Douglas fir tree appearance wood uses and lumber
Douglas fir trees are common throughout the west coast of North America and Canada. This tall and strong fir tree is often called Oregon fir due to the large number trees native to that area. The scientific name of douglas fir is pseudotsuga menziesii and is part of the pinaceae family. Douglas fir trees are planted throughout many parts of the world including Europe, Australia and New Zeeland. Douglas fir wood properties are excellent and make it a top trading product of the wood industry.
Douglas fir tree, needles and fruit description
The douglas fir tree can grow to heights up to 325 feet or 100 meters. The tree is classed evergreen and has needles all year.
Douglas fir needles are light to dark green colored on the sun side with two white bands on the other side. The needles are surprisingly soft and can reach lengths up to 1.2 inches or 3 cm.
The douglas fir tree has pendant cone fruits. New cones are green and get a pale brown color when aging. The cone can reach lengths up to 4 inch or 10 cm and wanted by many squirrels for its seeds.
Douglas fir tree bark and trunk
Yong douglas fir trees have smooth grey brown bark that is covered with tree resin. When the tree gets older the bark gets darker and fissured. The trunk of the douglas fir tree is long and straight. The first branches can be high up in the tree at 100 feet or 30 meters. The diameter of the trunk depends on the age of the tree. Old trees can have trunks with a diameter up to 8 feet or 2.5 meters.
Douglas fir wood properties and durability
Fresh douglas fir heartwood is red orange colored that darkens in time. The sapwood has a lighter color more reddish white. Exposure to sunlight gives the wood a darker color, more in line with the heartwood. Douglas fir wood is known for its medium to fairly coarse texture nice colorations, high strength and stiffness and good working properties. The average dried weight of the wood at a moisture content of 12% is 530 kg per cubic meter. The durability of douglas fir wood is classed as III moderate durability.
Douglas fir wood working tips and uses
Douglas fir wood is very popular among carpenters and the wood work industry. The lumber is excellent for
- building and construction
- turned articles
- and more.
Douglas fir wood has low shrinkage when drying and holds nails and screws well. It glues well and is very often used in plywood. Sharp tools are recommended when working with douglas fir by hand. The wood can contain resin that can cause problems when painting.