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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    melbourne
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    6

    Default "western red cedar"

    the "western red cedar" that bunnings et al sell as a decking/screening timber... is it the same as the north american pacific coast stuff? or is it another case of us reusing a northern hemisphere common name for an unrelated local timber?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brisbane (western suburbs)
    Age
    73
    Posts
    9,049

    Default

    Without seeing it, I wouldn't have a clue, but "Western Red Cedar" is pretty much the accepted common name for Thuja plicata, so if it's anything else, they've got a potential "false representation" suit on their hands. The prices as advertised from our local Bunnies are certainly commensurate with top notch material (20 bucks a metre for a 91 x 18mm board - ouch!).

    If you know the wood you can get a pretty good idea if it's genuine by the appearance & odour. I can't think of any other species that would be abundant & cheap enough to substitute, of much the same colour & texture & "piney" odour other than Redwood, & if that was what they have, it's considered even more durable than WRC, is slightly harder, and usually costs more.....

    Cheers,
    IW

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    melbourne
    Posts
    6

    Default

    thanks! i was mainly curious cause youtube etc are awash with people from the states talking about wrc, and i noticed bunnings had a product with the same name, and well, "tassie oak" is not oak, so i wondered

    but it sounds like it's most likely the same thing in this case. i wonder if it's imported, or if we have domestic plantations somewhere

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Coffs Coast
    Posts
    103

    Default

    Pretty sure Iíve seen packs of true wrc at Cedar sales in Ipswich headed to various Bunnings around the country, so I doubt they have a Ďhome brandí.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    McBride BC Canada
    Posts
    3,358

    Default

    I've been carving western red cedar for nearly 20 years. As said, common here in the Pacific Northwest. I live in the middle of it.
    I work in shake block chunks 24" tall up to 64" x 5" x 5" posts. Everything $5 each select at the mill.

    Best guide to workability is what I call the "ring count," the number of annual growth rigs per inch. The knots are bad.
    Less that 12 is crap = fence boards. 15-40 is really nice stuff. More than 40 is maybe old growth = kind of boney but OK for everything.

    I doubt that you have home grown plantations, WRC is slow, rarely ever replanted here.
    Canada does export raw logs, your mills might see a boat-load from time to time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Millmerran,QLD
    Age
    69
    Posts
    7,404

    Default

    I think WRC is always imported and has certainly always been expensive. Now it is horribly expensive. Redwood used to be even more expensive again. When I last looked (may not have been quite this century ) it was getting on for double the price. WRC is very soft and redwood is very brittle but ironically both are durable in external situations and resistant to white ants.

    It is Oregon (Douglas Fir) that has been home grown: Actually it is New Zealand so not really.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

    "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brisbane (western suburbs)
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    73
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    9,049

    Default

    An old forester in Victoria told me they had experimented with a number of softwoods other than the ubiquitous P. radiata (including WRC) way back when, but as far as I can discover with the aid of Mr. Google, the only species that seem to have gone on to small commercial quantities (in Vic. & S.A.) are "Oregon" or Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesi) and some Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), and the emphasis is on SMALL. The Kiwis have been more persistent & more successful at growing a wider range of exotic softwoods.

    I've seen all sorts of large WRCs, Lebanese Cedars and other 'desirable' species growing in parks & botanic gardens around the country, but for some reason, the folks that look after such places get very upset if you're seen walking in with a chainsaw......

    Cheers,
    IW

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Port Sorell, Tasmania
    Posts
    369

    Default

    Similar in Tasmania, when I started in the forest industry there were still remnants of the old arboretums that had been planted in the 1930's with a range of coniferous species. The Douglas Fir stands contained some really nice trees, they had been thinned some time back and grew well. The WRC was largely unthinned and at 60 years of age the stand had barely reached a commercial size. The couple of areas that had been thinned were looking better and the thinning was about 40 years after planting so not a true indication of its potential. Some of the other species barely made fence posts after 60 years. In terms of the economics of growing Doug Fir its worth remembering that you could grow two crops of radiata in that time.
    The WRC was milled by a local operator and the timber was lighter in colour than the imported material that I have seen. I purchased some from and used it to build a sauna nearly 20 years ago.
    You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. ~Oscar Wilde

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Millmerran,QLD
    Age
    69
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    7,404

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    Interesting statistics Tony.

    I once looked into Radiata Pine plantations and at that time first thinings occurred at 15 years and the aim was to clear harvest by 40 years. Although some of this may have changed at little I suspect not too much. Combined with the ease of working it is not hard to see why Radiata Pine is our preferred softwood.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

    "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Nsw
    Age
    59
    Posts
    498

    Default

    I have been using WRC weatherboards and they are all from Canada

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