Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is one of the world’s best-known and most widely used wood species. In British Columbia, there are two varieties of Douglas-fir: Coastal and Interior. The sapwood is light in colour and of narrow width. The heartwood ranges from yellowish to reddish-brown. Earlywood and latewood have a pronounced difference in colour, the latewood having darker, more sharply defined bands. This colour difference results in a distinctive grain pattern when flat-sawn. The wood has a fine to medium texture, straight grain and is non-porous.
Due to its strength, Douglas-fir is primarily used for building and construction. It is hard and resistant to abrasion, making it suitable for uses where wear is a factor, as in trestles, bridge parts, log homes and commercial buildings. It is one of the finest timbers for heavy structural purposes, including glulam beams and roof trusses. Structurally, it is used in the form of lumber, timbers, pilings and plywood.
Douglas-fir is also used to produce a wide variety of products including general millwork, flooring, furniture, cabinets and veneer. This species has excellent strength properties and is well known for its workability. The wood dries rapidly with small dimensional movement and little tendency to check. It is relatively easy to work, with good machining qualities.
Douglas-fir is marketed predominantly as Douglas-fir - Larch in structural grades according to National Lumber Grades Authority (NLGA) rules for dimension lumber. Select Structural, #2 and better and stud grades are the most common. Specialty in-house grades and export grades are also available.