Douglas-Fir in Construction

Looking up at Doug Fir

Lumber produced from Douglas-fir is recognized throughout the world for its strength and performance. It is an affordable softwood that is often used in woodworking and construction. “[Douglas-fir] has the highest ratings of any Western softwood for fiber stress in bending, tension to parallel grain, horizontal shear, compression perpendicular and compression parallel to grain” (wwpa.org). Douglas-fir also has the highest modulus of elasticity value of all North American softwoods, meaning the wood is highly resistant to deformation under load. It is also dimensionally stable and holds nails well. The light rosy color, tight knotting and close graining pattern adds a bonus of beauty to the structural capabilities of Douglas-fir. It also takes staining and painting very well.

Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga) is a genus with six species. Two species grow in North America and four more are native to East Asia. The most important species of Douglas-fir is also called Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Its importance is reflected in a common name identical to the name of the genus. “The hyphen in its name lets us know that Douglas-fir is not a “true” fir. It is not a member of the Abies genus” (Oregonstate.edu).

Fir timbers in Our Yard ready for delivery

Douglas-fir is native to the Pacific Northwest region, growing abundantly in the coastal climates of Oregon, Washington and northern California. Douglas-fir trees are among the tallest on the continent, averaging from 150 to 200 feet in height and 2 to 6 feet in diameter. It is also Oregon’s state tree and a popular choice of Christmas tree. More Douglas-fir is produced and shipped from the West than any other species.

For more information visit the Western Wood Products Association website at www.wwpa.org