Why is cedarwood getting expensive?


Cedar wood

The term expensive isn’t really making any sense, particularly for a wood species. Unless we know what alternatives you’ve on the other hand. 

Let’s say if you are going to buy cedar furniture and you think this is too much, you can buy the same quality furniture of other wood at lower rates. Then, this is actually not the case.

On many online stores that are selling cedarwood-

The average cost of the highest quality of cedar decking is $6.56 per linear foot. The minimum cost of the highest quality cedar is $5.43 per linear foot. The maximum cost of the highest quality of cedar decking is $7.70 per linear foot. 

You can check the current rates from these stores: Homedepot, Lowes

The cheap alternatives out there, for instance, the pinewood can save you some bucks but the thing is you have to trade for durability and the appealing look that cedarwood puts on the table.

With this being said, cedar is a well-reputed wood, has a natural ability to resist insects, water, and the reddish-pink hue looks so beautiful on things made of red cedarwood. 

That’s what makes cedar unique- and overpriced too. 

The basic characteristic of cedarwood

Color Pinkish-Red with Purple Tinges
Source Eastern Red CedarTree (Juniperus virginiana L.)
Hardness 900 on the Janka scale
Cost $3-6 per board foot
Common Uses Hope chests, indoor molding, outdoor furniture, flooring, decking, and siding

Why cedar wood prices have increased? Valid reasons

There could be more than many reasons. I did some research and here is what’s got true enough to be taken as a valid reason.

1: Eastern red cedar to western cedar, since their furniture is always on-demand due to the beautiful lool and the durability these wood bring on the table. Meanwhile, popularity can be one of the reasons for this.

2. The cedar wood is domestic to the US as eastern and western parts of the US are where these trees grow. Not to mention the fire season of 2017-2018 in the forest that burns trillions of trees into ashes, also the recent wildfires, have decreased the land’s efficiency to produce trees at normal rates. 

https://www.oregonlive.com/wildfires/2020/11/after-the-fires-timber-industry-faces-generational-losses-and-longer-term-supply-questions-of-supply.html

3. Of course the pandemic situation has affected many wood brands, pushing them back from producing the lumbers as per the demands. 

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/ffgc.2021.666960/full

4. The Growth in population is one of the reasons why all the wood’s prices are going up. Since this is increasing demands that’s hard to catch up.

https://www.fao.org/3/x4108e/X4108E04.htm

5. Cedarwood trees can grow rapidly as being they are softwoods. But the trees require special maintenance that’s hard to pay attention to, without it the trees become unable to provide a useful block.

https://www.hunker.com/13428627/how-fast-do-cedar-trees-grow#:~:text=Cedars%2C%20in%20general%2C%20can%20grow,12%20to%2024%20inches%20annually.

There are other good options are available in case you’ve run out of options. These may help you.

What are some options other than cedarwood?

Only a few kinds of wood can provide you with good quality furniture. Such as Maple, cherry, oak or walnut are some options. Their furniture has some durability factors by nature. 

However, the prices of these woods will be as high as you’re paying for cedarwood. Since the fact is, the overall wood’s prices are increased dramatically.

That’s true that there is an increment in cedar wood prices. It started from the end of the 2019 year and the cost is still following the uptrend. 

Speaking of the cost that how much increment is there in cedar prices. 

If you have purchased lumber of cedarwood back before 2019, or upgraded decking of cedarwood, or furnishing stuff. 

You might have purchased cedar at a cost of $2 to $3 per square foot for average quality. And back before the cost of the highest grade of cedar wood was around $5 maximum. 

Compared to the date today, the prices back before were quite cheap.

How much does it cost to buy a cedar board?

Recently if you are looking to buy a cedarwood. You will find it at rates down below.

Price for the basic quality: 

  • The average cost is $4.63 per linear foot.
  • The minimum cost is $3.89 per linear foot.
  • The maximum cost is $5.39 per linear foot.

Price for the normal quality-grade: Treated Lumbers

  • The average cost is $5.62 per linear foot. 
  • The minimum cost is $4.51 per linear foot.
  • The maximum cost is $6.59 per linear foot.

Price for AA grade cedar (Highest quality):

  • The average cost is $6.56 per linear foot.
  • The minimum cost is $5.43 per linear foot.
  • The maximum cost is $7.70 per linear foot.

The rates of the cedar wood lumbers are confirmed from this website, they’re also providing cedar wood deck services in the US.

https://www.improvenet.com/r/costs-and-prices/cedar-decking

What caused wood prices to rise?

In 2021 due to so much increase in demand oversupply that’s because of the pandemic and work-from thing. 

Where thousands of workers have to work from home, so the usages of wooden furniture had to be increased as it’s common for many.

Also because of the less production in wood factories probably due to lockdown issues that put the workers back home- is one of the factors that decrease the supply of not only cedar wood but also other popular woods used for furnishings, decking, flooring, such as oak, walnut, teak, are also not capable of catching up with the demands these days.

How Many Types of Cedar Trees are There?

Cedar trees have so many species, some are classified as softwoods and others are hardwoods.

I’ve listed below some commonly used species that you will probably easily get in the US. 

  • Eastern Red Cedar
  • Western Red Cedar
  • Eastern White Cedar
  • Spanish Cedar 
  • Alaskan Yellow Cedar

Eastern Red Cedar and Western Red cedar are popular in the united state.

Red cedar or White-red which is cheaper?

The easter red cedar also called redwood is one of the cheapest species of cedar trees. However, this is still questionable where are you buying from. 

The cost of transport is actually a big factor here.

Those living on the West Coast who would like eastern white cedar, which only grows in the East, are required to ship the wood long distances, they may find one species more expensive than another one due to the shipping charges. 

It is recommended that you purchase wood that is close to your area if you care about shipping costs not being high.

However, the untold fact here, the white cedar typically is more durable and rot-resistant than redwood. So, you will be putting extra bucks for additional strength/benefits.

Where do cedar trees grow the most?

As you know the term cedar basically is a group name of multiple wood species. Which includes, redwood, whitewood, Spanish cedarwood, and some others. 

Regions, where they grow, are different. And most of the names are referring to their growing regions.

  • Redwood or red cedar belongs to the eastern forest of the US. Particularly cedar: you can learn more about it from here.
  • White cedar is most commonly grown on the western coast.
  • Yellow cedar is domestic to Alaska forests.
  • Spanish cedar is domestic to south America.

Reasons to choose Red Cedarwood even if it’s expensive.

Cedarwood makes a better choice for various things from furnishing, decking, or both indoor or outdoor stuff. For some good reasons.

As you know each species has its own benefits and downsides.

Particularly I’m going to mention the benefit that the red eastern cedar brings onto the table.

Durability: Eastern red cedar is durable by nature, despite the fact it has a lower density than many kinds of wood but typically the lumber is strong. It’s not easily get warped or cracked out.

Ability to withstand rough weather: Unlike chemically treated lumbers/plywoods, cedar has a natural ability to resist water and humidity defects over time. With a coat of oil, polish, stain over the surface you can make it even more resistant to water.

Insect-proof: Not every wood has this anti-insect power that you will be getting with cedar wood furniture.

Pleasant-smell: This property is an additive quality in cedar wood furniture that their pleasant smell can spread positive vibes around a home.

Beautiful look: The cedar wood furniture looks so beautiful, particularly the red cedar wood is which has a reddish to some pinkish type hue, adds a cool look to a place.

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