Douglas fir wood

Douglas fir wood, also known as Oregon pine, is a softwood that is popular for its striking colour contrast and decorative grain. The tree from which Douglas fir wood is obtained has the Latin name Pseudotsuga menziesii and is native to North America.

Colour and grain of Douglas fir wood

As with pine and larch, there is a marked difference in colour between the outer sapwood and the inner heartwood (heartwood tree). Depending on the age of the tree, the narrow to broad sapwood is yellowish to reddish-white in colour. The heartwood is yellowish brown to reddish yellow when freshly cut, but quickly darkens to a brown to dark red colour when exposed to light. With darker colouring, there is a great resemblance to the wood of the larch.

There is a clear colour contrast between the light-coloured early wood and the reddish-brown late wood, which is often clearly separated on both sides, i.e. both at the annual ring boundaries and within the annual rings. Accordingly, on the cross-section, the annual rings are also conspicuously set off from each other and the longitudinal surfaces, especially of coarse-grained wood, are strikingly figured (tangential section) or striped (radial section).

Properties of Douglas fir wood

The wood of the native, comparatively young Douglas fir has relatively wide annual rings, often measuring between 5 and 10 mm, with partly very pronounced latewood areas. From a tree age of about 60 years, however, annual rings comparable to those of spruce are mostly produced. As with all conifers, the wood rays are very fine and only visible as mirrors, but without influencing the appearance of the wood.

The fine, vertical resin channels are barely visible to the naked eye, even on smoothed cross-sections, and only appear as small bright dots when magnified. They are more often arranged in short tangential groups. The resin canal system contains a slightly volatile balsam that gives fresh wood in particular its peculiar aromatic smell.

Overall character:
Straight-grained, narrow- to broad-split coniferous wood with brown to dark red darkening colour core and striking earlywood-latewood contrast. Decorative.

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