CEDAR. The name Cedar has been given to trees of very different natural ordors, and has occasioned much confusion.
The cedar of Lebanon, or great cedar, (Pinus Cedrus) is a cone-bearing resinous tree, and one of the pines. It is tall and majestic, and grows to a great also; the mean dimensions of its trunk are 60 feet high and 89 inches diameter. The wood is of a rich yellowish brown, straight-grained, and it has a peculiar odour. The tree is famous in Scripture for its size and durability (Ezekiel, xxzi 3, 5, 8;) it was used in the construction of Solomon's temple at Jerusalem, and many Grecian temples and statues. A few fine trees are said still to remain on Mount Lebanon; but the wood was also procured in the time of Vitruvius, from other parts of Syria, and from Crete, Africa, Ac. - Tredgold.
The Pencil cedar i the Juniperus virginiana; it is also of the same natural order as the pine-tree. It is imported from North America, in pieces from 6 to 10 inches square. The grain of the wood is remarkably regular and soft, on which account principally, it is used for the manufacture of pencils, and from its agreeable scent, for the inside work of small cabinets; from the same reason it is made into matches for the drawing-room.
Another species is the Juniperus bermudiana; it is a much harder and heavier wood than the pencil cedar, with a similar smell and appearance. It was formerly much used in shipbuilding: many of the timbers of the Spanish ships taken in the last war were of the Bermuda cedar.
" Up to this time there are great quantities of the finest cedar growing in the British island of Bermuda, and the beet ships and schooners are always built of it; it is imperishable." - Col. G. A. Lloyd.
The cedar known to cabinet-makers by the name of Havannah cedar, is the wood of the Cedrela odorata of Linnaeus, and belongs to the same natural order as mahogany, which it resembles, although it is softer and paler, and without any variety of colour. It is imported in considerable quantities from the island of Cuba, and is excellent for the insides of drawers and wardrobes: all the cigar-boxes from Havannah are made of this kind of cedar; the wood is brittle and porous. Some kinds of the Havannah cedar are not proper for cabinet-work, as the gum oozes out and makes the surface of the work very sticky and unpleasant.
There is another kind more red in colour, called red cedar; there are also white cedars common to America: one kind is called prickly cedar, from its being covered with spinas: this is very like the white hemlock, and grows to 4 ft diam. and 60 to 70 ft high, and is much used for railway works.
Another sort, from New South Wales, is the wood of the Cedrela Toona; it is somewhat similar to the Havannah, but more red in colour, and of a coarser grain; it sometimes measures 4 feet diameter. This kind is also found in the East Indies; it is in common use in joinery-work. Most of the cedars have bean need for ship-building.
The Himalayan cedar (Juniperus excelsa) is harder and less odoriferous than the Pencil cedar, but is an excellent light wood between pencil cedar and deal in general character. - (See Dr. Wallich's Collection, 202.)
The cedar of Lebanon is usually called Pinut Cedrus, but sometimes Cedrus Libanus; the lofty Deodara, a native of the Himalayas, with fragrant and almost impugnable wood, and often called the Indian cedar, is sometimes referred to the genus Pinus, and sometimes to that of Cedrus or Larix, with the specific name of Deodara.
The wood of several of the Coniferae is however called cedar. The wood of Juni-perus virginiana is called Red or Pencil Cedar, and that of J. bermudina is called Bermuda Cedar; of J. barbadensis, is called Barbadoes Cedar; while the Juniper of the North of Spain, and South of France, and of the Levant, is called J. oryce-drus; the White Cedar of North America, a less valuable wood than the red cedar, is yielded by Cupressus Thyoides, and the cedar-wood of Japan, according to Thun-berg, is a species of cypress.
The name cedar is however applied to a number of woods in our different colonies, which are in no way related to the Coniferae; thus the cedar of Guiana is the wood of Icica altissima, white wood or white cedar of Jamaica is Bignonia leucoxy-lon, and bastard cedar is Guazuma ulmifolia. In New South Wales again the term white cedar is applied to Melia Azederach, and red cedar to that of Flindersia australis, as well as to the wood of the Toon-tree, or Cedrela Toona.