Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani)

Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani)

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Common Name(s): Cedar of Lebanon

Scientific Name: Cedrus libani

Distribution: Mountainous areas of the Mediterranean region

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 5-7 ft (1.5-2.1 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 32 lbs/ft3 (520 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .41, .52

Janka Hardness: 820 lbf (3,670 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 11,890 lbf/in2 (82.0 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,465,000 lbf/in2 (10.10 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 6,090 lbf/in2 (42.0 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.1%, Tangential: 6.0%, Volumetric: 10.4%, T/R Ratio: 1.5

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a cream to light reddish brown color. Narrow sapwood is a pale yellowish white.

Grain/Texture: Grain is generally straight, though knots or bark inclusions may cause grain irregularities. Medium to coarse texture with a moderate natural luster.

Endgrain: Resin canals absent (though sometimes present due to injury); earlywood to latewood transition gradual, color contrast high; tracheid diameter small.

Rot Resistance: Rated as very durable, and generally resistant to insect attack.

Workability: Easy to work with hand and machine tools, though knots and bark inclusions can cause difficulties in machining. Turns, glues, and finishes well.

Odor: Has a long-lasting, sweet scent that’s sometimes used in making perfume.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Cedar of Lebanon has been reported to cause skin and respiratory irritation, as well as runny nose and asthma-like symptoms. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Not commonly seen for sale, Cedar of Lebanon is generally only available in smaller blocks and turning blanks, and occasionally as veneer. Prices are moderate for an imported lumber.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable primarily due to a total area of occupancy of less than 770 square miles (2,000 square kilometers), and a severely fragmented population.

Common Uses: Veneer, cabinetry, building construction, and turned objects.

Comments: The country of Lebanon prominently features the tree on its national flag, and the species is named for the once-extensive forest that grew across Mount Lebanon.

Used by ancient civilizations for millennia, it’s also referenced in the Bible as the source of timber for Solomon’s temple.

Related Species:

None available.

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the wood sample and turned photo of this wood species.

Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani)

Cedar of Lebanon (sanded)

Cedar-of Lebanon (sealed)

Cedar-of Lebanon (sealed)

Cedar of Lebanon (endgrain)

Cedar of Lebanon (endgrain)

Cedar of Lebanon (endgrain 10x)

Cedar of Lebanon (endgrain 10x)

Cedar of Lebanon (turned)

Cedar of Lebanon (turned)