Canadian cedar is becoming extremely hard to find, and very expensive to buy. Where companies do still have stocks, the price has risen to well over £100 /M2. Fortunately, British grown options remain available and affordable with Brimstone poplar now selling for approximately £60 /M2 and British cedar at only £45 /M2 (ex VAT).
We’re busier than ever at Vastern Timber,” says Tom Barnes, managing director. “As our thermally-modified, homegrown Brimstone cladding range is a popular alternative to imported hardwood cladding. Brimstone is made of British grown ash, poplar and sycamore. These timbers are transformed by a non-toxic thermal-modification process, which changes the way water reacts with the wood, producing a durable and very stable timber cladding.
Brimstone poplar delivers the knot free and stable qualities of Canadian cedar, at a much more affordable price point. It’s a great alternative when the client wants that crisp, modern appearance. British-grown cedar is a good alternative if customers are set on having cedar and happy with the more knotty appearance of the British grown cladding. British grown western red cedar is the same species, but tends to grow shorter and knottier than its Canadian counterpart.
There are many benefits to local sourcing for timber products. Not only in terms of carbon impact, but also looking at resilience of supply. Wood shortages generally are expected to worsen during July as European mills shut down for summer holidays and maintenance. Developing supply chains that are closer to home could help many developers and specifiers meet the construction sector’s high demand for timber.”