I am wanting to build some raised beds and I see that a lot of people use the pressure-treated lumber that is no longer treated with arsenic. How about red cedar…would it be safe to use for raised garden beds or does it contain some type of chemical also?
Answer: Western Red Cedar is naturally bug and decay resistant so the lumber is not treated with any chemicals. It is very durable and has a long life expectancy compared to other softwoods. For this reason, it will be considerably more expensive than standard pressure-treated lumber, especially for large-dimensioned pieces. Today’s pressure-treated lumber is acceptable for use in gardens since treating it with arsenic was banned several years ago.
Either choice is fine. Cedar is a much more attractive wood but if it’s not going to be in a very visible location, that might not be a consideration.
Good luck with your beds!