Spanish Cedar: Don't let the name fool you!

This species is known as Spanish Cedar, it's botanical name is Cedrella Odorata, but don't let its name fool you. Spanish Cedar is not from Spain and quite honestly, it isn't really a cedar either. Originally, up until the early 1990's, Spanish Cedar was most commonly sourced from South American countries. The tree is from the mahogany family, Meliaceae, a family that also counts the true Mahogany "Swietenia macrophylla", African Mahogany, Sapele and Sipo.

spanish-cedar-imageIn the late 1990's Cedrella Odorata appeared in Africa. Trees, on plantations, were coming ready for harvest and enabled Africa to become another sourcing option. Today the majority of the Spanish Cedar sold in the United States originates from Africa. This lumber is primarily from the plantations in Ghana and Ivory Coast which is where we source our lumber from. The lengths are generally excellent from African sourced Cedar, but the trees do not have large diameters. This means the widths of the lumber are not as wide as what used to arrive in the past from South America. However, a full compliments of thicknesses are still available, (4/4 through 16/4).

Cedrella Odorata is a very light wood. It weighs only about 2.4 lbs per board foot, so it is not unusual that we ship over 18,000 bft on a truck load. This characteristic is also as reason you will see it used as a preferred material in boat building.

It is also a material of choice for cigar boxes and was in great demand when the cigar craze was at is high point a few years back. Other common uses for Spanish Cedar include pattern work, furniture, window blinds and doors. It is also very suitable for the garage door category due to its beautiful appearance and the very light weight.

Spanish Cedar has a color characteristic of being pink to dark reddish brown with a purplish tinge from time to time. Its grain patterns are typically straight and fine. It is known to be easy to work with when it comes to machining, nailing, screwing and gluing which helps make it a preferred wood for many type of applications.

Baillie Lumber maintains a large inventory of Spanish Cedar available for shipment from our Cove City, North Carolina facility. Full truck load quantities or loads mixed with other tropical or domestic species can be provided. If you are considering using Spanish Cedar for some of your products let us know. We would be happy to see how we can help your hardwood sourcing needs!

Jepser Bach
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