Origin: Native to the eastern United States and Canada. Its range extends from Nova Scotia, west to Ontario, south through the northern Great Plains to eastern Texas and east to norther Florida and the Atlantic Coast.
Common Names: Aromatic Red Cedar, Eastern Red Cedar.
The Tree (characteristics): Aromatic Cedar trees are dense and slow-growing. Average eights range from 16 to 66 feet tall with a short trunk 12 to 39 inches in diameter. The oldest tree reported was 940 years old. The tree has bark that is fibrous and reddish-brown in color.
Appearance of Wood: Heartwood is a reddish or violet-brown color. The sapwood tends to be pale yellow in color and can at times appear throughout the heartwood as streaks and stripes. Aromatic Cedar has a straight grain with a very fine even texture. Knots are common in the wood.
Density: Aromatic Cedar is soft with knot variations present. Average reported specific gravity ranges from .44 to .53 with an average dried weight of 33 pounds per cubic foot. Janka Hardness is 900 pounds of force.
Drying and Shrinkage: Aromatic Cedar dries rather quickly with little warp or cracking, although cracking may chow where knots are present. Average reported shrinkage values are 3.1% radial, 4.7% tangential, 7.8% volumetric.
Working Properties: Aromatic Cedar glues, machines, and finishes very well. The only exception is with the presence of knots, these can add challenges to the working process.
Durability: Aromatic Cedar has excellent resistance to decay and insect attack. The wood is often used for fence posts that are in direct ground contact with no pretreating of the wood needed.
Uses: Aromatic Cedar is a popular choice when making storage chests for linens and clothing, as well as closet, dresser drawer, and wardrobe liners. The wood can also be used for fence posts, carvings, outdoor furniture, birdhouses, and small specialty wood items.
Availability: Aromatic Cedar is not listed on the CITES Appendices and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.