At American International Forest Products, we trade a variety of wood and other industrial products for construction and manufacturing projects across the country. In this month’s blog, our cedar experts cover everything you need to know about cedar wood, including what it’s used for, how it’s graded, and more.
Cedar trees are coniferous trees with a very fragrant wood. AIFP’s Cedar Traders deal in Inland Red Cedar, Western Red Cedar, and Incense Cedar, which grow in different geographic areas.
Cedar wood tends to be used for its natural beauty, which means it isn’t typically hidden in the framing of a construction project. With this visual appeal, cedar lends itself to be used in many applications like fencing, decking, siding, and trim. Because of its aromatic smell and natural insect-repellent, some types of cedar can also be used in manufacturing dressers and other clothing storage.
Western Red Cedar in particular is prized for its naturally occurring moisture-resistance, decay-resistance, and insect repellent. Not only is it durable and stable, but its aesthetic beauty makes it ideal for a wide range of interior and exterior projects. It’s also incredibly lightweight, making it easy for professional and amateur use. The best part? Western red cedar wood is extremely versatile, and unlike other woods, you’re not limited by standard colors and styles.
Cedar wood grades can vary from mill to mill, which is why it’s so important to work with an experienced cedar trader who has a working knowledge of the grading system at each mill, as well as the proprietary grades outside of the normal grading system. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common grades of cedar.
Clear grade cedar is used on projects where appearance is of the utmost importance. The most common clear grades are clear vertical, A clear, no. 2 clear and better, D & better clear, and custom clear.
Projects that are looking for a more rustic appearance tend to utilize knotty grades. Some common knotty grades include architect knotty, custom knotty, appearance knotty, select tight-knot, etc.
At AIFP, our cedar traders keep a close eye on changes in the cedar industry. In the past few years, for example, there has been an increase in competition and sourcing, especially as Chinese and Japanese pseudo-cedar imports flood the market with inexpensive cedar alternatives. Composite decking has also gained popularity, causing cedar demand to dwindle. Our cedar traders have their finger on the pulse of potential tariffs, and they keep in direct contact with the major cedar manufacturers so they’re always on top of industry changes. They also regularly attend industry trade shows and are in frequent communication with potential customers so they can learn more about their individual needs.
If you’re in the market for cedar for a construction or manufacturing project, AIFP can help. Contact us to learn more about our product solutions and how we can help meet your diverse needs.
(Image Source: Garden Fencing London)
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There is no substitute for hard work. If you really want to make and run a business here, you have all the tools available to you here.Billy Culver Trader, European Products Department Head
I really enjoy the freedom to create your own customer base and build a business trading the products you want to trade. While being the hardest thing I have ever done, being a trader has also been the most rewarding!Alex Schilling Trader