Pergola Wood Types

What is the difference between a Pressure Treated Pine and Rough Sawn Cedar Pergola?

Western Red Cedar is a beautiful light amber color. It has a wonderfully appealing fragrance that adds another dimension to its qualities. Western red cedar is also highly resistant to decay, which makes in great for outdoor use. It is lightweight with close, even grain. It is easily worked and can be finished smooth with little effort. Western red cedar takes paints and stains very well. Paint or stain can be applied as soon as you receive the pergola kit. Western red cedar is used in situations where exposure to the elements is continually severe.

Pressure Treated Pine is also very insect and rot repellant, and able to withstand severe elements, but has chemicals added to give it those properties. Pressure treated pine comes with a green appearance. As it dries it will turn to a golden brown, then gray if it is not water sealed or stained. You will need to wait a few months before staining or painting the lumber since it will be saturated with the pressure treatment when you get it.

Below is a comparison chart and pictures of both wood types.

We always use either western red rough sawn tight knot cedar or pressure treated #1 southern yellow pine lumber. Either choice ensures you will have a quality wood pergola. Every kit comes complete with all pre-cut, pre-drilled lumber that is pre-marked for easy assembly. This chart provides a comparison of the two types of wood we offer:

Pressure Treated Southern Yellow Pine

  • Smooth Sawn
  • Very Insect and rot resistant
  • Able to withstand severe elements
  • Performs best in humid climates
  • Comes with a green appearance, but dries to a golden brown color, then gray if not water sealed or stained
  • Needs 90 days drying time before applying stain or water seal
  • Chemicals added to make it rot and insect resistant
  • Classic Look

Rough Sawn Western Red Tight Knot Cedar

  • Rough Sawn
  • Naturally Insect and rot resistant
  • Able to withstand severe elements.
  • Performs best in dry climates
  • Light amber in color, will turn gray over time if not water sealed or stained
  • Takes paints and stains well and can be painted, stained or water sealed immediately
  • Contains no chemicals and is 100% natural; wonderfully appealing fragrance
  • Rustic Look