The soft red-brown timber has a tight, straight grain and few knots. It is valued for its distinct appearance, aroma, and its high natural resistance to decay, being extensively used for outdoor construction in the form of posts, decking, shingles, and siding.

Common Uses

It is commonly used for the framing and longwood in lightweight sail boats and kayaks. It is also used to line closets and chests, for its pungent aromatic oils are believed to discourage moth and carpet beetle larvae, which can damage cloth by eating wool and similar fibres.


Thuja plicata is a large to very large tree, ranging up to 65 to 70 m (213 to 230 ft) tall and 3 to 4 m (9.8 to 13.1 ft) in trunk diameter, exceptionally even larger. Heartwood is light to medium reddish brown. Paler sapwood is usually well defined.


Can be a challenge to work because of interlocked grain, especially on quartersawn surfaces. Planing can cause tearout and/or fuzzy surfaces. Poor dimensional stability. Glues, stains, and finishes well. Responds well to steam bending, and holds nails and screws well.

American Elm