A tree native to mountainous regions from North America to Asia, cedar is known for its strong properties. There are many species of cedar but western red is commonly used for gardening purposes.
- Whilst native to areas outside of the UK, the species was introduced to Britain, planted in the UK for timber. British red cedar wood will be locally sourced and reduce emissions in terms of transport.
- Whilst some species of cedar are endanger, the western red cedar in Britain is not.
- The wood is durable and naturally resistant to fungi, due to natural preservatives.
- Cedar woods can be found FSC certified.
- The wood is usually reasonably priced.
- Imported red cedar tends to be more durable than locally sourced, but not by too much. Imports will also have more impact on the environment due to the amount they will travel.
- Cedar imported from non-certified sources and from abroad may have further environmental impacts, threatening habitats along with indigenous cultures.
Much like many other woods, spruce is the umbrella term for many species of tree and wood. They grow in temperate and boreal forests, meaning some species can be seen in the UK, but also the Europe and America.
- A low costing wood, it is fairly easy to obtain. (ref)
Norwegian spruce was a common wood in the UK, but it has been replaced by sitka spruce for timber. (ref)
- Sitka Spruce plantations are common in the UK, making up to 50% of plantation, potentially due to its versatility. (ref) As it can be harvested locally, the reduction of the energy and fuel used to transport it can be a benefit.
- It is not an endangered species.
- Spruce can be FSC certified, being sourced from more sustainable and environmentally friendly places.
- Much like Pine wood, Spruce needs to be treated to reduce decay for outdoor usage. (ref) See Pine for more details. Without treatment the wood will last no longer than two years, (ref) but the treatment process can vary from place to place, having different environmental impacts. The wood is harder to penetrate, however, (ref) meaning more power and energy will be required to preserve it.
- Spruce is quite a weak wood, (ref) prone to pests and diseases, hence the need for treatment.
Spruce is grown in UK and plantations are common. Sourcing from the UK reduces transportation, and lowers CO2 emissions. The wood can also be certified, helping to ensure its sustainable management. Spruce wood an be sustainable, however, for garden purposes, Spruce will need to be treated as it is a weak wood, and it needs to become resistant to the elements,, like Pine, this can be unsustainable due to the amount of energy needed and potential CO2 emissions from this.