China Cedar Decking
Known for its durability, yet softness and versatility, Cunninghamia Lanceolata (China Cedar) is one of the most prized trees available on the market today. Comparable to Red Cedar, China Cedar is easy to work with, especially for building and staining.
This beautiful China Cedar tree is part of the Cypress family and is considered an evergreen. The leaves on the China Cedar are green and blue in color. Typically, the color is consistent on the leaves, except when the winters are extremely cold. When this occurs, the leaves will change to a brown tint.
China Cedar trees grow cones in clusters of up to 30 and at least 10. Within eight months, the cones mature to a size of 2.5 to 4.5 centimeters long.
China Cedar is one of the fastest growing trees. What makes this tree unique is its ability to re grow from only its roots. Because of these traits, this tree, similar to Bamboo, is taking pressure off of other forests and their harvest.
China Cedar Decking History
Native to China, Northern Vietnam and Taiwan, China Cedar can reach up to 75 feet tall. The extremely large tree has a sweet scent and has been harvested for more than 800 years.
For hundreds of years, people have been attracted to China Cedar for its beauty and natural ability to repel rot, fungus and pests. It is resistant to decay and has similar properties and appearance to the Douglas Fir.
The tree was harvested first by James Cunningham in the 18th Century. Mr. Cunningham was a British doctor, who was well known throughout the Western world.
Despite the historical record of Mr. Cunningham, there are records dating back many years before him with harvesting of the China Cedar. In fact, records state that the tree harvesting dates back to the Yuan dynasty and maybe even further than that.
China Cedar Decking Challenges
Besides Bamboo, China Cedar is the next most popular type of decking wood imported from the region. This type of decking wood is one of the most common choices for builders and lumber companies. Due to its rapid maturity, the tree is often grown within tree plantations.
Because most China Cedar is harvested within a plantation or farm, the impact on the environment is minimal. After one tree is harvested, one or two more are planted to replace it.
For centuries, the people of Asia understood the special properties of China Cedar. Whether it was used to build ships, decking, or in window frames, the people respected the sturdiness and durability of their product.
Today, people within the Western world have become interested in China Cedar. Throughout the United States, homes are built using the strong wood for decking, fences, play sets and trim.
There really are no challenges with this type of decking wood, except maybe the increased demand. Hopefully plantations and farmers can keep up.
Important Facts About China Cedar Decking
An important thing to keep in mind when you are using China Cedar Decking is its ability to easily accept stains and other finishes. When working with this type of decking wood, be sure to have the right color stain, because you don't want to start over.
The high quality of the decking wood is appealing for many individuals. However, what most don't know is that China Cedar is relatively inexpensive. Due to its ability to quickly grow, the expense is much lower compared to other types of wood used for decking.
Scientific Name: Cunninghamia Lanceolata
Other Names: Cunninghamia, China Fir, Chinese Cedar, Chinese Fir
Region: Asia-China, Northern Vietnam, Taiwan, Cambodia, Laos
Color: Warm colors with pale yellow and white grain, along with hints of red hues.
Durability: Very durable, yet soft.
Grain: Straight, similar to the grain of a Douglas Fir
Common Uses for China Cedar: Due to its extreme durability, smell, and appearance, China Cedar is used in a variety of applications. Most commonly, the decking wood is used in homes, decks, fences, ships, coffins, siding, and outdoor furniture.
China Cedar Decking is easy to work with, beautifully smelling, and less expensive than other types of exotic decking woods. Its durability makes it attractive to those that are looking for a strong wood, but also appealing to the eye.
Whether you are looking to add a home addition or need to build the kids a play set, not only will you be happy with the appearance using China Cedar, you will love the fact that your finished decking wood will last!
Contact us today to find out more about China Cedar. Our decking experts are available to answer all of your questions.
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