Incense cedar is found primarily in California, Oregon and western Nevada. The sapwood is a creamy white while the heartwood is a light brown to light brown reddish color. The grain can often be unusually straight.

The heartwood of Incense Cedar is aromatic and is very resistant to decay. It has a high dimension stability and works as a good insulator. It works well with both hand and machine tools. It glues and nails well but blunt nails should be used so the wood doesn’t splinter. Incense Cedar planes and sands to a smooth finish and holds paint extremely well. Care in finishing should be taken as it sometimes will bleed sap even after being kiln-dried.

It is the number one species for making pencils. Because it is very stable, durable and decay resistant, it is an ideal wood for siding, decks, fence posts, outdoor furniture, closet linings and chests.