Botanical Name: Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.

) Franco

Douglas-fir is one of the best known wood species in the world. In British Columbia there are two varieties of Douglas-fir, Coastal and Interior. The Coastal variety occurs along the southern mainland Coast and across Vancouver Island, except for the very northern tip. The Interior variety is found throughout southern British Columbia, and as far north as the centre of the province. Douglas-fir is a large tree reaching heights of 85 metres on the Coast, and 42 metres in the Interior. Douglas-fir makes up 8.8% of the provincial growing stock.
CoaSTal DoUglaS-FIr

Common Uses
Douglas-fir is primarily used for building and construction purposes due to its strength advantages and availability of large dimensions from old-growth trees. It is one of the finest timbers for heavy structural purposes, including laminated arches and roof trusses. Structurally, it is used in the form of lumber, timbers, pilings and plywood. Douglas-fir is seen as a first class wood for the manufacturing of sashes, doors and windows. The wood is also used to produce a wide variety of products including general millwork, flooring, furniture, cabinets, veneer, vats, ship and boat construction, transmission poles, and marine pilings.

INTerIor DoUglaS-FIr



Douglas-fir lumber is dried according to end-use and customer specifications.5 SpecIFIc GRAvIty (12% m.9% 7. although there is sometimes a tendency for wavy or spiral grain to be present. Pronounced difference in colour between earlywood and latewood zones.6 50. and more uniform in texture than that of Interior trees.) HARDneSS (n) mOe (mpa) mOR (mpa) cOmpReSSIOn pARALLeL (mpa) cOmpReSSIOn peRpenDIcULAR (mpa) SHeAR (mpa) cLeAvAGe (n/mm Width) SHRInkAGe OD = oven dry air = air dry 12% vISUAL pROpeRtIeS cOLOUR Heartwood Sapwood Heartwood / Sapwood Contrast latewood / earlywood Contrast GRAIn orange red to reddish-brown. one main difference is that Interior Douglas-fir is less permeable to preservative treatments. improves its strength and stiffness.01 9.1 6. Both have the same wood properties.53 38. Sapwood is well defined and narrow in old-growth and up to 7 cm wide in second-growth. .0 88. and increases its resistance to decay and attack by insects. Yellowish-white (light in colour).9 4. The timber from the Coastal trees is generally lighter in colour. Quartersawn lumber or quarter-sliced veneer: Distinct.0% 1. conspicuous latewood stripes. OtHeR Wood is resinous. FIGURe Plainsawn lumber or rotary-cut veneer: Conspicuous growth ring pattern. pitch pockets may be present. Wood is generally straight-grained. pHySIcAL pROpeRtIeS DenSIty (kg/m3) green air Dry Standard Side end green air Dry green air Dry air Dry air Dry air Dry air Dry radial (oD) Tangential (oD) Volumetric (oD) Volumetric (air) Tang / rad ratio 450 487 0.8% 7. enhances its appearance.4% 11.DOUGLAS-FIR What is the difference between Coastal and Interior Douglas-fir? Coastal Douglas-fir is a much bigger tree than Interior Douglas-fir. knOtS large knots with large areas of clear material in between. however.c.45 2990 4020 11100 13500 52. Kiln drying inhibits natural staining of the wood.

poor for dark ones. good results with light stain or clear finish followed by nitrocellulose alkyd clear sealer and finish. with good machining qualities. The wood dries rapidly with small dimensional movement and little tendency to check. rotary cut veneers are reported to display such strong natural color that staining is sometimes unnecessary. easy to work with both hand and power tools. excellent resistance to splitting. DRyInG ease of Drying DURAbILIty easy to moderately easy a relatively easy wood to dry with little trouble occurring from checking. Second-growth: Stainability is average for light colours. Very good holding. grain becomes wild and pronounced with dark stain. pROceSS mAcHInInG p eR FO R m A nc e c O m m entS Planing Turning Sawing good planing quality High surface quality easy to work with tools good excellent excellent shaping quality excellent good good good good good to moderate good surface quality. Satisfactory to good results. Very good sanding properties. warping and splitting. average screw retention: 494 lb.WORkInG pROpeRtIeS Douglas-fir has excellent strength properties and is well known for its workability. Important plywood species. lower grades require more care. planes and shapes well and can be sanded to a smooth finish. Should not be used in applications with prolonged ground contact without treatment. Natural Decay Moderately durable resistance Treatability Impermeable to extremely impermeable DOUGLAS-FIR . excellent resistance to splitting. has moderate nail and good screw holding ability. It turns. Boring Mortising Shaping Veneering Sanding FAStenInG Screwing lateral Nail Holding Nail retention gluing Bonds well with a fairly wide range of adhesives under a moderately wide range of bonding conditions. excellent mortising quality with both chain mortise and hollow chisel mortise. and takes a good finish. resin build up on cutters may cause problems. a clear coating works the best. Very good surface quality. Can be improved by incising. Typical defects are raised grain and fuzzy grain. It is relatively easy to work. old-growth: Smooth finish. good holding. FInISHInG Staining easy Painting lacquering Waxing average to good paint holding ability excellent results good Very good results are obtained when using light. The wood glues moderately easily. Very good boring quality. Moderate to severe blunting effect. such as Mellow Pine and medium-coloured waxes.

from internal and external scientific sources. though there are many potential appearance grades that can be produced. Specialty in-house grades. appearance grades are also produced according to Nlga rules. shop lumber and moulding stock are most common. Select Structural. Data for this factsheet has been compiled by Forintek Canada Corp. and export grades are also available. #2 and better and stud grades are the most common grades produced. Clears.DOUGLAS-FIR Commercial availability Douglas-fir is marketed predominantly as Douglas-fir – larch in structural grades according to National lumber grades authority (Nlga) rules for dimension lumber. . * Marketed as structural lumber in the D Fir-L (N) (Douglas-fir – Larch) species mix. Forintek is a not-for-profit technical research institute serving the Canadian forest sector.

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