Northern White Cedar is the best wood for outdoor play products. Period.
It is the only wood used in outdoor playsets that is both naturally splinter-free and naturally long-lasting. It is also the only wood that achieves this without paints, stains or other chemical treatments and it is the only wood that remains this way with no maintenance required. And, only Northern White Cedar is produced in dimensions up to 33% larger than competing wood species.
Northern White Cedar naturally resists rot and insect damage. It contains substances produced by the tree itself to protect it from predators such as wood-destroying fungi and termites.
Northern White Cedar is also naturally splinter-free. The wood fibers are short and very soft, so even if there is a rough spot on the wood where the fibers have lifted away from the surface, the fibers are supple enough to bend and give way when touched. Because this is a natural characteristic of the wood, Northern White Cedar remains splinter-free without treatment over its lifetime of use.
Better yet, Northern White Cedar is maintenance-free. Because it is naturally long-lasting and splinter-free, there is no need to treat the wood with paints, stains, or other chemicals. There is also no need to stain the wood to achieve a uniform color because CedarWorks exclusively uses Northern White Cedar rather than mixing and matching species. Since there is no reason to treat the wood in the first place, there is no need to maintain those treatments over time.
And if that is not enough, Northern White Cedar posts, beams, and decking are up to 33% larger in dimension than wood used by competing manufacturers. Terms like 4x4, 2x4, and 1x4 are lumber industry terms rather than specific dimensions. What other premium playset companies call 4x4s are never more than 3-½ inches per side and may be as small as 3-¼ inch or less. Northern White Cedar mills on the other hand traditionally produce larger dimension lumber that is up to one third bigger.
Northern White Cedar and Western Red Cedar have been grown, harvested, and used throughout North America for centuries. Both species are naturally rot and insect resistant and have earned reputations over hundreds of years for excellence in outdoor applications such as fencing, shingles, decking, arbors, and gazebos. Over the past forty years these authentic cedars have also been a preferred choice for premium outdoor playsets.
Starting around 2005, however, wooden outdoor playsets began to arrive in bulk from China...