, like Western Red Cedar, this wood type causes rashes and respiratory issues in workers.

You can identify the wood by the thin creamy white sapwood line surrounding its light brown inner portion.

Moreover, it is high-quality lumber, resisting pest infestation and decay.

Therefore, you can use it comfortably in outdoor constructs like boats, shingles, decking, and posts.

The tiny knots in the wood and a uniform straight-fine grain give it an even appearance.

But despite Northern White Cedar Wood’s overall impressive attributes, it has poor nail and screw holding capabilities.

  • Eastern Red Cedar Wood

Scientifically, Eastern Red Cedar Wood is also the Juniperus Virginiana. But some call it ‘aromatic Cedar because of its solid woody scent.

Besides, the wood produces organic oils that line drawers and closets, thus repelling harmful insects.

Eastern Red Cedar is from the cypress family and is native to the Eastern Sides of the U.S. In addition, it grows up to 20 to 40 meters.

However, finding some trees 100 meters or taller is not odd.

The lumber features multiple color shades ranging from yellow to reddish or violet, brown. And it has a straight grain with knots.

In appearance, the sapwood is white with knots all over the surface.

Conversely, the heartwood bears pinkish-red colors with deep reddish-brown or purplish outer streaks.

You can use the wood for various projects, including carvings, pencils, fences, small wooden specialty objects, and outdoor furniture.

In addition, it is common in souvenir manufacturing companies and stationery industries.

Generally, Cedarwood is easy to work with, but the knots pose problems for machines.

In addition, always wear gloves and a respirator to guarantee safety against rashes and respiratory problems.

Further, aromatic cedar lumber functions best in open areas. Otherwise, it will cause finishing issues.

Therefore, please avoid keeping furniture, closets, or drawers from Cedarwood in confined spaces.

Also, finish the surface with lacquer or polyurethane for the best result.

  • Alaska Cedar Wood

Alaska Cedar Wood, also known as the Yellow Cedar, is native to the Pacific Northwest. 

Further, it grows from Alaska to British Columbia.

The wood comes from a hard and dense species. Its distinctive yellow color and tight rings justify slow to moderate growth.

Yellow Cedar is ideal for lightweight and durable railings, canoe paddles, decks, and interior paneling.

It is also popular among music instrument companies as the wood features a remarkable sound quality.

Although the lumber comes in a yellow hue, it is available in a creamy white hue with dark streaks.

Besides, wood machines help stain the material during processing to enhance its lovely sheen.

Alaskan Cedar is easy to operate with both machine and hand tools. It also holds glues, paints, and stains and finishes nicely.

However, the wood’s color darkens with age and prolonged light exposure.

  • Spanish Cedar Wood

Scientifically, Spanish Cedar Wood is also the ‘Cedrela Oderata.’ And it originates from South and Central America.

The lumber is lightweight, making it a preferred choice among woodworkers.

Moreover, it is perfect for all construction projects, from building cabinets to cupboards to windows to furniture.

You can also use it for veneer, boatbuilding, plywood, and musical instruments like classical guitars and flamenco.

Spanish Cedar is the most sought-after lumber type for lining cigar humidors, despite being hard to find in the U.S. and Europe.

The lumber’s pest and moisture resistance qualities and pleasant-smelling oils stand out.

Furthermore, the cedar tree comprises straight-lined woods, which are easy to cut and machine.

But the workpieces require sanding to deliver a smooth surface.

Finally, the heartwood is reddish-brown to pinkish but darkens with time. Therefore, it is prudent to consider finishing it.

  • Lebanon Cedar Wood

The species’ heartwood has a light reddish-brown color, whereas the sapwood is white to light-yellow.

Although Lebanon Cedar Wood has irregular grains, it is a perfect choice for external projects.

Besides, it is incredibly durable and resistant to insect attacks.

The lumber is easy to operate with machine and hand tools. But sometimes, the irregular grain makes machine work difficult.

Fortunately, the wood finishes nicely and is ideal for cabinetry, veneers, and building construction.

  • Atlantic White Cedar Wood

The Atlantic White Cedar is also the Southern White Cedar.

You will notice an almost white to pale yellow brown to reddish-brown color. Further, the grain is straight with an even texture.

This lumber is easy to work with in all conditions. And you can use it for carving, siding, boatbuilding, shingles, and construction.

In addition, the surface glues and finishes nicely.

