Cedar Climbing Frames have been increasingly popular in Europe over the past 5 years, however most people’s idea of a ‘cedar climbing frame’ is not what they receive. Our pre-conceived idea of cedar is the western red that is a high quality hardwood, not the Chinese Cedar / China-Fir (Cunninghamia lancelota) that is used for wooden climbing frames nowadays. This is a species of cypress grown and cultivated in the sub-tropical evergreen forests of Asia. For over a thousand years this species has been used for a variety of industrial and personal products and it is believed to be among the earliest species ever managed for forestry in the world. The trees grow and mature quickly (15-20 years) making them ideal for farming. They are economical and environmentally attractive for mass production because they are close to the manufacturing facilities in China and the far east so they have been grown in managed regional plantations since the 1960’s.
Chinese Cedar is know for its beauty and dimensional stability, and has been one of the most widely used commercial species in the Asian region for centuries. Ancient Chinese craftsmen used Chinese cedar to build their great temples and shrines. Nowadays, in addition to climbing frames, Chinese Cedar lumber products are used to manufacture windows, doors, mouldings, panelling, furniture parts and interior/exterior trim products in addition to many other garden products.
Chinese Cedar is not only beautiful; it also is an extremely durable wood species. The appearance of Chinese Cedar resembles that of Incense and Northern White Cedars. The knot structure is small, sound and tight. With natural oils found in the lumber, Chinese Cedar is naturally resistant to rot and insect destruction which makes it a perfect product for both interior and exterior applications, however, it does still need to be treated with sealant, stain or preservative to ensure maximum protection from the elements. Please use the following link for more information on climbing frame maintenance.