Common Names: Cedro, Spanish Cedar

Scientific Name: Cedrelaodorata

Origin: Native to South America, Central America, and the Caribbean; it is also grown on plantations.

Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 29 lbs/ft3 (470 kg/m3)

 

Color & Appearance:

Spanish Cedar heartwood is a generally uniform light pink to red-brown, and colors usually grow darker with age. It has haphazard pockets of gum and natural oils, and grain patterning and figures tends to be rather plain

Grain & Texture:

Spanish Cedar grain is straight or superficially interlocked with a medium texture and a modest natural luster.

Endgrain:

This wood can vary from ring-porous to diffuse-porous with medium-large earlywood pores and small-medium latewood pores. It is solitary with radial multiples of 2-3 and mineral deposits (such as red gum) at times. Growth rings are distinct because of terminal parenchyma in diffuse-porous samples or lines of large pores in ring-porous samples. The wood’s rays are generally visible without lens. It is parenchyma banded (terminal), apotracheal parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, and paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric.

Rot Resistance:

Spanish Cedarisslightly durable to moderately durable in regard to decay resistance; it is mostlyimpervious to termite attack. This wood is reported to have outstanding weathering characteristics. Older, slow-growing Spanish Cedartrees in the wild will produce more durable wood than that from younger, plantation-grown trees.

Workability:

Spanish Cedar is noticeably easy to work with either hand or machine tools. However, because of low density and softness, Spanish Cedar usually leaves a fuzzy surface if not machined with sharp cutters. Some extra sanding with finer grits may be necessary to get a really smooth wood surface. Natural gum pockets may remain wet and ooze onto the surface, causing saw blades to clog and gum up; this makes finishing the wood a task.

Odor:

Spanish Cedar has a distinctive, enduring, cedar-like fragrance; this long-lasting characteristic smell makes it a favored wood for cigar boxes.

Allergies & Toxicity:

Although severe reactions are uncommon, Spanish Cedar wood dust can be a respiratory irritant.

Pricing & Availability:

This wood is usually in acceptable availability. Spanish Cedar is at times sold in thinner 1/4″ lumber planks to be used in liners or various small craft projects. Spanish Cedar should be priced in the low to moderate price for imported lumber.

Sustainability:

This wood species is listed in both the CITES Appendix III and the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations. This reduction is caused by a decline in its natural range and by exploitation.

Common Uses:

Spanish Cedar is used for plywood, veneer cabinetry, musical instruments, (flamenco and classical guitars), boat building, and humidors.

Remarks:

Spanish Cedar is a historically valuable type of Latin-American timber. Because it has been exploited in many areas, the species is now considered vulnerable according to the IUCN. It’s listed on the CITES Appendix III for the countries of Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, Peru, and Guatemala. The listing in Appendix III means that the countries listed have chosen voluntarily to control the export of Spanish Cedar wood and have appealed to other countries in enforcing restrictions. Spanish Cedar may be exported from Latin American countries not listed in Appendix III. Not a true cedar, Spanish Cedar is closely related to true Mahoganies, the Swietenia and Khaya genera (since both are in the Meliaceae family). Wood density and mechanical issues can vary depending on the country of origin and the growing conditions. Some of the wood available now comes from plantations, where younger, fast-growing trees produce wood lower in density and paler in color than wood from wild trees taken from natural forests.

Size 1-200 Bft 201-300 Bft 301-500 Bft 501+ Bft
4/4 4.75  4.50  4.25  4.00
5/4  5.00 4.75  4.50  4.25
8/4 5.25   5.00  4.75  4.50
12/4  5.75  5.50  5.50   5.25