How to Use Redwood for Your Outdoor Projects

Amber Guetebier
Written by Amber Guetebier
Updated April 5, 2022
Friends on backyard deck
Photo: Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision/Getty Images


  • Redwood is moisture- and insect-resistant, making it the perfect wood for outdoor projects. 

  • Although redwood trees are slow-growing, there are now sustainably harvested redwood. 

  • Redwood lasts long and can be used for outdoor use projects.

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When it comes to woods for outdoor use, few have the beauty and longevity of redwood. Prized for its color, it's also moisture-resistant, insect-resistant, and lower in pitch and resin than some of its pine and cedar counterparts, making it a dream wood to work with. Here are eight ways to incorporate redwood into outdoor landscaping projects, both big and small. 

All About Using Redwood

There’s no denying the beauty of redwood. However, redwood trees grow slowly, so it isn’t always the most ecological or economical wood to use in landscaping projects. It should be noted that some sawmills are now using renewably sourced wood exclusively from the Forest Stewardship Council, putting redwood back on the map as a viable choice. 

In addition, many landscapers have found ways to use reclaimed wood in landscaping and landscape design. 

1. Redwood Furniture 

Because of the naturally gorgeous red color and its resistance to insects and moisture, redwood makes a popular material for outdoor wooden furniture, including benches, picnic tables, swings, and chairs. It endures well, resists termites—one of the biggest problems with wooden outdoor furniture—and has a classic look that can't be rivaled. Redwood may cost more, but with some basic redwood maintenance tips, it'll last many, many years longer than throw-away furniture.

2. Redwood Planters

The wood's beautiful qualities mean many redwood planters aren't treated, making them perfect candidates for planter boxes, including kitchen garden window boxes where you can plant edible plants like veggies and herbs. You also don't have to worry about chemically laced finishes in the stain, and the planters will endure as long as you give them proper care each season. 

Keep an eye out for reclaimed redwood, though, where planters are made from lumber used for decking, fencing, and even homes. 

3. Redwood Lattice 

Whether it's to train your vines or create a little privacy, redwood latticework puts any other kind of screening to shame. In fact, it's so pretty you might not even want anything to grow on it, but it's sturdy enough to support what you need it to. 

As a side note: If you ever see painted redwood latticework, please take a moment to let out a tear. Save the paint and stain for pine, if you must, and let the beauty of redwood shine on its own. 

4. Redwood Bark 

This use will be familiar to many home gardeners, although you may also find wood chips from cedar or pine, depending on where you live. Redwood bark may come bagged or in bulk, shredded or chipped, but it's frequently sold as a higher-end mulch that can give your landscaping a polished look. It also smells fantastic. 

5. Redwood Deck

This classic decking material is enjoying a renaissance thanks to renewable resource practices, allowing the slow-growing tree to be sustainably managed and carefully milled. The good news is if the deck is properly maintained, it’ll last over 30 years since redwood is one of the most fire-resistant materials for decks. 

6. Redwood Accent Wall 

Reclaimed pallet ideas are all the rage, and a beautiful wood accent wall on your deck or in your outdoor area will make a striking statement when made from reclaimed redwood. Bonus: It gives you a place to hang your moss wall art, too. 

7. Redwood Fencing

A redwood garden fence
Photo: Wildroze/E+/Getty Images

A stunning redwood fence will be the talk of the town. Even if you don’t want to surround your entire property with a redwood wall, consider a showstopping redwood garden gate you can customize out of the beautiful wood. With the rate at which redwood endures, you'll have an heirloom quality door that’ll last. 

8. Redwood Pergola

Nothing says classic garden like a redwood pergola except maybe a redwood pergola with a wisteria vine climbing all over it. But once you put your pergola in, you might decide it’s too pretty to plant anything on—and that’s OK. Just make sure you put a nice place to sit underneath and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. 

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