  • Port Orford Cedar Wood

Port Orford’s color varies from pale yellow brown to light yellowish-brown. However, the hue becomes darker with sunlight exposure.

The grain is straight and features a uniform medium to fine texture.

This lumber is ideal for musical instruments, boxes, arrow shafts, chests, and complex interior applications.

Lastly, it holds stain, glue, and paints well.

Experts also classify Cedarwood based on the various cedar trees. Hence, here is another detailed list of the plant families.

  • Deodar Cedar Tree

Deodar Cedar is a conifer tree famous for its weeping habit. Its scientific name is Cedrus Deodara.

Others also call it the Himalayan and Deodar Cedar. Further, Deodar derives from ‘Devadaru, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘timber of the gods.

Deodar is a preferred specimen tree for gardens and large parks as they accentuate their beauty.

In addition, this cedar species is Pakistan’s national tree and has earned the ‘Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.

You can distinguish this wood by its unique physical characteristics.

For instance, it comes in a grayish-green or deep bluish-green and has one to two-inch-long conifer needles.

Deodar Cedar originates from the Western Himalayas. Further, it requires sun exposure and moist, sandy soil to grow well.

Lastly, the tree can grow up to 20 to 30 feet wide and 40 to 50 feet tall.

  • Atlas Cedar Tree

The Atlas Cedar, also known as Cedrus Atlantica, is native to Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. It also grows as tall as 40 to 60 feet and has a five to six-foot trunk diameter.

Other primary traits include a wide pyramidal shape and a broad, open silhouette. In addition, you will observe silvery-blue needles, usually ¾ to one inch long.

This tree requires partial shade to full sun for healthy growth. Moreover, it prefers moist and well-drained soil and can withstand wind and heavy drought.

Unfortunately, Atlas Cedar is susceptible to sapsuckers, borers, and weevils. Therefore, you need to apply pesticides frequently.

It is also advisable to fertilize the species to encourage strong and sturdy growth. Then, trim the tree when it’s young to prevent shedding heavy snowfalls during winter.

  • Cyprian Cedar Tree

This tree is the rarest Cedar species. Besides, you can only find it in Cyprus, Turkey, and Syria’s mountainous regions.

Most people admire the tree for its umbrella-shaped crown and smaller leaves.

Besides, they compare the plant with the Lebanon Cedar due to common intrinsic qualities. But a Cyprian Cedar Tree has longer left and a pyramidal crown.

  • Cedar of Lebanon Tree

Scientifically, the tree is also the Cedrus Libani. And it is Lebanon’s national tree.

Although the plant is native to the Eastern Mediterranean basin’s mountains, you will find it in other parts like Turkey and Syria.

Lebanon Cedar produces a pyramid-shaped crown and long, straight leaves. In addition, it grows up to 40 meters.

Further, the tree is famous due to its undeniable historical and biblical significance in ancient Lebanon.

History also shows that Egypt imported this cedar type during King Sneferu’s reign for boat construction.

Moreover, officials from far-flung areas such as Mesopotamia and Byblos would travel to the east in search of the Lebanon Cedar.

The wood is an aromatic wood used for buildings constructed in Iron age Israel.

Besides, the Bible testifies that the Cedar of Lebanon was handy for King David and Solomon as they built their palaces and the temple.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cedar Wood


Cedar Wood advantages

  • Cedar is lightweight and easy to use even at high altitudes. In addition, it has sufficient moisture and is less likely to warp or crack.
  • The wood is famous worldwide and comes in more than ten lumber species. You can find it in almost every mountain area or country. 
  • Cedarwood has excellent temperature-resistant attributes, making it ideal for siding and roofing.
  • This lumber is popular for external uses, thanks to its straight grain and moisture content.
  • Cedar has perfect workability, making it easy to operate with big and small machines. In addition, you can use it in more tangled spaces.
  • The material holds screws and nails easily. Also, its surface absorbs glue, paint, and polish well for a long time.
  • Cedarwood features oil, preventing insect and fungus infestations. Therefore, it can last for 30 to 40 years.
  • Generally, Cedar is an attractive lumber type. It features dark reddish colors, and you can stain or treat it to enhance its appearance.
  • The wood has a uniform grain, giving your siding and roof a beautiful look.
  • You have multiple cedar price ranges to choose from; thus, multiple options depending on your budget.

