Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world. They grow in the Western Regions of California and Oregon; primarily near the coast, where the winters are mild and it is damp and foggy. Also, redwoods thrive in shady areas, and in moist, acidic soils that are well drained.
The heartwood of redwood ranges from a light red to a dark reddish-brown color. It has a straight grain pattern with a fine texture, and unlike many of the other softwood species, redwood has no resin channels. Also, another interesting quality is that redwood has no taste or odor. It is extremely durable, due to its chemical makeup that resists water, insects, and decay. But it ranks below average for hardness, strength, stiffness, shock resistance, and weight, which is approximately 28 lbs/cu. ft.
Redwood is fairly easy to work with machine equipment and hand tools. It turns well, but is only considered average for carving. Its ability to hold fasteners is below average, and pre-drilling is not necessary due to its soft characteristic and resistance to splitting. Redwood is easy to sand, and readily accepts most types of glue. Also, redwood easily accepts all types of stains and finishes. Blotching is usually not a problem with redwood. For indoor use, redwood can be left unfinished, but a finish will enhance its appearance, and protect the surface. For exterior use, a protective finish is necessary to prevent it from weathering and changing colors. If a stain is desired, use one with an oil base. Also, use a water repellent finish, with mildewcide to prevent mildew from accumulating. Since redwood has tannic acid, it will turn black in areas where fasteners come in contact with water. So, a water repellent finish is recommended whether used indoors or outdoors.
Wood Species Index
Due to its resistant qualities, redwood is sought after for outdoor projects, such as: fencing materials, siding, doors, decks, porches, gazebos, picnic tables, benches, and planter boxes. Other uses include cabinets, blinds, millwork, and decorative carvings. Redwood burl has interesting and beautiful patterns, and is used for wall clocks, and a myriad of other decorations and novelties.