The Truth About Spanish Cedar

Written by Jesper Bach

Despite its name, Spanish Cedar isn’t from Spain! Spanish Cedar is actually closely related to the Mahogany family (Meliaceae) which includes Genuine Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), African Mahogany, Sapele, and even Sipo. Which is surprising given its name.

A commonly requested tropical hardwood due to its unique characteristics, Spanish Cedar has a unique pink to dark reddish brown color and sometimes even has a purplish tint. With straight and fine grain patterns it is a hardwood that is easy to work with and machines, glues, screws, and nails extremely well, making it a popular choice in a variety of applications.Truth About Spanish Cedar

In the early 1990’s Spanish Cedar was most commonly sourced from South America. Today, Africa is the most common source of the Spanish Cedar as plantations became ready to harvest, allowing Africa to be a primary sourcing option. Most of the plantations are located in Ghana and Ivory Coast. We source most of our Spanish Cedar from these two countries. While Spanish Cedar harvested from Africa does not have as large of diameter logs as the those harvested in South America in the past, the lengths are excellent from African sourced Spanish Cedar. And Baillie can still offer a wide range of thicknesses from 4/4 all the way through 16/4 for those that require thicker stock for their products.

Spanish Cedar is a great choice for many uses. It has been used in furniture products, window blinds, doors, boat building, pattern work, and even garage doors due to its pleasing appearance and lightweight. Compared to other tropical hardwoods, Spanish Cedar is comparatively lighter. This means that it is not unusual that we ship 18,000 bft on a truckload since it weighs only 2.4 lbs per board foot!

Baillie Lumber has a large inventory of Spanish Cedar ready to ship from our Cove City, NC facility. Available in full truckload quantities or even as mixed loaded with North American hardwoods like Red Oak, White Oak, or Walnut, or even other tropical hardwood species.

Have you been considering using Spanish Cedar for any of your products? If so, we are happy to see how we can meet your hardwood sourcing needs!

Jesper Bach
Baillie Lumber Co.
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