Comparing Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar: Which is Superior?

Western Red Cedar: Aesthetic Excellence at Every Grade
28 / 100
5/5 - (1 vote)

Dear reader, if you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission to help support the blog - at no extra cost to you.

When it comes to selecting the perfect type of cedar for your project, two popular choices stand out: Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Both offer unique qualities and characteristics that make them suitable for various applications. In this article, we will delve into the distinctions between Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar, considering key factors such as appearance, properties and durability, applications, cost, and fragrance. By understanding these factors, you can make an informed decision when deciding between Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar.

What is better red or yellow cedar?

Alaskan yellow cedar, despite being classified as a softwood, possesses remarkable density. This density provides it with superior durability compared to Western red cedar, making it highly resistant to the harsh effects of the elements. Weaker woods would warp or degrade at a faster rate under such conditions, but Alaskan yellow cedar maintains its strength and integrity.

See more:

Western Red Cedar: Aesthetic Excellence at Every Grade

Western Red Cedar is renowned for its exceptional beauty, making it a favorite among architects, designers, and homeowners. Its rich, reddish-brown hue with hints of pink and amber creates an elegant and timeless appeal. Whether you’re aiming for a rustic or contemporary look, Western Red Cedar offers versatility that suits any style. Additionally, this cedar species ages gracefully, developing an attractive silver-gray patina over time.

Western Red Cedar: Aesthetic Excellence at Every Grade

Alaskan Yellow Cedar: Rarity Combined with Affordability

Alaskan Yellow Cedar, on the other hand, stands out for its unique golden color, ranging from pale yellow to rich amber. While it may not possess the same vibrant red tones as Western Red Cedar, its warm and inviting hues create a distinct visual appeal. Despite its rarity, Alaskan Yellow Cedar often offers a more affordable option compared to Western Red Cedar, making it an attractive choice for those with budget considerations.

To determine which type of cedar best suits your needs, it’s essential to consider several key factors that distinguish Western Red Cedar from Alaskan Yellow Cedar. These factors include:

Alaskan Yellow Cedar: Rarity Combined with Affordability

Western Red Cedar vs. Alaskan Yellow Cedar: Key Factors to Consider


Both Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar offer unique and visually appealing characteristics. Western Red Cedar showcases a captivating reddish-brown color, while Alaskan Yellow Cedar features a golden hue. Understanding your desired aesthetic and the specific visual qualities you seek can help you choose between the two.

Properties and Durability

In terms of properties and durability, Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar both excel. Western Red Cedar possesses excellent natural resistance to decay, insects, and moisture, making it suitable for a wide range of outdoor applications. Alaskan Yellow Cedar, although less resistant to decay than its Western counterpart, still boasts impressive durability and natural resistance.

Properties and Durability


When it comes to applications, Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar offer versatility and adaptability. Western Red Cedar finds common use in exterior siding, decking, and outdoor structures, thanks to its exceptional durability and dimensional stability. Alaskan Yellow Cedar, while also suitable for outdoor applications, is often preferred for interior paneling, cabinetry, and decorative accents.


Cost can play a significant role in the decision-making process. Western Red Cedar tends to be more widely available and widely used, resulting in a slightly lower price point. On the other hand, Alaskan Yellow Cedar’s scarcity can contribute to a higher price tag. Considering your budget constraints and the desired project scale can help guide your choice.


One often overlooked aspect of cedar is its fragrance. Western Red Cedar exudes a distinct aroma that adds a pleasant sensory experience to any space. Alaskan Yellow Cedar, while still aromatic, offers a milder scent. Considering the ambiance you wish to create can influence your decision based on the fragrance profile.

Deciding Between Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar

Choosing between Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar ultimately depends on your personal preferences, project requirements, and budget considerations. If you prioritize aesthetic excellence, versatility, and a timeless appeal, Western Red Cedar may be the ideal choice for you. Its rich red tones and ability to complement various architectural styles make it a popular option for outdoor projects.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a more unique and affordable option, Alaskan Yellow Cedar offers a distinct golden hue that can add warmth and character to your project. Despite its rarity, it still provides durability and natural resistance to decay, making it suitable for both interior and exterior applications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *