Our shoe trees are made out of Eastern Red Cedar, a wood recognized for its beauty, durability, moisture absorption and aromatic properties. This unique species of cedar has exceptional cutting qualities and is highly valued for its pleasing odor. Cedar oil in the wood is commonly considered an effective moth deterrent and cedar chests were about the only way early settlers could protect their woolens. Common names for this wood include aromatic red cedar, savin, red juniper and Virginia juniper.
In recent years, there has been increasing concern about environmental issues, particularly in regard to the depletion of the earth’s natural resources. Easter Red Cedar is actually a Cypress species, which is common only to North America and is most abundant in the southeastern region of the United States. Aromatic cedar is a prolific tree, which grows faster than associated species because it is sun-adapted, drought-resistant, and has a long growing season. It is adaptable to diverse climactic conditions and adverse soil conditions. In addition, its range of distribution has been considerably extended by natural regeneration. Seeds, spread randomly by both the wind and animals, will sprout quite literally where they drop. It is not uncommon to see cedar growing in sporadic clumps along major highways and in fields. According to an USDA Forest Service Report, only 40-60% of the net annual growth of Easter Red Cedar is being harvested each year. Thus, the supply of this product is increasing. Other studies also conclude that the supply is expanding faster than the trees are being harvested.
Aromatic cedar is not an endangered species. From an environmental point of view, the world’s forests are not in jeopardy because of cedar shoe tree production.