Redwood has a variety of uses. Most redwood comes from California; the major type of redwood for industrial and commercial use is coast redwood. The Sierra redwood that California is famous for is not a practical tree to use for commercial applications. Businesses and consumers have many uses for all parts of the redwood tree.
Redwood is an ideal wood for use in home construction. This wood has a slow burn time, which allows it to withstand fires better then most woods. The redwood absorbs water in an efficient manner and this allows the redwood to not catch fire as fast. Redwoods also provide large pieces of lumber that make good central beams. The general construction redwood is made from heartwood, near the inner core of the tree, and sapwood, which comes from the tree's outer layers.
The bark of a redwood tree provides versatile raw material for many applications. It is found in such items as floor mats, table mats and the inner material for mattresses. Redwood bark has good insulation properties -- it can insulate in cold or hot environments and can provide insulation to stop sound.
The burl of the redwood tree is a large mass of thick wood that grows near the base of the trunk. It is very strong and holds a good polish. This makes it an ideal wood for high-end furniture; it also is used for small decorative wood items.
Redwood is graded on the basis of its durability and appearance. Architectural redwood is made from heartwood. Heartwood is the inner core wood of the tree. It has properties that make it an ideal red to brown colour and very resistant to rot and insects.
Redwood's uses extend to lawn and garden structures such as pergolas, decks or fences. Any redwood near soil must be a heartwood, so it can deal with the potential moisture levels in that environment.