Alaskan Yellow Cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis)
The Alaskan Yellow Cedar is found only on the western slopes of the Pacific Coast Range from Southern Oregon to Alaska. It likes moist climates, and thus it is only found along coastal areas.
Due to the colder temperatures and high rainfall of its local climate, Alaskan Yellow Cedar grows very slowly with closely packed growth rings and very little distinction between early wood and late wood rings.
It’s exceptionally dense growth ring pattern averages 43 growth rings per inch. Alaskan Yellow Cedar is one of the most beautiful of America’s durable and less publicized softwoods and is the hardest known cedar in the world.
The density and consistent color add a high degree of stability throughout the tree. Alaskan Yellow Cedar is highly resistant to rot and insect infestation as well as being an extremely hard wood.
Alaskan Yellow Cedar is a clear sulfur-yellow in color, has a fine texture, a straight grain and when freshly cut, has a pungent odor frequently described as “raw potatoes.”
Prized for its strength, stability, natural resistance to weather rot and insect infestation, Alaskan Yellow Cedar is used for stadium seating, park benches, exterior cabinet work, decks, marine landscaping, building boats and some very fine hot tubs.
The consistent grain structure means Yellow Cedar is easy to work with by hand or machine. It grows slowly, but it’s common to find very large heavy Yellow Cedar timbers that produce strong and wide boards.
Alaskan Yellow Cedar is a prime choice for hot tubs, saunas and pool house construction, since the wood thrives in wet environments. It is commonly found in Japanese designs for gardens, architecture and Japanese Soaking Tubs.
It’s light weight and high strength allows it to be used in small and intricate construction, but the timbers are large enough to be used in large gardens, gazebos and outdoor structures.