Cedar of Lebanon

Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani)

Cedar of Lebanon, derived from Cedrus libani has a beautiful creamy to slightly reddish colour, complemented by a straight, sometimes knotty grain pattern that adds visual appeal. In boxmaking, we choose woods for their decorative appeal rather than their strength.

Characteristics of Cedar of Lebanon

  1. Colour/Appearance — Heartwood is usually a creamy-white to slightly reddish tone, often maturing to a deeper reddish-brown with age. This range of hues contributes to its popularity for both structural and decorative uses.
  2. Grain/Texture — Generally has a straight grain, although it can be knotty, adding to its rustic charm. The texture is typically coarse, yet the wood is known for its lightweight and easy-to-work qualities.
  3. Odour — A distinct, pleasant, and aromatic scent, which is highly valued not only for its fragrance but also for its natural resistance to pests and decay.
  4. Sustainability — Considered relatively sustainable, especially when sourced responsibly. Efforts are made to maintain and protect this species due to its symbolic and ecological importance, particularly in Lebanon where it is a national emblem.
  5. Common Uses — This wood is traditionally used in woodworking for fine furniture, ornamental carvings, and outdoor construction projects such as decking, landscaping, and even in shipbuilding due to its durable nature and resistance to decay.
  6. Alternative Names — Sometimes simply referred to as Lebanese Cedar, emphasizing its strong ties to the Lebanese region and heritage.
  7. Countries of Origin — Primarily found in the mountains of Lebanon, Syria, and parts of Turkey. The Cedar of Lebanon is closely associated with the Mediterranean region and its cultural history.
  8. Box/Furniture Making — Cedar of Lebanon is excellent for furniture making, especially for pieces intended for outdoor use due to its natural oils that repel insects and withstand decay. Its attractive colour and grain make it suitable for indoor furniture that demands a unique aesthetic.

Wood Alternatives Based on Colour

  1. Western Red Cedar — Offers a similar light colour and aromatic properties, making it a good alternative for outdoor applications.
  2. Eastern White Cedar — Shares a light colour tone and is also resistant to decay and insects, suitable for similar uses in outdoor and decorative applications.
  3. Pine — Lighter in colour but can be treated or finished to achieve a look similar to Cedar of Lebanon, serving as an economical alternative.


Cedar of Lebanon is cherished for its historical and cultural significance, creamy to reddish wood tones, and especially its distinctive aromatic scent which enhances its desirability in woodworking. The wood’s properties not only make it appealing for its appearance but also for its practical qualities like resistance to decay and pests. Ideal for both functional and decorative purposes, Cedar of Lebanon continues to be a preferred choice for those seeking durability, natural beauty, and a touch of historical significance in their woodworking projects.

More information for Cedar of Lebanon

Discover more about Cedrus libani or explore the rich heritage and applications of Cedar of Lebanon timber.

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