View Full Version : Smoked Cedar

03-14-2015, 05:05 PM
I bought a firewood permit from the Forest Service last year that allowed me to cut and gather dead wood on National Forest lands. My main purpose was to try to find nice big pieces of manzanita, but I always keep my eye out for anything that looks like it might be uke worthy. So when I spotted a huge charred stump, I decided to investigate further.

It turned out to be the remnant of an old-growth incense cedar. Cedars in general are very decay resistant, so itís possible the tree itself was felled over a hundred years ago. Cutting into it with my chainsaw revealed some very promising heartwood, even though the outside was quite charred.

And after running a few pieces through the bandsaw, it became clear that the charring must have infused the rest of the wood with sort of a natural stain. Here are a couple of shots comparing the Ďsmokedí cedar with freshly cut incense cedar.



03-14-2015, 06:13 PM
I've just recently become aware of this wood, but it grows around where I live in Northern California. Uncommon however. But the more I look the more I see. I was not aware that it might be an instrument wood... Around here we can get a permit to cut 5 cords of wood off State land for $25. The catch is that the wood has to be down. Hella deal though. I'll be keeping an eye out. Thanks


... Below description of incense cedar.

Calocedrus (common name incense cedar, alternatively spelled incense-cedar) is a genus of coniferous trees in the cypress family Cupressaceae first described as a genus in 1873.[2][3] It is native to eastern Asia and western North America.[1] The generic name means "beautiful cedar".

03-14-2015, 07:01 PM
Incense cedar is fairly common in the Sierra near here, but it can be hard to find large dead or downed trees. One of my best sources is at my Dad's old cabin, just outside of Lassen National Park.

Incense cedar is closely related to western red cedar and Port Orford cedar, and more distantly related to redwood, which is also in the Cupressaceae family.

03-17-2015, 08:37 AM
Nice looking wood.
I went to Chico State in the early 80's, loved the area, miss it sometimes.

03-20-2015, 05:52 PM
Reminiscent of experiments Timbuck did with baking Maple fretboards to replicate ebony look.