Does Cedar Wood Rot? [Mystery Solved]

You may have heard, cedar has lots of natural properties that make it colorful, durable, versatile, lightweight, easy to use and maintain.

Forget all the good characteristics of cedar. Today’s question is; does cedar wood rot?

Long story short; the cedar is naturally rot-resistant(keep reading to learn why). Yes, it’s true. As a result, the untreated cedar wood won’t rot quicker. But it also has the chance to root especially in outdoor conditions.

And in this article, I will explain why cedar wood is rot-resistant, which condition it may start rooting, and how you can protect your wood from rotting.

So, what are you waiting for, let’s get started-

What is Wood Rot?

You may know; Wood rot is a decaying condition of wood that is triggered by the combination of moisture and fungi. Basically, it forms wood surfaces when the wood contact with water for a long time. And it causes wood fibers to deteriorate.

Why Is Cedar Wood Rot Resistant?

Everyone says cedar wood is naturally resistant to water, rot, insect, and weather. But why? What is inside the cedar wood makes it special. Here is your deal-

Natural Preservative

Cedar wood contains thujaplicin. It is a chemical compound that has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. In short, thujaplicin acts as a natural preservative. As a result, the cedar wood lasts long without decaying, rotting, and damage.

Lower Moisture Content

More moisture content tends the wood to absorb more water when it comes in contact with water. According to the research, cedar wood has 10-50% lower moisture content than other softwood

So, when the cedar comes in contact with water, it dries out quickly because it has a lower tendency to hold the water. And this feature protects your wood from rot and decay.

Low Density And Shrinkage Factors

The cedar wood has lower density and shrinkage factors. That means the cedar wood doesn’t shrink and extend too much. And the wood has a tendency to be stable dimensionally.

So, if the wood touches water, it absorbs minimum moisture and dries out the absorbed water quickly. And reduces the chance of root rot.

Final Statement

You know; wood root happens when wood holds moisture content for a longer period of time and fungi start growing on the wood surface.

According to the previous discussion, we saw that if the cedar wood comes in contact with water, it doesn’t absorb water too much and it has a tendency to dry out the water quickly. Also, it contains an antifungal compound.

So, the cedar is rot resistant and it does not rot or decay easily.

How Long Does It Take Cedar To Rot?

The cedar wood is rot-resistant. That doesn’t mean it won’t rot. The interior cedar wood lasts longer than 30 years. But the outside cedar wood may be start rotting after 10-20 years. But it is not fixed. It will depend on how you maintain or treat your wood.

You can extend the life of your cedar wood from rotting by treating and maintaining your wood.

How Do You Keep Cedar From Rotting?

Finishing and maintaining the cedar wood can help you to get rid of wood rot. Let’s see what method you should follow-

Finishing The Cedar Wood

You must finish and seal your cedar wood. Remember, a single finish does not work in every situation. If your cedar wood is outdoor, choose an exterior wood finish that has wood and UV-resistant facilities.

And for indoor cedar, you may pick an oil-based penetrating finish.

Clean Your Cedar Wood

Clean your cedar wood to protect them from wood rot. Cleaning won’t develop fungus on the wood surface and you will get rot free clean and beautiful wood.

Lastly, never place your cedar wood where the wood directly touches the soil. It causes wood to rot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Cedar Rot In The Ground?

The cedar is a durable wood. It can last longer than any other wood. But cedar may rot quickly in the ground. According to the research, cedar has evidence to survive for 30 years. But when it contacts the ground, the wood lasts only 15-20 years.

Does Cedar Rot When Wet?

When the wood gets wet longer and fungus develops, then the wood starts rotting. Cedar can survive longer in wet conditions. But the cedar wood may chance to rot in wet conditions for a longer period of time.

Does Cedar Wood Rot Outside?

The cedar has survival capacity in every harsh condition. It can last long without rotting in exterior weather. Thereafter the cedar wood may rot outside quicker than inside cedar wood.


In this article, I answered whether cedar wood rot or not. I hope you liked my scientific analysis on this topic. Remember, this article is written by considering every type of cedar wood including red cedar, cedar board, cedar lumber.

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