The Environmental Benefits of Redwood Decking

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With the green building trend still going strong, homeowners want to know that their home will have the smallest carbon footprint possible. What they may not know is that some of the products that are friendliest to the environment come from the environment.

Redwood is a perfect example of offering more environmental benefits than anything manmade–from how it’s grown and harvested to how it can be reused and repurposed, here are four environmental benefits of redwood decking.

1. Redwood is grown green

This species of tree thrives along a narrow strip of land that hugs the Pacific coast in Northern California. The vast majority of old growth Coast Redwoods are protected in perpetuity within approximately 450,000 acres of national, state, and local forests and parks, making redwood the most protected commercial timber species in existence.

The land that is designated for commercial growth are subjected to the world’s most stringent management and harvest practices. the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) requires private forestland owners to have harvest plans and management operations regularly audited. The FSC also sets standards relating to the licensing and training of forest managers as well as broad standards for forest resource conservation.

2. Redwood traps carbon

Redwood trees continuously scrub carbon from the air, retaining carbon in its wood fiber, which is 50 percent carbon by weight.  Even better: that carbon remains trapped even after a redwood tree is harvested and milled for lumber. The average size deck built of redwood is holding on to a half-ton of carbon.

3. Redwood is naturally durable

Without any help from artificial ingredients, redwood’s natural features reinforce the fact that this lumber is built to last. With a unique wood grain, a length of redwood lumber will hold its shape more consistently, and is less prone to warping or cupping. Redwood heartwood is naturally resistant to decay, termites and even fire.

4. A redwood deck could outlive your mortgage

The same natural features that give redwood its durability also mean redwood decks will hold a protective finish longer and withstand multiple refinishings over the years. With a little minimal maintenance – sweeping, wiping up spills – a redwood deck can last 30 years or longer. Even when redwood is no longer useful as decking, homeowners can still recycle the decking to use in other landscaping projects or even shredded down to use as mulch.

Redwood is the smart choice for homeowners who want to live a more sustainable life. With careful forest management, natural features that no alternative decking manufacturer has been able to replicate yet, and incredible durability, redwood proves: you can improve your home, but you can’t improve on Mother Nature.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016, the California Redwood Association is one of the oldest trade associations in the lumber industry.  From the very beginning, the association’s primary mission has been to promote redwood products and educate builders and consumers on the advantages of using redwood.  To learn more about redwood, visit the CRA at   



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Charlie Jourdain is president of the California Redwood Association. Reach him at or (888) CAL-REDWOOD.

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