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Commonly refered to as Softwood




Examining a smooth cross-section or end face of a well-grown log of Georgia pine, we distinguish an envelope of reddish, scaly bark, a small, whitish pith at the center, and between these the wood in a great number of concentric rings.

Bark and Pith

The bark of a pine stem is thickest and roughest near the base, decreases rapidly in thickness from one to one-half inches at the stump to one-tenth inch near the top of the tree, and forms in general about ten to fifteen per cent of the entire trunk. The pith is quite thick, usually one-eighth to one-fifth inch in southern species, though much less so in white pine, and is very thin, one-fifteenth to one twenty-fifth inch in cypress, cedar, and larch.

In woods with a thick pith, the pith is finest at the stump, grows rapidly thicker toward the top, and becomes thinner again in the crown and limbs, the first one to five rings adjoining it behaving similarly.

What is called the pith was once the seedling tree, and in many of the pines and firs, especially after they have been seasoning for a good while, this is distinctly noticeable in the center of the log, and detaches itself from the surrounding wood.

Sap and Heartwood

Wood is composed of duramen or heartwood, and alburnum or sapwood, and when dry consists approximately of 49 per cent by weight of carbon, 6 per cent of hydrogen, 44 per cent of oxygen, and 1 per cent of ash, which is fairly uniform for all species. The sapwood is the external and youngest portion of the tree, and often constitutes a very considerable proportion of it. It lies next the bark, and after a course of years, sometimes many, as in the case of oaks, sometimes few, as in the case of firs, it becomes hardened and ultimately forms the duramen or heartwood. Sapwood is generally of a white or light color, almost invariably lighter in color than the heartwood, and is very conspicuous in the darker-colored woods, as for instance the yellow sapwood of mahogany and similiar colored woods, and the reddish brown heartwood; or the yellow sapwood of Lignum-vitae and the dark green heartwood. Sapwood forms a much larger proportion of some trees than others, but being on the outer circumference it always forms a large proportion of the timber, and even in sound, hard pine will be from 40 per cent to 60 per cent of the tree and in some cases much more. It is really imperfect wood, while the duramen or heartwood is the perfect wood; the heartwood of the mature tree was the sapwood of its earlier years. Young trees when cut down are almost all sapwood, and practically useless as good, sound timber; it is, however, through the sapwood that the life-giving juices which sustain the tree arise from the soil, and if the sapwood be cut through, as is done when "girdling," the tree quickly dies, as it can derive no further nourishment from the soil. Although absolutely necessary to the growing tree, sapwood is often objectionable to the user, as it is the first part to decay. In this sapwood many cells are active, store up starch, and otherwise assist in the life processes of the tree, although only the last or outer layer of cells forms the growing part, and the true life of the tree.

The duramen or heartwood is the inner, darker part of the log. In the heartwood all the cells are lifeless cases, and serve only the mechanical function of keeping the tree from breaking under its own great weight or from being laid low by the winds. The darker color of the heartwood is due to infiltration of chemical substances into the cell walls, but the cavities of the cells in pine are not filled up, as is sometimes believed, nor do their walls grow thicker, nor are the walls any more liquified than in the sapwood.

Sapwood varies in width and in the number of rings which it contains even in different parts of the same tree. The same year's growth which is sapwood in one part of a disk may be heartwood in another. Sapwood is widest in the main part of the stem and often varies within considerable limits and without apparent regularity. Generally, it becomes narrower toward the top and in the limbs, its width varying with the diameter, and being the least in a given disk on the side which has the shortest radius. Sapwood of old and stunted pines is composed of more rings than that of young and thrifty specimens. Thus in a pine two hundred and fifty years old a layer of wood or an annual ring does not change from sapwood to heartwood until seventy or eighty years after it is formed, while in a tree one hundred years old or less it remains sapwood only from thirty to sixty years.

The width of the sapwood varies considerably for different kinds of pine. It is small for long-leaf and white pine and great for loblolly and Norway pines. Occupying the peripheral part of the trunk, the proportion which it forms of the entire mass of the stem is always great. Thus even in old long-leaf pines, the sapwood forms 40 per cent of the merchantable log, while in the loblolly and in all young trees the sapwood forms the bulk of the wood.

The Annual or Yearly Rings

The concentric annual or yearly rings which appear on the end face of a log are cross-sections of so many thin layers of wood. Each such layer forms an envelope around its inner neighbor, and is in turn covered by the adjoining layer without, so that the whole stem is built up of a series of thin, hollow cylinders, or rather cones.

