Western Red Cedar

As the name partly suggests this large conifer comes from western North America. It was introduced to Britain in 1853 by William Lobb when he was a collector for Veitch Nurseries. This was an important tree for the local indigenous people providing shelter, rope and clothing from the wood and bark; as well as canoes, totem poles and utensils. The timber is very durable and can withstand wet conditions so is widely used in outdoor construction such as shingles for roofing and cladding, for decking, for general construction and for making storage boxes and garden seats. It has been used for hedging for it can stand clipping and gives off a pleasant fruity smell. It is too tall a tree for gardens.