Softwood species

Discover all the fascinating facts about 12 softwood tree species growing abundantly throughout BC, from natural-occurring insecticides and resistance to decay to a broad spectrum of structural and aesthetic properties and applications.

Close up of amabilis fir (Abies amabilis) in the wild showing white and grey mottled bark and green needles
Amabilis fir

Amabilis fir, which grows along BC’s coast, combines strength and beauty and is used for structural products in…

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Douglas-fir tree close up of tree at base of the trunk
Douglas-fir

Douglas-fir is a large tree, reaching 85 metres on BC’s coast and 42 metres in the Interior.

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Lodgepole pine branch
Lodgepole pine

Lodgepole pine, the most abundant tree species in BC, is marketed with interior spruce and subalpine fir as the SPF (spruce-pine-fir) species group.

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Close up of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) live trunk in the wild. Ponderosa pine is used for light and medium construction and a variety of exterior and interior products
Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine is a large-crowned tree with a straight trunk. It is the largest of the western pine species and usually…

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Close up of Sitka spruce needles (Picea sitchensis) live in the wild. With a high strength-to-weight ratio, Sitka spruce is used in a variety of structural products and is a favoured wood in the aircraft and shipbuilding industries.
Sitka spruce

Sitka spruce is the largest of the spruces and is used in a variety of structural products including…

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Close up of subalpine fir needles (Abies lasiocarpa) live in the wild. Subalpine fir, also known as balsam or balsam fir, grows throughout BC’s interior and is marketed with lodgepole pine and interior spruce as the SPF (spruce-pine-fir) species group
Subalpine fir

Subalpine fir, also known as balsam or balsam fir, grows throughout BC’s interior and is marketed with lodgepole…

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Close-up of green needles from Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), a versatile species of coniferous trees indigenous to British Columbia, and used for a wide variety of exterior and interior building applications.
Western red cedar

Western red cedar is a resilient and versatile species that can be used in a wide variety of…

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Close up of Western hemlock needles (Tsuga hererophylla) live in the wild. Western hemlock is used for general construction, roof decking and plywood, as well as for laminating stock and the production of glue-laminated and solid beams
Western hemlock

Western hemlock, the most plentiful tree species on BC’s coast, is used for general construction, roof decking, plywood,…

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Close up of Western larch (Larix occidentalis) live trunk in the wild. Western larch is produced predominantly as part of the Douglas-fir-larch species mix and some high-grade material is used for interior finish products
Western larch

Western larch is produced predominantly as part of the Douglas-fir-larch species mix.

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Close up of Western white pine (Pinus monticola) needles in the wild. Western white pine has good working qualities and is generally sawn into lumber for use in products such as windows, doors and furniture, as well as construction lumber.
Western white pine

Western white pine is commonly found in the drier parts of Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland coast…

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White + Engelmann spruce

White spruce and Engelmann spruce are found across BC’s interior. They are part of the SPF species group,…

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Yellow cedar

Yellow cedar grows on BC’s coast and is very valuable commercially because of its straight grain, yellow colour…

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Hardwood species

From the bigleaf maple and white birch to the red alder and trembling aspen, BC’s hardwood species are used to make such beautiful wood products as flooring, cabinetry and furniture, as well as musical instruments, interior millwork, and more.

Close up of big leaf maple (Acer marcophyllum) leaves in the wild. Bigleaf maple often grows in mixed groups of softwood and hardwood species such as red alder, black cottonwood, Douglas-fir, western red cedar and western hemlock.
Bigleaf maple

Bigleaf maple, the largest maple in Canada, only grows in the southwest corner of BC. It yields attractive…

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Paper (white) birch

Paper birch is intolerant of shade, so it thrives in open clearings and younger forests resulting from disturbances…

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Daytime sunny view of pine cones hanging at end of tree branch
Red alder

Red alder is found all along the coast of BC and is the most plentiful hardwood in the…

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Close up of trembling aspen leaves. Trembling aspen is the most common of the fast-growing, small-diameter species used to make oriented strand board (OSB) and laminated veneer lumber (LVL)
Trembling aspen

Trembling aspen is a slender, graceful tree with smooth, greenish white bark and distinctive leaves that quiver in…

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