Wood shingles and shakes are typically produced out of cedar although it possible to obtain redwood and cypress products also.
The three major wood roofing products are heavy shakes, medium shakes and wood shingles. The primary difference between the 3 is one of thickness. Heavy shakes average about 1 1/2” thick and are rough split on both sides.
Medium shakes are essentially half the heavy shake being 3/4” thick, hand-split on one side and sawn on the other.
Wood shingles are 1/2” thick and smooth sawn on both sides. These products were once available in both fire resistant treated and untreated but as most city codes now require fire treated wood roofing materials, the untreated ones are difficult to obtain.
Once revered for their natural beauty, wood roofing products have fallen into disfavor because of their high price, short life expectancy and tendency to burn easily, even when fire treated, after they have aged a few years.