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What is black redwood?

live edge redwood slab

You may have seen some of our products that are labeled as black redwood. Sounds like an oxymoron, right? We get questions about this product all the time, including:

  • Which is it, red or black?
  • Does it come from the same tree as redwood?
  • What makes the redwood turn black?
  • Why are there color variations?
  • Why is it more expensive then your other redwood pieces?

So we decided to take some time to answer these questions for you guys.

Is it red or black?

Well, as you can see from the photos in our store, it’s both! Black redwood can have both black and red together, or as less commonly found, can be all black. The color of the black also comes in many different shades, ranging from light grey to midnight black.

When a piece of redwood has both red and black, the black is found on the edges of the pieces and streaked through the wood.

This is redwood that has turned black on the edges with streaks in the middle.

Does it come from the same tree?

Yes, black redwood comes from redwood trees that have turned black. This differs from walnut trees, which have tree species of light-colored wood and dark-colored wood. Black redwood is redwood that has blackened.

 

Why did the redwood turn black?

The process of redwood becoming black is through the absorption of minerals. This takes a very long time to do so, which makes it hard to find this type of wood. Redwood absorbs minerals in two ways: through the soil and when it lays in water. These special minerals make the wood darker, and turn it into the beautiful wood we love.

 

Why do the colors vary?

Color variation on the black redwood is determined by two things: how long the wood was absorbing the nutrients and how much nutrients were absorbed. The first part to turn black is the outer edges, and then it starts going towards the middle. Both variations are beautiful!

live edge redwood slab
Redwood that has become black all the way through.

 

Why is black redwood more expensive?

Yes, black redwood is more expensive than other similar products for multiple reasons. One reason is because it is very rare. It is even more rare than lace burl. It is not easy to find black redwood, so it is not sold often. Another reason is because the process of turning it black takes a very long time. This is also why it is rare to find.

 

Summary

Black redwood is redwood that has absorbed nutrients that turn it black. There are many variations of black redwood, determined by the amount of nutrients and time absorbed. These minerals are found in the soil and in water. Take a look at our black redwood products here.