Categories
domestic-softwood

Pine, Jack (Pinus banksiana)

Pine, Jack is a domestic softwood

Location

Jack pine (Pinus banksiana), sometimes known as scrub, gray, and black pine in the United States, grows naturally in the Great Lake States and in a few scattered areas in New England and northern New York. Jack pine lumber is sometimes not separated from the other pines with which it grows, including red pine (Pinus resinosa) and eastern white pine (Pinus strobus).

Characteristics

Sapwood of jack pine is nearly white; heartwood is light brown to orange. Sapwood may constitute one-half or more of the volume of a tree. The wood has a rather coarse texture and is somewhat resinous. It is moderately lightweight, moderately low in bending strength and compressive strength, moderately low in shock resistance, and low in stiffness. It also has moderately low shrinkage. Lumber from jack pine is generally knotty.

Primary Uses

Jack pine is used for pulpwood, box lumber, and pallets. Less important uses include railroad crossties, mine timber, slack cooperage, poles, posts, and fuel.

*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

Pine, Eastern White (Pinus strobus)

Pine, Eastern White is a domestic softwood

Location

Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) grows from Maine to northern Georgia and in the Great Lake States. It is also known as white pine, northern white pine, Weymouth pine, and soft pine. About one-half the production of eastern white pine lumber occurs in New England, about one-third in the Great Lake States, and most of the remainder in the Middle Atlantic and South Atlantic States.

Characteristics

The heartwood of eastern white pine is light brown, often with a reddish tinge. It turns darker on exposure to air. The wood has comparatively uniform texture and is straight grained. It is easily kiln dried, has low shrinkage, and ranks high in stability. It is also easy to work and can be readily glued. Eastern white pine is lightweight, moderately soft, moderately low in strength, low in shock resistance, and low in stiffness.

Primary Uses

Practically all eastern white pine is converted into lumber, which is used in a great variety of ways. A large proportion, mostly second-growth knotty wood or lower grades, is used for structural lumber. High-grade lumber is used for patterns for castings. Other important uses are sashes, doors, furniture, interior woodwork, knotty paneling, caskets, shade and map rollers, and toys.

*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

Larch, Western (Larix occidentalis)

Larch, Western is a domestic softwood

Location

Western larch (Larix occidentalis) grows in western Montana, northern Idaho, northeastern Oregon, and on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains in Washington. About twothirds of the lumber of this species is produced in Idaho and Montana and one-third in Oregon and Washington.

Characteristics

The heartwood of western larch is yellowish brown and the sapwood, yellowish white. The sapwood is generally not more than 2.5 cm (1 in.) wide. The wood is stiff, moderately strong and hard, moderately high in shock resistance, and moderately heavy. It has moderately high shrinkage. The wood is usually straight grained, splits easily, and is subject to ring shake. Knots are common but generally small and tight.

Primary Uses

Western larch is used mainly for rough dimension wood in building construction, small timbers, planks and boards, and railroad crossties and mine timbers. It is used also for piles, poles, and posts. Some high-grade material is manufactured into interior woodwork, flooring, sashes, and doors. The properties of western larch are similar to those of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and these species are sometimes sold mixed.

*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

Incense-Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens)

Incense-Cedar is a domestic softwood

Location

Incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens (synonym Libocedrus decurrens)) grows in California, southwestern Oregon, and extreme western Nevada. Most incense-cedar lumber comes from the northern half of California.

Characteristics

Sapwood of incense-cedar is white or cream colored, and heartwood is light brown, often tinged with red. The wood has a fine, uniform texture and a spicy odor. Incense-cedar is light in weight, moderately low in strength, soft, low in shock resistance, and low in stiffness. It has low shrinkage and is easy to dry, with little checking or warping.