Cedar Wood Disadvantage

  • Due to being softwood, Cedarwood requires regular care and maintenance. Moreover, experts recommend annual maintenance for Cedar used for roofing, siding, and other external purposes.
  • Over time, Cedar changes color due to chemical reactions. This process happens with sunlight exposure, turning the color from red to gray.
  • The lumber is sensitive and easy to dent or scratch by pet claws and furniture. Therefore, it is wise to use carpets and furniture leg pads. And polish it regularly.
  • Cedar is flammable due to the present oils, causing trouble for many woodworkers. So, consider treating the wood to minimize this risk.
  • Natural Cedar is hard to identify. Besides, lumber yards pose other wood as Cedar in the U.S. and other countries. Thus, get enough knowledge about the wood before purchase.
  • Most constructors avoid Cedar for structure building applications. For instance, white Cedar is not for heavy loads, unlike redwood, cypress, and pressure-treated lumber.

Characteristics of Cedar Wood

Cedarwood properties vary from one species to another. However, the wood types share a few general qualities, as shown below.

  • Natural Rot and Decay Resistance

Cedarwood, especially Red Cedar, features a high decay resistance. Moreover, it is in the second class durability in Australia and Europe.

This attribute is due to the wood’s extractives.

Extractives are tiny molecules in wood extractable with solvents and associated with anti-rot and antifungal characteristics.

  • Sweet Aroma

Cedar is among the most aromatic lumber types. Therefore, it is more advantageous than other woods with an unpleasant smell like Laurel, Polar, and Teak.

Further, Eastern Red Cedar, also known as Aromatic Red Cedar, gets its name because of the sweet aroma.

  • Durability

Cedar wood is incredibly durable. Besides, it lasts decades, even centuries, with proper care and maintenance.

The wood also has a natural resistance to deterioration, enhancing its longevity.

This resistance is due to Thujaplicin, a natural compound found in cedar fibers. Also, the chemical is a natural preservative making the wood extremely durable.

  • Weight 

Generally, Cedarwood is lightweight. Its cell open structure gives the material a lower density than hardwoods and heavier than typical softwoods.

This property makes the lumber excellent for portable woodworking applications like chairs, tables, and cabinets. 

  • Workability and Finishing

Cedar’s low density and consistency make it easy to operate.

In addition, you can saw, cut, glue, or nail the material with utmost ease, using power or hand tools.

The wood sands and plains well to give a smooth, professional finish. It also takes various wood finishes when dried and adequately primed.

Comparing Cedar Wood with Other Alternatives

Generally, cedar scores excellently in comprehensive strength, wood hardness, bonding strength, and density (air-dry).

Here is Red Cedar’s score in various categories.

  • Compressive strength: 6,000
  • Wood hardness: 900
  • Bending strength: 7,500
  • Density (air dry): 339 kg/m-3

Check out the comparison below featuring Cedarwood and other popular softwoods and hardwoods.

  • Cedar Vs. Pine

Pinewood features about 870 Janka hardness-wise. Therefore, Cedarwood is harder and more reliable.

  • Cedar Vs. Douglas Fir

Douglas fir scores 660 on the Janka hardness metric, making it weaker than most Cedarwood types.

  • Cedar Vs. Redwood

Redwoods are harder than Cedar. Besides, the Brazilian Redwood has a 3,190 Janka hardness.

  • Cedar Vs. White Birch Wood

White birch, also called the Paper birch, scores 910 on the Janka hardness metric. Thus, it is at the same level as Cedar.

  • Cedar Vs. Yellow Birch Wood

Cedar rates 900 on the Janka hardness standard, whereas yellow birch is 1,260. So, birch wood is harder than Cedarwood.

  • Cedar vs. Red Alder

Red Alder is harder than Cedar. It features 2,620 Janka hardness, making it significantly sturdier.

  • Cedar Vs. Oak

Although various Oak types feature different hardness levels, they are harder than Cedar.

For instance, the Northern Red Oak has a 1,290 Janka hardness score, while the White oak is even harder at 1,360.

Can You Use Cedar Wood for Outdoor Furniture?

You can use Cedar wood for exterior outdoor furniture. It also works well for flooring, benches, fences, and wood carving.

The lumber’s natural resistance against environmental elements makes it perfect for humid areas.

In addition, it is decay- and rot-resistance, making it durable in all seasons.

Cedar features incredible resistance against insects and bugs. Moreover, it releases Thujone: a neurotoxic chemical to pests.

This compound causes nerve damage to insects and bugs and is famous for its antimicrobial properties.

Also, Cedarwood has an incredibly aromatic scent that repels bugs. Therefore, you can expect it to remain insect-free for a long time.

