Value of Red Cedar Oil

In large enough quantities, the extractive oils that drip out of Red Cedar and Juniper wood during milling have uses and commercial value. April 10, 2007

I use a Nyle 200 kiln to dry red cedar and have discovered that the water from the kiln contains concentrated cedar oil. Usually while drying 2000 bd ft, I can siphon off about two pints of oil. I strain through a fine micro screen and end up with a product with the appearance of honey in color. Anyone know of any uses of this highly fragrant oil?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor D:
Be sure to keep it in a glass container. It will dissolve a plastic container, as I learned once. Hunter's dope is a good use for the kind of quantities you get. Larger quantities have a bigger market. People also like it to wipe down closets and drawers.

From contributor R:
I used to apply cedar oil to my boots when deer hunting. Just a few drops were needed. Appears to work. I had pretty good luck.

From contributor J:
There is or was a large commercial market for ERC oil... I think it gets shipped to Japan, and I remember being told that the oil is worth several hundred dollars a gallon. Don't quote me on that, but the guys who clear cedars here in Oklahoma worked on a process to extract the oil. That was a few years ago, and I haven't heard anything since. Google it and see where you go.

From contributor K:
I have a similar phenomena when I kiln dry juniper. I noticed a waxy crystalline substance on the door seal of the kiln. I took it to the extension agent and she sent it to the University for testing. Came back as 94% cedrol. It looked like petroleum jelly that had frosted into place. I have not identified a commercial value to the precipitate.

From contributor L:
About ten years ago in BC Canada several groups were extracting the oil from green cedar boughs. The oil was shipped to Europe where it was used as a perfume base. The BC government killed the project as cedar trees on crown land were being cut just for the boughs. If this is the same oil, I suspect with a little detective work, a market could be found.

From contributor N:
You may be interested in this study by Greg Russell from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. There is definitely a market for red oil! In fact, I recently spoke to a gentleman who said it's currently $4.00/lb. It's used in perfumes. The study linked below has more numbers.

Minnesota Red Cedar