Primary Uses

Incense-cedar is used principally for lumber and fence posts. Nearly all the high-grade lumber is used for pencils and venetian blinds; some is used for chests and toys. Much incense-cedar wood is more or less pecky; that is, it contains pockets or areas of disintegrated wood caused by advanced stages of localized decay in the living tree. There is no further development of decay once the lumber is dried. This low-quality lumber is used locally for rough construction where low cost and decay resistance are important. Because of its resistance to decay, incense-cedar is well suited for fence posts. Other uses are railroad crossties, poles, and split shingles.

*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

Hemlock, Western and Mountain (Tsuga heterophylla)

Hemlock, Western and Mountain is a domestic softwood

Location

Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) is also known as West Coast hemlock, Pacific hemlock, British Columbia hemlock, hemlock-spruce, and western hemlock-fir. It grows along the Pacific coast of Oregon and Washington and in the northern Rocky Mountains north to Canada and Alaska. A relative of western hemlock, mountain hemlock (T. mertensiana) grows in mountainous country from central California to Alaska. It is treated as a separate species in assigning lumber properties.

Characteristics

The heartwood and sapwood of western hemlock are almost white with a purplish tinge. The sapwood, which is sometimes lighter in color than the heartwood, is generally not more than 2.5 cm (1 in.) wide. The wood often contains small, sound, black knots that are usually tight and dimensionally stable. Dark streaks are often found in the lumber; these are caused by hemlock bark maggots and generally do not reduce strength. Western hemlock is moderately light in weight and moderate in strength. It is also moderate in hardness, stiffness, and shock resistance. Shrinkage of western hemlock is moderately high, about the same as that of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Green hemlock lumber contains considerably more water than does Douglas-fir and requires longer kiln-drying time. Mountain hemlock has approximately the same density as that of western hemlock but is somewhat lower in bending strength and stiffness.

Primary Uses

Western hemlock and mountain hemlock are used principally for pulpwood, lumber, and plywood. The lumber is used primarily for building material, such as sheathing, siding, subflooring, joists, studding, planking, and rafters, as well as in the manufacture of boxes, pallets, crates, flooring, furniture, and ladders.

*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

Hemlock, Eastern (Tsuga canadensis)

Hemlock, Eastern is a domestic softwood

Location

Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) grows from New England to northern Alabama and Georgia, and in the Great Lake States. Other names are Canadian hemlock and hemlock- spruce. The production of hemlock lumber is divided fairly evenly among the New England States, Middle Atlantic States, and Great Lake States.

Characteristics

The heartwood of eastern hemlock is pale brown with a reddish hue. The sapwood is not distinctly separated from the heartwood but may be lighter in color. The wood is coarse and uneven in texture (old trees tend to have considerable shake); it is moderately lightweight, moderately hard, moderately low in strength, moderately stiff, and moderately low in shock resistance.

Primary Uses

Eastern hemlock is used principally for lumber and pulpwood. The lumber is used primarily in building construction (framing, sheathing, subflooring, and roof boards) and in the manufacture of boxes, pallets, and crates.

*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

Firs, True (Western Species) (Abies lasiocarpa, A. magnifica, A. grandis, A. procera, A. amabilis, A. concolor)

Firs, True (Western Species) is a domestic softwood

Location

Six commercial species make up the western true firs: subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), California red fir (A. magnifica), grand fir (A. grandis), noble fir (A. procera), Pacific silver fir (A. amabilis), and white fir (A. concolor). The western true firs are cut for lumber primarily in Washington, Oregon, California, western Montana, and northern Idaho, and they are marketed as white fir throughout the United States. Cypress-tupelo swamp near New Orleans, LA. Species include baldcypress (Taxodium distichum)), tupelo (Nyssa), ash (Fraxinus), willow (Salix), and elm (Ulmus). Swollen buttresses and “knees” are typically present in cypress.

Characteristics

The wood of the western true firs is similar to that of the eastern true firs, which makes it impossible to distinguish the true fir species by examination of the wood alone. Western true firs are light in weight but, with the exception of subalpine fir, have somewhat higher strength properties than does balsam fir. Shrinkage of the wood is low to moderately high.