Cedar is beautiful, tight-grained, and weather-resistant with impressive working and finishing attributes.

For example, it is easy to saw, cut, drill, and nail the wood depending on your project needs. 

In addition, it takes paints, stains, polishes, and waxes and finishes nicely.

The above cedar properties make it suitable for outdoor applications without hesitation.

Furthermore, the wood does not need staining, painting, or wood treatment to last decades without damage.

However, treating and finishing the surface is advisable if you expect the workpiece to withstand severe conditions.

Otherwise, it will weather to a gray, ash hue over time.

Cedar is typically not as robust and sturdy as hardwoods despite being suitable for outdoor use. In addition, it is softwood.

Thus, it does not live long as hardwoods. And proper maintenance is a must to increase its longevity.

Is It Better to Paint or Stain Cedar Wood?

The answer depends on your wood’s current conditions.

Paint offers more protection and is better for badly worn-out furniture with previous peeling issues.

On the other hand, a stain is more durable and looks more natural than paint finishes. 

However, you can only apply it on paint-free Cedar.

In addition, inspect the wood with a painting expert before deciding.

Below is a detailed checklist to get you started.

  • Check your home’s shaded area to confirm the original finish applied to the surface. Sometimes old paint or stain cans in garages and basements help establish past supplies used.
  • Test the surface to determine how well current paint or stain comes off on worn-out areas.
  • Decide whether you want a solid color or want to see the color and wood grain variations of the lumber.
  • Assess the Cedar to note repair areas and determine the appropriate cedar type for repairs. We have two types: Grade A and B (Knots or no knots).
  • Also, note that newly installed Cedar has less grain than older wood. Therefore, the surface will not appear the same or absorb the finish equally.
  • Remove the old cable, phone lines, and brackets that are not in use.
  • Determine caulking needs. Some cedar households have caulk, while others do not. So, consider not caulking the structure if it initially did not have caulk.

Inspect Cedar every spring for sun and water damage. Moreover, areas around dormers or roof lines and under gutters need frequent touch-ups.

Your painting expert can enhance these areas and help to avoid costly repairs.

Fortunately, you only need to brush up the home’s shady side and stain the sunny side every seven to ten years.

How to Paint Cedar Wood

When working with Cedarwood on craft projects, it is advisable to paint the wood.

Besides, it is common to see stained or sealed cedar surfaces but applications like rehabbing an antique cedar chest or a birdhouse need painting.

Fortunately, adequately applied paint is a success when done correctly. In addition, the wood’s natural smoothness guarantees a polished finish.

The needed supplies include:

  • Soft cloths
  • primer/stain blocker
  • Cedar
  • Foam paint rollers
  • Synthetic paintbrush
  • Polyacrylic sealant
  • Sanding blocks, orbital sander, or sandpaper
  • Latex, milk, or chalk paint

Then, follow the procedure below for an excellent outcome.

  • Use the orbital sander, sanding blocks, or sandpaper to smooth the surface. Remember, the accessory used depends on the surface’s size.
  • Wipe the wood with a dry rag. Also, get a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust and debris from the surface.
  • Apply a primer and stain blocker coat using a foam roller. And let it dry completely.
  • Next, apply chalk, milk, or latex paint. Use a paintbrush for milk paint and a foam roller for latex or chalk formulas.
  • Work faster when applying milk paint as it dries quickly.
  • Give the final coat 72 hours to dry.
  • Finally, apply a polyacrylic sealant with a synthetic brush and let it dry.

Here’s a Video on How to Paint Cedar:

How to Stain Cedar Wood

Thanks to Cedar’s natural ability to resist mildew, insects, and rot, you can finish it in various ways.

Further, exterior Cedar surfaces weather into a silver-gray patina when left natural and untreated.

Therefore, consider staining the wood to enhance its longevity and keep it looking new.

Also, although Cedar and pine are softwoods, the former absorbs stain better, primarily if you treat it with a pre-stain wood conditioner.

You can stain interior and exterior cedar workpieces the same way.

But consider adding a clear polyurethane coat for indoor furniture to enhance a shiny and smooth finish. 

Or apply a wood sealer on outdoor wood pieces to protect against moisture damage.

