In 1947, Town & Country’s founders determined that Northern White Cedar was the most dependable, durable building product for natural wood homes.
It is inherently and naturally resistant to decay and insects. We use this remarkable wood exclusively for the weather exposed portions of our building systems. Here’s why:
About Northern White Cedar
Northern White Cedar (Thuja Occidentalis) is a conifer and has a flat, yellow-green leaf color. The Northern White Cedar’s primary geographic growth area is Lower Canada and the perimeters of colder, swampy regions of the Great Lakes. The cold climate yields a slow growth tree with very tight rings. That means stability in your home.
The swampy growth regions produce a tree that must be highly resistant to moisture to survive a 100 year life cycle. This means a natural resistance to moisture and mildew induced rot in your home.
‘The Canoe Conifer’
Native Americans of the Great Lakes region knew well the great durability and insect-resistance of Northern White Cedar long before the tree became harvestable for building log homes. The wood was used by Natives to craft canoe ribs and slats, and the oil extracted from its twigs was used as chest decongestant.
When timbermen arrived in the Northern Michigan region in the late 1800s, these new pioneers began making Northern White Cedar log siding and paneling for their bunk homes. In fact, several of these old homes still stand today, a testament to the wood’s longevity.
It wasn’t until the early 1900s that Northern White Cedar was harvested in large quantities to support the growing demand for products made from this superior wood. Now, some 110 years later, annual production has grown to over 100 million board feet per year as Northern White Cedar logs and timber products are the premium choice for rot resistant fence posts, poles, boats, decks, paneling and siding, and log and timber homes.
Generations of Town & Country homes, too, endure today across all global climates, with their signature stability, strength and stunning beauty.
Characteristics of Northern White Cedar
The best for many reasons …
You will see the difference. Northern White Cedar contains natural preservatives, Thujaplycin, within the tree itself that resist insects and decay. This is a prime reason why white cedar is considered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the wood to use where a high degree of durability and resistance to the elements is necessary. It’s also why white cedar log paneling and siding have become the preferred choices for homeowners and log-home builders.
Fact to remember: Due to its slow-growth characteristics and tight growth rings, Northern White Cedar is dimensionally very stable. When kiln-dried properly, it will not twist, warp or shrink.
Your grandchildren will see the difference. Heartwood within the tree will last for generations. Sapwood easily decays and discolors. White cedar has minimal sapwood (approximately ¾ inch on a 10-inch diameter log). Through the sawing, shaping and peeling processes, all sapwood from Town & Country cedar is removed.
Did you know: Sapwood is the reason why you see a black discoloring in some log homes, especially in pine structures? Pine logs have a large sap ring which is nearly impossible to remove and which demands annual maintenance. This is not a problem with our kiln-dried Northern White Cedar.
Your health will notice the difference. Northern White Cedar is a naturally, environmentally safe choice for your family in part because of its closed-cell structure. The cell structure resembles that of a cork. Combined with the natural oils, this inherent feature provides protection against internal mold and mildew.
This is also important because properly kiln-dried Northern White Cedar will resist the absorption of moisture from the environment. When wood absorbs moisture from rain and the air, and then is exposed to drying from wind and sun, it results in “checking” and deterioration. Not so with Northern White Cedar.
Another interesting fact: This is why many saunas are built with nothing other than white cedar log products.
Your utility bills will realize the difference. The insulation factor of Northern White Cedar is among the highest of any wood. Rated at over 1.41 R-factor per inch, Northern White Cedar siding and paneling products will provide additional protection and warmth for your family.