PROPERTIES Of eastern white CEDAR
Here in Northern Ontario, cedar split rail fencing is common, our weather up here is harsh, cold, and snow covered all winter, most of the fencing here is about 100 years old. The properties of cedar make it a wonderful environmentally safe product, not only for the handlers but for generations to come.
Below are some quotes and studies for your information, regarding white cedar that have been researched and included from other sites on the internet. These properties are very similar to the Western Red Cedar as well.
Not only the most decay resistant wood, due to its natural tannis that repel mildew, rot and insect damage, northern white cedar has a built-in all natural non-toxic preservative. Because of this, cedar needs no pressure treatments, making it environmentally friendly.
White cedar, recognized universally as a superior species for use in log homes, is one of nature's small miracles. This recognition is due in part to the natural beauty and insulating qualities this species possesses. It is naturally insect, and rot resistant, it naturally regenerates. White cedar is not prone to splintering. If left unfinished, it ages to a silvery grey, silky surface. This species is excellent for indoor, outdoor, and ground contact applications. It is nontoxic, safe to handle, and can be safely burned. There are no chemicals added, so none can leach out.
According to a University of Maine study, initiated to determine the natural durability of various species of commonly used woods, untreated white cedar was found to possess a high natural durability, even under ground contact conditions, as attested by the existence of surveyor's corner posts and rail fences still serviceable after 50 to 60 years or more.
Source: UMO-Forest Products Laboratory
Durable because white cedar, with its naturally occuring oils, receives the most decay resistant rating as assigned by the United States Forest Products Laboratory
Eastern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis, also called Northern White Cedar or Arborvitae) - Tree of life
Exceptional decay resistance, excellent stability, resistance to splintering, weathers to silver gray
Recommended applications - Siding, Decking, Trim, Boat & Canoe Planking, Fencing, Furniture
Other wood types do not carry the properties of Eastern White Cedar, that is why they require special treatment & preservatives.