Categories
domestic-softwood

Yellow-Cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis)

Yellow-Cedar is a domestic softwood

Location

Yellow-cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) grows in the Pacific Coast region of North America from southeastern Alaska southward through Washington to southern Oregon.

Characteristics

The heartwood of yellow-cedar is bright, clear yellow. The sapwood is narrow, white to yellowish, and hardly distinguishable from the heartwood. The wood is fine textured and generally straight grained. It is moderately heavy, moderately strong and stiff, moderately hard, and moderately high in shock resistance. Yellow-cedar shrinks little in drying and is stable after drying, and the heartwood is very resistant to decay. The wood has a mild, distinctive odor.

Primary Uses

Yellow-cedar is used for interior woodwork, furniture, small boats, cabinetwork, and novelties.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-softwood

White-Cedar, Northern and Atlantic (Thuja occidentalis, Chamaecyparis thyoides)

White-Cedar, Northern and Atlantic is a domestic softwood

Location

Two species of white-cedar grow in the eastern part of the United States: northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis) and Atlantic white-cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides). Northern white-cedar is also known as arborvitae or simply as cedar. Atlantic white-cedar is also known as southern white-cedar, swamp-cedar, and boat-cedar. Northern white-cedar grows from Maine along the Appalachians and westward through the northern part of the Great Lake States. Atlantic whitecedar grows near the Atlantic Coast from Maine to northern Florida and westward along the Gulf Coast to Louisiana. It is strictly a swamp tree. Production of northern white-cedar lumber is greatest in Maine and the Great Lake States. Production of Atlantic white-cedar centers in North Carolina and along the Gulf Coast.

Characteristics

The heartwood of white-cedar is light brown, and the sapwood is white or nearly so. The sapwood is usually narrow. The wood is lightweight, rather soft, and low in strength and shock resistance. It shrinks little in drying. It is easily worked and holds paint well, and the heartwood is highly resistant to decay.

Primary Uses

Northern and Atlantic white-cedar are used for similar purposes, primarily for poles, cabin logs, railroad crossties, lumber, posts, and decorative fencing. White-cedar lumber is used principally where a high degree of durability is needed, as in tanks and boats, and for wooden ware.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-softwood

Tamarack (Larix laricina)

Tamarack is a domestic softwood

Location

Tamarack (Larix laricina), also known as eastern larch and locally as hackmatack, is a small to medium tree with a straight, round, slightly tapered trunk. It grows from Maine to Minnesota, with the bulk of the stand in the Great Lake States.

Characteristics

The heartwood of tamarack is yellowish brown to russet brown. The sapwood is whitish, generally less than 2.5 cm (1 in.) wide. The wood is coarse in texture, without odor or taste, and the transition from earlywood to latewood is abrupt. The wood is intermediate in weight and in most mechanical properties.

Primary Uses

Tamarack is used principally for pulpwood, lumber, railroad crossties, mine timbers, fuel, fence posts, and poles. Lumber is used for framing material, tank construction, and boxes, pallets, and crates. The production of tamarack lumber has declined in recent years.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-softwood

Spruce, Sitka (Picea sitchensis)

Spruce, Sitka is a domestic softwood

Location

Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) is a large tree that grows along the northwestern coast of North America from California to Alaska. It is also known as yellow, tideland, western, silver, and west coast spruce. Much Sitka spruce timber is grown in Alaska, but most logs are sawn into cants for export to Pacific Rim countries. Material for U.S. consumption is produced primarily in Washington and Oregon.

Characteristics

The heartwood of Sitka spruce is a light pinkish brown. The sapwood is creamy white and shades gradually into the heartwood; the sapwood may be 7 to 15 cm (3 to 6 in.) wide or even wider in young trees. The wood has a comparatively fine, uniform texture, generally straight grain, and no distinct taste or odor. It is moderately lightweight, moderately low in bending and compressive strength, moderately stiff, moderately soft, and moderately low in resistance to shock. It has moderately low shrinkage. On the basis of weight, Sitka spruce rates high in strength properties and can be obtained in long, clear, straight-grained pieces.

Primary Uses

Sitka spruce is used principally for lumber, pulpwood, and cooperage. Boxes and crates account for a considerable amount of the remanufactured lumber. Other important uses are furniture, planing-mill products, sashes, doors, blinds, millwork, and boats. Sitka spruce has been by far the most important wood for aircraft construction. Other specialty uses are ladder rails and sounding boards for pianos.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-softwood

Spruce, Engelmann (Picea engelmannii)

Spruce, Engelmann is a domestic softwood

Location

Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) grows at high elevations in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. This species is also known as white spruce, mountain spruce, Arizona spruce, silver spruce, and balsam. About two-thirds of the lumber is produced in the southern Rocky Mountain States and most of the remainder in the northern Rocky Mountain States and Oregon.

Characteristics

The heartwood of Engelmann spruce is nearly white, with a slight tinge of red. The sapwood varies from 2 to 5 cm (3/4 to 2 in.) in width and is often difficult to distinguish from the heartwood. The wood has medium to fine texture and is without characteristic odor. Engelmann spruce is rated as lightweight, and it is low in strength as a beam or post. It is also soft and low in stiffness, shock resistance, and shrinkage. The lumber typically contains many small knots.

