Cedar vs Pine

White Cedar vs. Pine? No Contest!


No need to apply chemicals to protect against insects. (Cedar shavings are valued as pet beds because they repel insects!)

to insects

Needs to be “dip-treated” and requires a costly chemical maintenance program to keep bugs away
No need to apply chemical preservatives – Northern White Cedar does not hold water, which is needed for mold and mildew to grow!

to mold and mildew

Needs to be “dip treated” and requires expensive chemical maintenance to keep mold and mildew at bay
No need to apply chemical treatments for weather – Northern White Cedar is so dense it will not absorb water

to weather

Naturally high in water, pine dries with heat and age, leaving plenty of room for weather to creep in and do damage. In order to use pine on exteriors, the logs and lumber are often “Wolmanized” and that doesn’t sound cheap, easy, or natural.
Outstanding stability, as northern white cedar grows very slowly (often 100 years or more) and is very dense, there will be far less shifting, warping, shrinking and settling than with pine.

Dimensional Stability

Due to the fast growth of harvested pine (somewhere around 50 years), the wood cells contain high amounts of moisture. As the pines’ moisture dries slowly, the logs will naturally shrink and builders will experience twisting, settling, shifting, and sometimes falling apart altogether.
Absolutely as safe and natural as the forest! Since there is no need for treatment, cedar logs, lumber, siding and shingles will not release chemicals into the air, inside or out!

Safety to Families

Because pine must be treated to resist just about everything, chemicals are infused into the wood cells, and this produces “out gassing” – a nasty process that slowly leaks the treatment chemicals into the air over time until it’s time to treat again with more chemicals.
Northern white cedar is so slow-growing and so dense that there is no leaking sticky sap or moisture on the logs to attract dust or dirt or hungry worms.


Pine is famous for tar and sticky sap, and for occasional sharp needles, too.

Northern White vs. Western Red Cedar — Easy Choice!


Strong, resilient fibrous quality.

Tensil Quality

Strong, yet brittle fibrous quality.

Less brittle, less likely to split or crack.

Tensil Quality

Splits easily, particularly during installation.

Resists decay better than any other species, except cypress. Northern white cedar shingles frequently last over 100 years.


General decay-resistant life expectancy is 35 years, at best.

Remains stable even flat sawn. Northern white cedar, at all grades, will not cup or curl.


Requires vertical grain cutting to resist warping and cupping. Western red cedar at #2 grade and lower is always flat sawn, and subject to cupping.

Accepts stain and paint evenly with superior penetration and without blotching. Excellent absorption and penetration of chemical fire retardant.


Resistant to stain and paint. Exhibits blotches and streaks. Potential for uneven absorption and limited penetration of chemical fire retardant.

Left untreated, northern white cedar will acquire a silver-grey patina within five years.

Maintenance Characteristics

Left untreated, western red cedar will acquire an uneven, blackened appearance within five years.

Produced from sustainable forest resources (35- to 70-year cycle).

Ecological Sustainability

Produced from diminished, non-renewable old growth forests.