Yellow Cedar, also known as Alaskan Yellow Cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) is not really a cedar tree, it is a Cypress tree. It is the toughest and hardest “Cedar” in the world.
The lumber has exceptional longevity and is used where strength and durability are required. The wood has natural oils which make it decay resistant. Yellow Cedar has a strong aromatic aroma when first cut. The smell dissipates quickly after fresh cutting. Used extensively for boat building and exterior projects such as fences, decking, bridges and landscaping. The lumber has a natural preservative without resorting to any chemicals. This timber is harvested at higher elevations on the British Columbia coast and has a short growing season, therefore tight growth rings, which helps its decay resistance.
Yellow Cedar dries quickly, works easily and performs well either finished or unfinished due to its natural oils that give the wood a wax-like finish. Ideal for high traffic applications such as decking and flooring because of its shock resistance and durability, it is also a popular choice for handrails and ramps (decks) because it does not splinter. With a higher resistance to flame than other softwoods, Yellow Cedar is an excellent choice for siding in a variety of stock and custom patterns, shingles and panelling. It is an ideal choice for exterior use in applications such as decorative trim, mouldings, handrail, and stair treads.