CEDAR

THE TREE

THOUGH MANY WOODS ARE KNOWN AS CEDAR, TRUE CEDAR IS PRODUCED BY THREE SPECIES. THE CEDAR OF ANTIQUITY IS THE CEDAR OF LEBANON, USED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF ROYAL TOMBS OF THE EARLY KINGS OF EGYPT AND BY SOLOMON IN THE BUILDING OF THE TEMPLE; THE CEDAR OF NORTHERN INDIA, AND THE THIRD SPECIES IS THE ATLAS CEDAR OF THE MOUNTAINS OF ALGERIA AND MOROCCO. ALL ARE LARGE TREES, REACHING 40 TO 60m IN HEIGHT; AS PARKLAND TREES THEY ARE SHORTER, WITH WIDE, SPREADING CROWNS.

THE WOOD

THE WOOD OF THE THREE SPECIES IS SIMILAR, PALE-BROWN, WITH A FAIRY WELL-DEFINED GROWTH RING, AND CHARACTERIZED BY A FRAGRANT SMELL. IT IS OF MEDIUM WEIGHT FOR A SOFTWOOD, A LITTLE HEAVIER THAN EUROPEAN REDWOOD.


TECHNICAL PROPERTIES

CEDAR DRIES READILY THOUGH WITH A TENDENCY TO DISTORT. IT IS INCLINED TO BE BRITTLE AND, GENERALLY, IS NOT A STRONG WOOD; IT WORKS EASILY AND WELL AND TAKES A FINE FINISH. IT IS NOTED FOR ITS RESISTANCE TO BOTH FUNGI AND TERMITES.

USES

CEDAR HAS LONG BEEN PRIZED FOR ITS EXCEPTIONAL DURABILITY AND THERE ARE EXAMPLES IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND INDIA OF ITS HAVING LASTED FOR MANY CENTURIES. TODAY IT IS RARELY AVAILABLE OUTSIDE ITS COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN OTHER THAN FROM OCCASIONAL PARKLAND TREES. IT IS A FINE JOINERY AND FURNITURE WOOD, AND THOUGH USED FOR BUILDING IS SOMEWHAT WEAK FOR THIS PURPOSE; IT IS AN EXCELLENT ESTATE WOOD. IT IS SLICED AND USED AS A VENEER FOR DECORATIVE SURFACES.

 SOFT WOODS: