Recently, a fellow Specialty Wood Products employee and I were fortunate enough to attend Cedar School 2022 in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. This week-long event hosted by the W.R.C.L.A. (Western Red Cedar Lumber Association) is an educational journey through the amazing world of the majestic Western Red Cedar.
We began our Journey in the beautiful city of Vancouver. We could not have asked for a better backdrop to begin Cedar School 2022. The bulk of our classroom studies and our first few mill tours were held here. We had the chance to learn from some amazing guest speakers, forestry and manufacturing stewards, and of course a chance to walk through some of the impressive natural forest areas Vancouver has to offer.
Having a chance to learn every aspect of the “Tree of Life” (What the residents of the Pacific Northwest call Western Red Cedar) is truly interesting. Thanks to great strides of companies and the government of British Columbia over the last 20 years with the methods of harvesting Western Red Cedar, we can be sure it will be available for generations to come. For instance, the British Columbia government limits harvesting of WRC to less than 1/3 of 1% annually. It also mandates that six seedlings are planted for every tree harvested. In addition, the increased use of helicopter logging eliminates the need to construct roads for conventional logging practices. This method of Variable Retention Harvesting is much less disruptive to the wildlife and the environment.
After learning the many fascinating techniques of logging , reforestation, and transportation of WRC, it was time to head out and visit some of the incredible and innovative processing and remanufacturing facilities of British Columbia. Observing the very talented operators and advanced equipment in action is something to behold. Being able to make split second decisions regarding sizing, grading, and sorting is no easy task and these men and women do it with both safety and accuracy.
The remanufacturing facilities we visited really showcased the many finished products produced from the Western Red Cedar log. High tech saw systems and drying kilns are used to bring us the absolute best WRC products possible. From large beams to ready-to-install siding products, these amazing companies are responsible for the high level of quality our customers expect.
We then took a long and scenic road trip to the stunning town of Kelowna, British Columbia. Here we joined with the 2022 WRCLA Cedar Summit. We heard from outstanding guest speakers that ranged from popular online influencers and content creators, to industry leading experts on finishing and installation of Western Red Cedar. We learned why this product is the absolute best exterior and interior real wood building material available today. Its dimensional stability and natural durability are un-rivaled.
I am very thankful for the opportunity to take this journey and can highly recommend visiting this beautiful part of North America. The WRCLA is an amazing organization and a vital resource for manufacturers, distributers, architects, builders, and consumers alike. From their very informative website, their active social media presence, and their invaluable print media such as The Cedar Book, the WRCLA is the best source for all things cedar.
Please contact Specialty Wood Products today to learn more about Western Red Cedar and the many products available.
You can also visit www.realcedar.com for more information about the WRCLA.