The materials for the project include:

  • Medium-and fine-grit sandpaper
  • Tack or damp cloth
  • Foam brush
  • Vacuum or stiff brush
  • Gloves
  • Pre-stain wood conditioner
  • Wood stain
  • Clean rags
  • Synthetic bristle paintbrush
  • Natural bristle brush or staining rag
  • Stir stick
  • Polyurethane clear coat for indoor Cedar
  • Wood sealer for outdoor wood

Next, check out the following steps for a professional finish.

  • Rub the surface back and forth using medium-grit sandpaper. Sand the entire wood following the wood grain.
  • Follow up with the fine-grit paper using the above method.
  • Use a stiff brush or vacuum to remove all powder and loose dirt and debris. Also, rub the surface with a damp or tack cloth to remove the residue.
  • Apply a pre-stain wood conditioner to help the stain penetrate more uniformly. Further, follow the manufacturer’s directives to guarantee the best result.
  • Wear protective gear, preferably gloves, to avoid staining your hands.
  • Open the stain can and mix the formula thoroughly using a stir stick. Scrap along the bottom to mix the color properly.
  • Use the staining rag or natural bristle paintbrush into the stain. Then, apply the formula to the wood.
  • Follow the wood grain and cover the entire surface.
  • Give the stain five to 15 minutes to dry. Also, confirm the recommended duration and do not exceed it.
  • Wipe the excess stain with a clean cloth.
  • Allow the first coat to dry according to the manufacturer’s directions. Then, assess the wood’s color.
  • Apply a second stain color if the hue is too light. And let the wood dry overnight.
  • Use a synthetic bristle paintbrush to add an even clear-coat polyurethane or sealer to the wood.
  • Wait for the coat to dry and lightly sand the surface with a fine-grit sandpaper. Then, apply a second layer as directed by the product label.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions around this topic:

  • Is Cedar Wood waterproof?

Cedarwood is not 100 percent waterproof. However, it is more durable in water contact than most wood.

Typically, the lumber will not withstand water exposure forever and will ultimately show rot signs.

Some wood types perform better in moist regions, while some do not. It all depends on the material’s properties.

Generally, we can say that cedar wood withstands moisture well. In addition, you can treat it to enhance its longevity in damp areas.

  • How Strong Is Cedar Wood?

Although Cedar is a softwood, it is not that soft. Besides, it falls in the softwood category because it does not flower.

You can measure the lumber’s strength using various elements. They include the wood’s hardness and comprehensive strength.

Hardness refers to how hard the wood is: its resistance to dents, scratches, or related impact.

On the other hand, comprehensive strength shows how much weight a wood type can withstand before cracking or breaking.

Aromatic Red Cedar has a hardness and comprehensive strength of 900 and 6,020.

Further, the lumber stands out compared to Chestnut Wood, a hardwood with a 5,300 comprehensive strength and 540 hardness level.

Conversely, Walnut, another hardwood, beats Cedar by far. It has 1,010 hardness and 7,500 comprehensive strength levels.

  • Is Cedar Toxic to Humans?

Cedar’s toxicity depends on the species in question. For instance, most people are more sensitive to Red Cedar than White Cedar.

Further, Western Red Cedar is responsible for runny noses, sensitizers, asthma, irritants, Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and nervous system effects.

Port Orford causes irritation, kidney problems (diuresis), and running noses.

  • How Do I Identify Native Cedars?

You can identify native cedar trees through the plant’s cones, needles, and bark. Also, check out the points below for more clarification.

  • Cedar features tufted bluish-green needles.
  • It has an easy-to-peel reddish-brown bark.
  • Cedar trees mature to about 130 to 160 feet.
  • The trees are primarily available in Cyprus and the Mountains of Turkey, Northern Africa, and Northern India.
  • Cedar has large cones on its branches.
  • It is a fragrant species and constantly produces an aromatic scent.


Cedar is a popular lumber type in the United States. Further, you can expect quality furniture thanks to its excellent appearance and durability.

In addition, Cedarwood is available, affordable, and highly rot resistant. Therefore, you can use it for various outdoor applications like patio chairs and tables.

However, the lumber type appears harder than some hardwoods. So, woodworkers would like to know:

Is Cedar a Hardwood or Softwood?

No, Cedar is not a hardwood species. This iconic lumber breed, known for its versatility, spicy aroma, and beauty, is softwood.

Furthermore, it belongs to the gymnosperms plant family, such as Fir and Pine trees.

But this does not mean that cedar wood or other softwoods are lightweight. For instance, though softwood, Douglas fir is potent for framing and structural supports.

Image of a woodworker wearing hearing protectors for woodworking

Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.

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