Cedars and Junipers are so alike in many ways that they are mistaken for each other more often than not. They are evergreen coniferous trees that belong to the ‘Pinales’ order. Since they have so much in common, it will be best to identify their differences and tell them apart.
Junipers are shrubs and trees that belong to the genus ‘Juniperus’ and the ‘Cupressaceae family. They are native to Europe and widely distributed in the Northern temperate zones. These trees can live for up to 20 years and grow up to 4 inches to 50 feet tall. They have several health benefits as well as other things.
Cedars are coniferous trees that belong to the genus ‘Cedrus’ and the plant family ‘Pinaceae.’ They are native to the Western Himalayas and Mediterranean regions. Cedar trees can reach a height of 120 to 180 feet. The Eastern Red Cedar can live for about 150 to 300 years.
Junipers are sometimes referred to as Cedars, and this is because they have a lot in common. The significant difference between both kinds of wood is that Junipers are primarily shrubs, and they barely ever grow as trees. On the other hand, Cedars always nearly grow as trees.
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|Color||Juniper wood’s colors range from milky white(sapwood) to deep reddish-brown (heartwood).||Cedar wood has a pinkish color with purple tones. As the wood ages, the color changes to silver or gray.|
|Grain||Juniper wood has swirling grain patterns.||The grain of Cedar wood is generally straight.|
|Height||Junipers are shorter than Cedars reaching a height of 4 inches to 50 feet.||Some species of Cedar grow over 120 feet, while some species grow to about 180 feet.|
|Workability||Juniper works well with machines, and it is also known for gluing and finishing nicely.||All kinds of Cedars have good workability. They work well with small and big machines. Western Red Cedar glues, nails and screws well.|
|Density||Juniper wood has a density of 35 lb./ft³. It is considered a very dense wood and burns faster than most softwoods.||Western Red Cedar wood has a density of 23 lb./ft³.|
|Wood type||It is a dense softwood.||Cedar is a softwood.|
Key Differences Between Juniper and Cedar Wood
Let us examine the difference in uses between Juniper and Cedar wood.
- The oil gotten from Juniper is used to make medicines and perfumes.
- It is perfect for fencing, decking, and siding.
- High-end Juniper wood is used to make cabinets and butcher blocks.
- The durability of Juniper wood makes it an excellent choice for indoor and outdoor furniture.
- You can use it to treat diabetes, snakebites, and cancer.
- Juniper wood is used as a flavoring ingredient in gin preparations.
- Cedar wood can be used in fencing, decking, siding, and trim.
- It is suitable for manufacturing clothes storage such as dressers and wardrobes.
- Its density makes it an excellent choice for the production of ceilings.
- Western Red Cedar is an excellent option for shingles.
- Its ability to resist decay makes it a great choice for outdoor furniture.
- Cedar wood is used in the making of musical instruments.
- Its durability makes it a great choice for boatbuilding.
In terms of strength, we will examine both Juniper and Cedar wood’s compressive strength, stiffness, and hardness. This way, we can tell which has the upper hand in strength.
The Western Juniper has a strength of 8,900 psi, a stiffness of 800,000, and a hardness of 630 pounds. It is considered to be quite hard for a softwood.
The Western Red Cedar has a compressive strength of 4,560 psi, a stiffness of 1.11 Mpsi, and a hardness of 350 pounds. The Aromatic Red Cedar has a compressive strength of 6,020 psi, a stiffness of 0.88 Mpsi, and a hardness of 900 pounds.
Lastly, the White Cedar has a compressive strength of 3,960 psi, a stiffness of 0.80 Mpsi, and a hardness of 320 pounds. The level of strength varies depending on the type of Cedar wood you will be purchasing.
Similarities Between Juniper and Cedar Wood
Juniper and Cedar wood are very similar when you examine their durability properties. They are known for being highly rot-resistant, which makes them the perfect choice for outdoor furniture.
Juniper wood is rot-resistant, has a natural insecticide, and chemically treated wood’s performance without the chemicals. Cedar wood is rot-resistant, resistant to insect attacks, and also weather-resistant. These properties make them both highly durable.
Western Juniper has some aromatic properties similar to Eastern Red Cedar’s. The only slight difference between Juniper and Cedar’s durability is their longevity. Juniper wood will last you about 30 to 50 years (even in direct contact with moist soil), while Cedar wood will last about 15 to 20 years.
They Belong to the ‘Pinales’ Order
Juniper and Cedar’s trees belong to the Pinales order. The Pinales order comprises all extant conifers known for producing cones. The extant conifers include Cedar, Cypress, Fir, Celery-Pine, Juniper, Pine, Redwood, Spruce, Yew, and Larch.
Pros and Cons of Juniper Wood
- Juniper wood does not require chemical treatment.
- It is rot-resistant and has a natural insecticide.
- It is an excellent choice for outdoor furniture.
- It is a solid wood compared to other softwoods.
- The heartwood is highly durable.
- The trees have a short lifespan which can reduce availability.
- It is not a good choice for firewood.
Pros and Cons of Cedar Wood
- Cedar wood is highly resistant to rot, insect attacks, and moisture.
- It is an excellent choice for outdoor furniture because of the above properties.
- It is easy to work with.
- Cedar wood is a highly durable wood.
- It is a versatile wood and can be used for different purposes.
- It may not last as long as Juniper wood.
- The color of cedar wood changes over time due to age.
Both wood choices are excellent for outdoor furniture; they are also very durable, have great appearances, and last you for a long time. The choice is now left in your hands to pick which wood, either Juniper or Cedar, will best suit your taste and needs.