The red cedar is native to western parts of North America, from southern Alaska and British Columbia to Northern California. The red cedar is also found in the interior of the continent, among others in Montana and Alberta.
There are six species of red cedar, two of which are found in North America. Its wood is stable, highly textured and extremely durable with a fine, even grain. Red cedar is primarily purchased for its appearance, stability, hardness, and odor. Most woods lose their odor as they dry. However, some species, such as cedar, retain their natural scent.
It is believed that infusions of leaves and cedar bark were used to treat the SCORBUT which struck Jacques Cartier's crew in the winter of 1535-1536. It is for this reason that the cedar was nicknamed the «tree of life».