Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

Information provided by Wood Database

Common Name(s): Redwood, Sequoia, Coast Redwood, California Redwood, Vavona (burl)

Scientific Name: Sequoia sempervirens

Distribution: Coastal northwestern United States (from southwestern Oregon to central California)

Tree Size: 200-300 ft (60-90 m) tall, 6-12 ft (1.8-3.7 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 26 lbs/ft3 (415 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .36, .42

Janka Hardness: 450 lbf (2,000 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 8,950 lbf/in2 (61.7 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,220,000 lbf/in2 (8.41 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 5,690 lbf/in2 (39.2 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 2.4%, Tangential: 4.7%, Volumetric: 6.9%, T/R Ratio: 2.0

Color/Appearance: Heartwood color can range from a light pinkish brown to a deep reddish brown. Sapwood is a pale white/yellow. Curly figure or Redwood burl (sometimes referred to as “lace” or by the name Vavona) are occasionally seen.

Grain/Texture: Grain is generally straight, though figured pieces may be be wavy or irregular. Coarse texture and low natural luster.

Endgrain: Resin canals absent; earlywood to latewood transition abrupt, color contrast medium-high; tracheid diameter large-very large; parenchyma diffuse (usually visible with hand lens).

Rot Resistance: Rated as moderately durable to very durable regarding decay resistance. Lumber from old-growth trees tends to be more durable than that from younger second-growth trees.

Redwood prices have increased due to recent environmental threats to the lumber. Logging practices have changed and the materials is just not as available as it used to be.

Redwood Grade Description*


Clear All Heart - Finest architectural heartwood grade, normally Certified Kiln Dried (also available unseasoned), well manufactured, free of defects one face (reverse face may have slight imperfections). Available surfaced or saw-textured.

Heart B - Quality heartwood grade containing limited knots and other characteristics not permitted in Clear All Heart and Heart Clear. Available kiln dried or unseasoned. This grade can be surfaced or saw-textured.

Construction Heart/Deck Heart - A heartwood grade containing knots of varying sizes and other slight imperfections. Available seasoned or unseasoned. This highly useful grade can be ordered surfaced or rough. Deck Heart has similar appearance and uses as Construction Heart but is also graded for strength. Deck Heart is available in 2x4 and 2x6 only.

Merchantable Heart - This economical heartwood grade allows slightly larger knots than construction grades; holes limited to size of knots. Allows checks, home splits and some manufacturing flaws. Available unseasoned, surfaced or rough.


Clear - Same general quality as Clear All Heart except contains sapwood in varying amounts. Some imperfections not permitted in Clear All Heart. Normally Certified Kiln Dried (also available unseasoned). Available surfaced or saw-textured.

B Grade - Quality grade containing sapwood, limited knots and other characteristics not permitted in Clear. Certified Kiln Dried; also unseasoned. available surfaced or saw-textured.

Construction Common/Deck Common - Same general characteristics as Construction Heart, but contains combination of heartwood and sapwood. Unseasoned or seasoned, it can be surfaced or rough. Deck Common is also graded for strength and is available in 2x4 and 2x6 only.

Merchantable - Has same characteristics as Merchantable Heart but contains sapwood in varying amounts. This economical grade is available unseasoned and can be ordered surfaced or rough.

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