Lowry London

DOUGLAS FIR – Wood Guide


FAMILY
Pine (Pinaceae)

FACTS
Named after Scottish botanists’ David Douglas (common name – Douglas Fir) and Archibald Menzies (scientific name – seudotsuga menziesii ), the Douglas fir has a generation length of about 50 years and can grow in many different environments. The lumber is solid and stiff for its weight and it is one of the most massive and hardest softwoods available. Popularly used as Christmas trees over the past century, Douglas firs were also utilised by native Hawaiians to build wa‘a kaulua (double-hulled canoes).

SUSTAINABILITY
Very good. Douglas fir is not listed in the CITES Appendices and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

COLOUR
Light, pale beige

GRAIN
In solid wood the figure is usually straight, in rotary sliced veneers it can exhibit wild patterns.

HABITAT AND ECOLOGY
Very hardy, it grows so extensively where it’s naturalised that it can become an invasive species (known as a wilding conifer in New Zealand) subject to control measures.

WOOD
One of the strongest softwoods

TREE SIZE
190–245ft (60–75m)

DISTRIBUTION
Zero to 3200m, altitudinal distribution increases from north to south, reflecting the effect of climate on distribution of the species.

USE
Construction, furniture making, ship building


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