Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is a tall evergreen characterized by it’s large size, short needles and egg-shaped cones. It is the largest growing tree species in British Columbia and is commonly found from 3 to 4 feet in diameter and 150 to 200 feet in height. There are two types of Douglas Fir in British Columbia, Interior and Coastal.
Douglas Fir is highly sought-after in the lumber industry because of it’s superior strength-to-weight ratio, durability, versatility and aesthetic appeal. Coastal Douglas Fir is often larger in size, resulting in a coarse grain and large knots. Although Interior Douglas Fir trees are smaller, they produce a much finer, tighter grain and contain smaller, intergrown knots.
Douglas fir is primarily used in building and construction, it is one of the the best species for heavy structural purposes, including laminated beams and timber frame manufacturing.
Douglas Fir sap and heartwood have a distinct difference in color, with the sapwood being light yellow or white in color, whereas the heartwood is more salmon or pinkish brown in colour. There is also a pronounced contrast between the springwood and summerwood, which is especially apparent when cut in a flat grain. The grain of Interior fir is renowned for being very fine and tight with a low tendency for the grain to spiral or wave. Douglas Fir knots are reddish orange, and usually intergrown (especially in Interior Fir). The aesthetic appeal of clear, light, straight, vertical-grain Douglas Fir is unsurpassed amongst any of the world’s softwood species.
Douglas Fir is used extensively for general construction and heavy timber construction. More specific uses include, laminated beams, timber frame manufacturing, window and door construction, paneling, flooring, and furniture (indoor/outdoor).