Primary Uses

Engelmann spruce is used principally for lumber and for mine timbers, railroad crossties, and poles. It is used also in building construction in the form of dimension lumber, flooring, and sheathing. It has excellent properties for pulp and papermaking.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-softwood

Spruce, Eastern (Picea rubens, P. glauca, P. mariana)

Spruce, Eastern is a domestic softwood

Location

The term eastern spruce includes three species: red (Picea rubens), white (P. glauca), and black (P. mariana). White and black spruce grow principally in the Great Lake States and New England, and red spruce grows in New England and the Appalachian Mountains.

Characteristics

The wood is light in color, and there is little difference between heartwood and sapwood. All three species have about the same properties, and they are not distinguished from each other in commerce. The wood dries easily and is stable after drying, is moderately lightweight and easily worked, has moderate shrinkage, and is moderately strong, stiff, tough, and hard.

Primary Uses

The greatest use of eastern spruce is for pulpwood. Eastern spruce lumber is used for framing material, general millwork, boxes and crates, and piano sounding boards.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-softwood

Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

Redwood is a domestic softwood

Location

Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) grows on the coast of California and some trees are among the tallest in the world. A closely related species, giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), is volumetrically larger and grows in a limited area in the Sierra Nevadas of California, but its wood is used in very limited quantities. Other names for redwood are coast redwood, California redwood, and sequoia. Production of redwood lumber is limited to California, but the market is nationwide.

Characteristics

The heartwood of redwood varies from light “cherry” red to dark mahogany. The narrow sapwood is almost white. Typical old-growth redwood is moderately lightweight, moderately strong and stiff, and moderately hard. The wood is easy to work, generally straight grained, and shrinks and swells comparatively little. The heartwood from old-growth trees has high decay resistance; heartwood from second-growth trees generally has low to moderate decay resistance.

Primary Uses

Most redwood lumber is used for building. It is remanufactured extensively into siding, sashes, doors, blinds, millwork, casket stock, and containers. Because of its durability, redwood is useful for cooling towers, decking, tanks, silos, wood-stave pipe, and outdoor furniture. It is used in agriculture for buildings and equipment. Its use as timbers and large dimension in bridges and trestles is relatively minor. Redwood splits readily and plays an important role in the manufacture of split products, such as posts and fence material. Some redwood veneer is produced for decorative plywood.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-softwood

Redcedar, Western (Thuja plicata)

Redcedar, Western is a domestic softwood

Location

Western redcedar (Thuja plicata) grows in the Pacific Northwest and along the Pacific Coast to Alaska. It is also called canoe-cedar, giant arborvitae, shinglewood, and Pacific redcedar. Western redcedar lumber is produced principally in Washington, followed by Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

Characteristics

The heartwood of western redcedar is reddish or pinkish brown to dull brown, and the sapwood is nearly white. The sapwood is narrow, often not more than 2.5 cm (1 in.) wide. The wood is generally straight grained and has a uniform but rather coarse texture. It has very low shrinkage. This species is lightweight, moderately soft, low in strength when used as a beam or posts, and low in shock resistance. The heartwood is very resistant to decay.

Primary Uses

Western redcedar is used principally for shingles, lumber, poles, posts, and piles. The lumber is used for exterior siding, decking, interior woodwork, greenhouse construction, ship and boat building, boxes and crates, sashes, and doors.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-softwood

Redcedar, Eastern (Juniperus virginiana)

Redcedar, Eastern is a domestic softwood

Location

Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) grows throughout the eastern half of the United States, except in Maine, Florida, and a narrow strip along the Gulf Coast, and at the higher elevations in the Appalachian Mountain Range. Commercial production is principally in the southern Appalachian and Cumberland Mountain regions. Another species, southern redcedar (J. silicicola), grows over a limited area in the South Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains.

Characteristics

The heartwood of redcedar is bright or dull red, and the narrow sapwood is nearly white. The wood is moderately heavy, moderately low in strength, hard, and high in shock resistance, but low in stiffness. It has very low shrinkage and is dimensionally stable after drying. The texture is fine and uniform, and the wood commonly has numerous small knots. Eastern redcedar heartwood is very resistant to decay.

Primary Uses

The greatest quantity of eastern redcedar is used for fence posts. Lumber is manufactured into chests, wardrobes, and closet lining. Other uses include flooring, novelties, pencils, scientific instruments, and small boats. Southern redcedar is used for the same purposes. Eastern redcedar is reputed to repel moths, but this claim has not been supported by research.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-softwood

Port-Orford-Cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana)

Port-Orford-Cedar is a domestic softwood

Location

Port-Orford-cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) is sometimes known as Lawson-cypress, Oregon-cedar, and white-cedar. It grows along the Pacific Coast from Coos Bay, Oregon, southward to California. It does not extend more than 64 km (40 mi) inland.

Characteristics

The heartwood of Port-Orford-cedar is light yellow to pale brown. The sapwood is narrow and hard to distinguish from the heartwood. The wood has fine texture, generally straight grain, and a pleasant spicy odor. It is moderately lightweight, stiff, moderately strong and hard, and moderately resistant to shock. Port-Orford-cedar heartwood is highly resistant to decay. The wood shrinks moderately, has little tendency to warp, and is stable after drying.

Primary Uses

Some high-grade Port-Orford-cedar was once used in the manufacture of storage battery separators, matchsticks, and specialty millwork. Today, other uses are archery supplies, sash and door construction, stadium seats, flooring, interior woodwork, furniture, and boats.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.