Uses for Cedar in and Around the Home

Cedar is a good sturdy wood that smells great. It has many uses around the house including a few you might not have considered. Cedar trees grow too large to be used in most gardens, but its strong aromatic qualities and durability make it a household favorite. There are different types of cedar: true and faux. The faux varieties found in the United States such as the Western and Eastern Red Cedars carry all the qualities we associate with true cedar like the lovely smell and insect and rot-resistant properties.


Cedarwood can be used inside or outside the house. Cedar is considered a stable wood, so it’s an excellent choice for wall paneling because it will not warp or buckle with temperature changes. For this same reason, cedar shingles are popular. They are lightweight and rot-resistant making them an ideal choice for the roof. A cedar screen door or front door makes sense because of the cedar’s ability to withstand harsh weather. Properly cured cedar fences are a beautiful addition to a backyard and can last up to 40 years, making it the winner in the fence longevity category.


Cedar chests and boxes are heirloom quality items to be passed down through the generations. Not only do cedar chests keep your clothes smelling great, they also resist infestations by insects like moths that like to eat fabric. If you can’t afford an entire chest made out of cedar, consider buying cedar planks or make sachets of cedar shavings to line your wardrobe boxes with.


Cedar shavings have many uses beyond drawer tuck-aways. They are great to use in the garden for several reasons. The smell repels snakes, so shavings can be tucked around your foundation as a deterrent. Cedar also deters mosquitoes and other insects making it an ideal choice for garden bed mulch around your property. In addition, cedarwood shavings protect plant roots from drying and add nutrients to the soil as they break down. Because of all these assets and their absorbent quality, shavings make excellent pet bed filler. It smells nice and will repel fleas.


Some people believe that burning cedar will help purify the inside of a home in the same way that sage does. Others think the berries of the cedar tree help relieve both a wet and dry cough and that the needles can be used as a diuretic. Obviously, none of these uses should be tried without expert advice.

Some Native American tribes believe cedar has healing properties and that its scent brings about a feeling of calm. Whether or not you are a believer, cedar certainly has many uses for the modern American family.