American Douglas Fir Timber

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What is American Douglas Fir?

American Douglas Fir timber is a very popular softwood species due to its strength and versatility. We stock both timber from North America and Europe.

Whilst the two sources are of the same botanical species, they vary somewhat due to the climates in which they are grown. Stock from North America is slower growing (although the best 'old-growth' trees in America which used to be imported have Government environmental restrictions). It is mainly imported in grade #2 / 3 clears 85 / 15 which results in a small knot-content and we also have 2" x 4" & 2" x 5" in vertical-grain if required for doors etc.

Thicknesses kiln dried are 1", 1½", 2", 2½", 3" & 4". Also 6" thick just heat-treated for import regulations. Widths in packs are random 4" - 12". Lengths; mainly 7' - 16' but can be longer.

French and UK grown Douglas Fir timber is also offered in 'construction' grades and mainly used for exterior joinery (if preservative treated) or roof trusses etc.

Latin name Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pseudotsuga taxifolia, Pseudotsuga douglasii

Also known as British Columbian pine (UK), Columbian pine (UK), Oregon pine (USA)

American Douglas Fir Introduction Douglas fir from Canada and the USA may be graded and shipped for structural purposes in the species mix 'Douglas fir- larch' which comprises Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and western larch (Larix occidentalis). The mechanical properties quoted for material from Canada and USA are for this species mix.

Environmental Not listed in CITES. Available from well-managed sources.

Distribution Although a native of North America, the tree has been extensively planted in Europe and the UK.


American Douglas Fir Properties

The Tree A large tree attaining a height of 45m to 60m and a diameter of 1m to 2m, occasionally much taller and larger

American Douglas Fir The Timber The heartwood is light reddish-brown in colour, usually quite distinct from the lighter coloured sapwood. The abrupt change and contrast in colour between early-wood and late-wood bands, produce a prominent growth ring figure which is a feature of plain-sawn surfaces and of rotary-cut veneer. The wood from trees grown in the UK appears to have less resin than the North American wood, and to some extent is of more rapid growth. The average weight of dried timber from either source is about 530 kg/m3.

Drying Imported 'Douglas fir' is not a difficult timber to dry on arrival in this country or in Europe, because the moisture content has already been reduced prior to shipment with some selecting out of degraded boards. Drying degrade is generally confined to surface checking, splitting and loosening of knots, and splitting in the vicinity of knots. Accordingly, stock from trees grown in the UK and in Europe when dried from the green state, needs care, particularly because of the generally higher preponderance of knots which are hard, often loose, and which encourage more wavy grain than in imported stock.

Strength Compared with European redwood, it is some 60 per cent stiffer, 40 per cent harder and more resistant to suddenly applied loads, and 30 per cent stronger in bending and in compression along the grain.

Durability Moderately durable. Slightly durable (Homegrown timber). The heartwood and sapwood are both permeable. Moderately resistant to decay.

American Douglas Fir Treatability Extremely difficult Difficult (Sapwood)

Moisture Movement Small

Density (mean, Kg/m³) 530

Physical Properties Good overall strength. Very stiff. Low shock resistance. Stable

Texture Medium


Working with American Douglas Fir

Use(s) Joinery - Exterior, Joinery - Interior, Cladding, Structural use, Flooring. Construction

American Douglas Fir Colour(s) Reddish brown, Light brown


Timbersource are a leading online softwood timber merchant in the UK, supplying American Douglas Fir timber to the joinery, carpentry, construction and building trade at competitive prices. To Contact Us click HERE

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Timbersource Ltd.

Quarry Way, Waterlip,
Shepton Mallet, Somerset,
United Kingdom
BA4 4RN