Making its home on the islands and coast of the Caribbean, Spanish cedar also is known as cedrela. This deciduous tree (unlike other cedars, which are coniferous) grows particularly well in areas of rich, well-drained soil.
Cedrela can reach heights of 100' or more, given the right conditions. For perhaps half of that height the trunk is straight and true, with diameters up to 6'. It is somewhat resistant to decay and insect damage, and very resistant to the harmful effects of weather.
The heartwood has a fragrant scent due to secreted oils, which appear as small pockets of sticky resin. This fragrance augments the natural flavor and aroma of fine cigars. The sapwood is pale pink or beige, while the heartwood warms to a pink or reddish brown when fresh. At times it is remarkably similar in appearance to mahogany. As it ages, the color mutes to a dull reddish brown with hints of purple.
Spanish cedar is used in boatbuilding, xylophones, fine cigar humidors, and even millwork. It takes adhesives well, especially polyurethane glues in outdoor applications, and as such it can be used in curved work that uses thin, built-up laminations. It is valued as a carving species and also in marine applications. Because of its aromatic qualities and resistance to decay, it is an important element in wardrobes, chests, and other cabinets that are used for storing fabrics.
Wood grain images provided by HobbitHouseInc.com