Primary Uses

Lumber of the western true firs is primarily used for building construction, boxes and crates, planing-mill products, sashes, doors, and general millwork. In house construction, the lumber is used for framing, subflooring, and sheathing. Some western true fir lumber is manufactured into boxes and crates. High-grade lumber from noble fir is used mainly for interior woodwork, moulding, siding, and sash and door stock. Some of the highest quality material is suitable for aircraft construction. Other special uses of noble fir are venetian blinds and ladder rails.

*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

Firs, True (Eastern Species) (Abies balsamea)

Firs, True (Eastern Species) is a domestic softwood

Location

Balsam fir (Abies balsamea) grows principally in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and the Great Lake States. Fraser fir (A. fraseri) grows in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

Characteristics

The wood of the eastern true firs, as well as the western true firs, is creamy white to pale brown. The heartwood and sapwood are generally indistinguishable. The similarity of wood structure in the true firs makes it impossible to distinguish the species by examination of the wood alone. Balsam and Fraser firs are lightweight, have low bending and compressive strength, are moderately low in stiffness, are soft, and have low resistance to shock.

Primary Uses

The eastern firs are used mainly for pulpwood, although some lumber is produced for structural products, especially in New England and the Great Lake States.

*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

Douglas-Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

Douglas-Fir is a domestic softwood

Location

Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is also known locally as red-fir, Douglas-spruce, and yellow-fir. Its range extends from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast and from Mexico to central British Columbia.

Characteristics

Sapwood of Douglas-fir is narrow in old-growth trees but may be as much as 7 cm (3 in.) wide in second-growth trees of commercial size. Young trees of moderate to rapid growth have reddish heartwood and are called red-fir. Very narrowringed heartwood of old-growth trees may be yellowish brown and is known on the market as yellow-fir. The wood of Douglas-fir varies widely in weight and strength. When lumber of high strength is needed for structural uses, selection can be improved by selecting wood with higher density.

Primary Uses

Douglas-fir is used mostly for building and construction purposes in the form of lumber, marine fendering, piles, and plywood. Considerable quantities are used for railroad crossties, cooperage stock, mine timbers, poles, and fencing. Douglas-fir lumber is used in the manufacture of various products, including sashes, doors, laminated beams, general millwork, railroad-car construction, boxes, pallets, and crates. Small amounts are used for flooring, furniture, ship and boat construction, and tanks. Douglas-fir plywood has found application in construction, furniture, cabinets, marine use, and other products.

*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

Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum)

Baldcypress is a domestic softwood

Location

Baldcypress or cypress (Taxodium distichum) is also known as southern-cypress, red-cypress, yellow-cypress, and whitecypress. Commercially, the terms tidewater red-cypress, gulfcypress, red-cypress (coast type), and yellow-cypress (inland type) are frequently used. About half of the cypress lumber comes from the Southern States and about a fourth from the South Atlantic States. Old-growth baldcypress is no longer readily available, but second-growth wood is available.

Characteristics

Sapwood of baldcypress is narrow and nearly white. The color of heartwood varies widely, ranging from light yellowish brown to dark brownish red, brown, or chocolate. The wood is moderately heavy, moderately strong, and moderately hard. The heartwood of old-growth baldcypress is one of the most decay resistant of U.S. species, but second- growth wood is only moderately resistant to decay. Shrinkage is moderately low but somewhat higher than that of the cedars and lower than that of Southern Pine. The wood of certain baldcypress trees frequently contains pockets or localized areas that have been attacked by a fungus. Such wood is known as pecky cypress. The decay caused by this fungus is stopped when the wood is cut into lumber and dried. Pecky cypress is therefore durable and useful where water tightness is unnecessary, appearance is not important, or a novel effect is desired.

Primary Uses

When old-growth wood was available, baldcypress was used principally for building construction, especially where resistance to decay was required. It was also used for caskets, sashes, doors, blinds, tanks, vats, ship and boat building, and cooling towers. Second-growth wood is used for siding and millwork, including interior woodwork and paneling. Pecky cypress is used for paneling in restaurants, stores, and other buildings.

*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.