Port Orford Cedar
Scientific Name: Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
Other common names: Hinoki, pacific white cypress, oregon cypress, pacific white cedar. Originally grown only in southern Oregon and Northern California, Port Orford is a truly unique cedar species. Like all cedars, it is a member of the cypress family. It is a particularly hard and strong cedar, with the same natural durability as other types of cedar when it comes to weather, rot and insects.
Port Orford Cedar has earned a reputation for strength and decay-resistance. Historically, as the strongest of all the cedar products it has been the preferred wood for japanese architecture, building boats, railroad ties and fence posts (its heartwood has an in-ground life of 20-25 years by the Oregon State D.O.T.). Strength, durability and natural decay-resistance make POC the ideal wood for timber structures renown for its beauty and structural integrity, useful for both indoor and outdoor uses. POC is a light colored wood, allowing it to stain uniformly. It´s fine texture, straight grain, and pleasant, sweet-spicy scent, makes it an excellent choice for woodwork. Decking made from POC is not only strong, it´s safe for children. Its texture remains smooth with no raised grain or splintering, and it´s durability makes it ideal for use in high-traffic outdoor sites. Read more below...
Photo: above left: The Kilroy home in Kauai, HI utilizes POC for its decks, railing and interiors. Check their featured project page.
Port Orford Cedar Products
Tongue and Groove Siding
Take your interior or exterior applications to the next level with POC tongue and groove paneling. We offer a variety of patterns to meet your needs
Decking Port Orford Cedar is a great choice for humid, wet climates for its rot resistant properties.
Post and Beam
Pergolas, trellis, timber frames, arbors and garden structures made of POC feature an extended life compared to other softwoods. Enjoy your projects longer.
Port Orford Cedar Boards
Soft tones of yellow, white and light pink set this wood apart. A wide variety of sizes and lengths in stock, plus special order items.
Additional Port Orford Cedar Products:
Trim, Fascia, Interior Paneling, Exposed Ceiling.
Visit any of our picture galleries:
POC Product Pictures
, POC Raw Lumber Pictures
Available Board Grades
Note: all pictures are meant for a general grade description. †If you want to see a more defined grade image, please let us know. †We can email you pictures and grade rules.
- cv - Clear Vertical Grain - Pieces may exhibit a few minor characteristics which do not detract from their high appearance and quality. Limiting provisions include: very light torn grain, very light skips on the non-graded face and very light warp.
- c - C & Better Clear - Pieces of this grade are of sound wood.› Most pieces are entirely clear or have only a few unimportant characteristics such as: medium stained sap wood , short splits in not more than 5% of pieces , small pitch streak or a smalPieces of this grade are of sound wood.
- d - D and Better Clear - This grade accounts for pieces of lumber having one or more characteristics which are of such size and number that the piece is not of C & BTR grade. Medium pitch streaks, limited pin holes, hit and miss skips, two knots approximately 1" or their equivalent.
- tk - Select Tight Knot - The basis for this grade are the knots, burls and naturally occurring markings which are of fairly uniform distribution and add to the decorative character of the piece. Sound, tight knots: star checked and/or slightly chipped knots permitted.
- bt - Standard and better - The visual quality takes precedence over the structural integrity of a particular piece of lumber. grain density, coloration and clarity of the exposed face is key to selection.
Tongue & Groove , Channel , Pattern 105 , Edge & Center Bead , S4S
Other Featured Products
« Port Orford Cedar Decking :
One of the finest and rarest wood available due to the limited growth range, this species is a highly sought-after material. It's resistance to rot makes it ideal for decks and outdoor applications.
Beautiful Color and Appearance:
In color, Port Orford is a lighter shade than Red cedar or Redwood .The color can also be described as a creamy white hue, and it ages to a stately silvery gray. This brand of cedar remains smooth with no raised grain. Due to the pale nature of its coloring, it gives unlimited options when staining. The wood dries easily and quickly. It works well in every respect with power or hand-tools, polishes and takes paint, stain and all finishes extremely well. When painting use alkyd oil primer. Its ease in staining makes it simple to imitate mahogany and other higher priced woods, adding to its popularity as a fine cabinet wood. Port-Orford-Cedar is very stable in any application and when exposed to soil, water or weather is considered to be one of the most durable of woods. Port-Orford-cedar has been used for a wide variety of things from the Hawaiian Presidential Palace to Japanese Buddhist temples, California gold mine timbers and building construction. It was used for high quality boats – Sir Thomas Lipton used this wood for his Shamrock series of 100’ racing sailboats, built as challengers for the Americas Cup just prior to World War I.
is one of the white-cedars in a group of “false-cypresses,” numbering three native species in the U.S. and four additional species in Japan and Taiwan. The Port-Orford-Cedar was first discovered in its small natural range along the California/Oregon coast in 1851. The total range was only about 200 miles long north and south and about 50 miles deep, shared by both states, about 70 percent in Oregon. Port-Orford-cedar, also known as Port-Orford white-cedar, Oregon-cedar and Lawson cypress prefers a mild climate with plenty of rain (40-90 inches annually)! High humidity and misting from the Pacific Ocean are also factors in the healthy growth of this tree in its natural areas. The range has been extended by planting the original and its variations around much of the northern half of the world and in New Zealand. These large attractive and very shade-tolerant trees grow to 125’ to 180’ in 500 years, with diameters of 3 1/2" to 6". A record tree, 219’ tall with a diameter of 12’, standing in Siskiyou, Oregon may be 700 years old. The wood of Port-Orford-cedar is clear with a straight, but somewhat uneven, medium grain. The wood is yellow-white in color, sometimes with tinges of red and has a bitter ginger taste/smell. Sapwood is hardly distinguishable from heartwood. Relatively lightweight and with good strength, this wood has a specific gravity of 0.40 and weighs about 27 pounds per cubic foot at 8% moisture content, about the same as Eastern Hemlock and a little heavier than Eastern White Pine.
Legendary Durability and Long life:
Historically preferred for marine applications such as docks and fine boat building. Rated to 20-25 years in ground post life. Exceptional Strength:Port Orford Cedar is exceptionally strong for a softwood. In tests for crushing strength, bending, shearing strength and side hardness, Port Orford outperformed all other Cedars and Redwood. Specifically 45% stronger than Redwood or Western Red Cedar in impact bending and 30% stronger in crushing strength. This wood is in great demand in China and Japan for coffins, and for temple construction because of its close relationship to Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) which is thought to have a spiritual nature.