Redwood Properties | Uses, Advantages and Disadvantages

Redwood is durable, moderately moisture-resistant, and highly decay-resistant softwood. This is an excellent option for both the interior and exterior.

It is an excellent versatile softwood used for almost all wood projects. Being a softwood, working with hand and machine tools is easy.

Redwood is also known for its naturally rich color, ranging from pink-brown to deep reddish-brown.

The world’s tallest tree is the Hyperion, a coastal redwood in California. The height of the coastal redwood tree is 380 feet, and 15 ft trunk diameter. The average lifespan of a redwood is 500 to 700 years, but coastal redwood is about 2000 years old.

Redwood Tree
Redwood Tree
Scientific nameSequoioideae
Tree Size350-400 ft tall, 6-12 ft (1.8-3.7 m) trunk diameter
Janka Hardness (Coast Redwood)450 lbf (2,000 N)
Rot resistantModerate rot resistant 
Wood colorLight brown to reddish brown
WorkabilityEasy to work
UsesFurniture, plywood, posts and decking

Redwood Uses

Redwood Uses

Construction Beam

Redwood is strong softwood, and its long lumber is readily available. Therefore, it is most commonly used for beams and supports. 


Redwood is a premium wood used to make strong and durable veneer sheets. The cost of redwood veneer sheets is less compared to solid redwood.

Posts and Decking

Post and decking withstand constant moisture and sunlight. In this case, Redwood is a great post and deck material. Because redwood is very stable and straight. 

Its heartwood is resistant to insects and weathering. Redwood can be used for decking without any chemical treatment.

Exterior Furniture and Trim

Redwood is considered the finest wood for Exterior Furniture and a good choice for interior applications. 

It is also easy to work with all types of tools. Hence it is also used for wood carving and trim.

Redwood needs almost no maintenance. It is used around windows and photo frames, and more. It can be used anywhere without worrying about knots. 

Musical Instruments

Redwood is a great tonewood and is widely used for making instruments bodies, guitars, pianos, and soundboxes.

Appearance and Texture

The heartwood of Redwood is usually light brown to dark reddish-brown, while the sapwood is lighter in color, usually pinkish-white or yellowish-white. Generally, Redwood has a straight grain but can also have a wavy and interlocked grain.

Like other woods, Redwood changes color over time. The color of Redwood can change due to exposure to sunlight and weathering, but it can be preserved with regular maintenance and sealing.

Redwood Advantages and Disadvantages



Redwood is a durable wood. Which can be used for many decades without any maintenance. It can resist the wear and tear of daily use and the weather.

Easy to work 

Redwood is very easy to work with. Redwood can be easily cut, sawed, and drilled. It saves the time of woodworkers because it is light in weight. It can be easily moved. 

Attractive grain 

Furniture made from redwood is beautiful and elegant. Furniture made of redwood looks attractive. It has burl and growth ring patterns.

A Versatile wood

Redwood has excellent properties that make it a versatile wood. Redwood can be a great choice for indoor and outdoor furniture.



Redwood is a softwood that makes it prone to dents and scratches. That’s why it needs regular care and maintenance.


It is also relatively expensive because of the continuous harvesting of redwood forests. The population of redwood trees has decreased in the last few decades.

Loses its vibrant contrast

Like most softwoods, redwood tends to lose its vibrant natural contrast and becomes a medium brown color.

Working with Redwood

Almost all species of redwood are easy to work with machines and hand tools because of their low density and weight. But when it comes to a planer, it can be difficult for beginners. Redwood’s wavy or irregular grain makes it difficult. Redwood finishes very well and glues well.

Is Redwood Good For Firewood?

Redwood can be used as firewood, but it is a great fire starter because it burns quickly and easily. Redwood cannot be called the best firewood because it does not burn for a long time and does not generate high heat because of its low density. The BTU value of Coast Redwood is 20.1 million BTUs per Cord. 

The BTU rating measures the energy required to burn a piece of wood.

Is Redwood Lumber Fire Resistant?

Redwood is not fire-resistant; it burns fast when exposed to fire due to its low density. But many wood species such as Ipe Wood, Cumaru, Ironwood, Meranti Wood, and many more are naturally fire resistant.

Is Redwood Wood Good For Furniture?

Yes, Redwood wood is a good choice for furniture. It is known for its attractive color, straight grain, and durability. Which makes it an excellent choice for furniture.

Redwood can be used for various furniture pieces, including chairs, tables, benches, and outdoor decking. It may not be as durable over the long term as other hardwoods. However, it required regular care and maintenance.

Redwood has a natural beauty and presence, adding a touch of elegance to any room. It is also lightweight, making it easy to work with and transport. Additionally, redwood is a durable softwood.

Is Redwood Wood Rot-Resistant?

Redwood is moderately resistant to rot and insects. Therefore it is suitable for outdoor use and applications in contact with soil. But with regular care, redwood can be made durable. It needs proper sealing for outdoor use to prevent external moisture or water from affecting the wood.

There are Three Types of Redwoods

  1. Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia Glyptostroboides)
  2. Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)
  3. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia Glyptostroboides)

Dawn redwood is a durable and stable softwood. It is widely used for making furniture, flooring, and decking. Dawn redwood is also known as “water-fir” or “water pine” in China.

Dawn redwood is a small deciduous, coniferous tree. Trees can grow up to 140 to 150 feet tall and have a 5 to 6 feet diameter. It has needle-like leaves with small stalks, and they are arranged opposite each other.

Distribution: Central China

Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)

Giant Sequoia is the most massive tree on earth that grows very fast and is long-lived.  The tree height is 316 feet tall and the trunk diameter is 31.4 feet.

Distribution: Western slopes of Sierra Nevada Mountains in Central California

Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

Coast redwood is the most popular of the three species of redwood. It is moderately durable and highly resistant to rot and insects. Coast Redwood is used for making external furniture, flooring, and decking.

Coast Redwood is known as the largest tree in the world. Its tree height is 379 feet (115 m) or more. Its age is more than 2,000 years.

Distribution: Northern California Coast, and into southernmost coastal Oregon.

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