A new layer of wood is formed each season, covering the entire stem, as well as all the living branches. The thickness of this layer or the width of the yearly ring varies greatly in different trees, and also in different parts of the same tree.

In a normally-grown, thrifty pine log the rings are widest near the pith, growing more and more narrow toward the bark. Thus the central twenty rings in a disk of an old long-leaf pine may each be one-eighth to one-sixth inch wide, while the twenty rings next to the bark may average only one-thirtieth inch.

In our forest trees, rings of one-half inch in width occur only near the center in disks of very thrifty trees, of both conifers and hardwoods. One-twelfth inch represents good, thrifty growth, and the minimum width of one two hundred inch is often seen in stunted spruce and pine. The average width of rings in well-grown, old white pine will vary from one-twelfth to one-eighteenth inch, while in the slower growing long-leaf pine it may be one twenty-fifth to one-thirtieth of an inch. The same layer of wood is widest near the stump in very thrifty young trees, especially if grown in the open park; but in old forest trees the same year's growth is wider at the upper part of the tree, being narrowest near the stump, and often also near the very tip of the stem. Generally the rings are widest near the center, growing narrower toward the bark.

In logs from stunted trees the order is often reversed, the interior rings being thin and the outer rings widest. Frequently, too, zones or bands of very narrow rings, representing unfavorable periods of growth, disturb the general regularity.

Few trees, even among pines, furnish a log with truly circular cross-section. Usually it is an oval, and at the stump commonly quite an irregular figure. Moreover, even in very regular or circular disks the pith is rarely in the center, and frequently one radius is conspicuously longer than its opposite, the width of some rings, if not all, being greater on one side than on the other. This is nearly always so in the limbs, the lower radius exceeding the upper. In extreme cases, especially in the limbs, a ring is frequently conspicuous on one side, and almost or entirely lost to view on the other. Where the rings are extremely narrow, the dark portion of the ring is often wanting, the color being quite uniform and light. The greater regularity or irregularity of the annual rings has much to do with the technical qualities of the timber.

Spring- and Summer-Wood

Examining the rings more closely, it is noticed that each ring is made up of an inner, softer, light-colored and an outer, or peripheral, firmer and darker-colored portion. Being formed in the forepart of the season, the inner, light-colored part is termed spring-wood, the outer, darker-portioned being the summer-wood of the ring. Since the latter is very heavy and firm it determines to a very large extent the weight and strength of the wood, and as its darker color influences the shade of color of the entire piece of wood, this color effect becomes a valuable aid in distinguishing heavy and strong from light and soft pine wood.

In most hard pines, like the long-leaf, the dark summer-wood appears as a distinct band, so that the yearly ring is composed of two sharply defined bands—an inner, the spring-wood, and an outer, the summer-wood. But in some cases, even in hard pines, and normally in the woods of white pines, the spring-wood passes gradually into the darker summer-wood, so that a darkly defined line occurs only where the spring-wood of one ring abuts against the summer-wood of its neighbor. It is this clearly defined line which enables the eye to distinguish even the very narrow lines in old pines and spruces.

Board of Pine

Fig. 1. Board of Pine. CS, cross-section; RS, radial section; TS, tangential section; sw, summer-wood; spw, spring-wood.

In some cases, especially in the trunks of Southern pines, and normally on the lower side of pine limbs, there occur dark bands of wood in the spring-wood portion of the ring, giving rise to false rings, which mislead in a superficial counting of rings. In the disks cut from limbs these dark bands often occupy the greater part of the ring, and appear as "lunes," or sickle-shaped figures. The wood of these dark bands is similar to that of the true summer-wood. The cells have thick walls, but usually the compressed or flattened form. Normally, the summer-wood forms a greater proportion of the rings in the part of the tree formed during the period of thriftiest growth. In an old tree this proportion is very small in the first two to five rings about the pith, and also in the part next to the bark, the intermediate part showing a greater proportion of summer-wood. It is also greatest in a disk taken from near the stump, and decreases upward in the stem, thus fully accounting for the difference in weight and firmness of the wood of these different parts.

In the long-leaf pine the summer-wood often forms scarcely ten per cent of the wood in the central five rings; forty to fifty per cent of the next one hundred rings, about thirty per cent of the next fifty, and only about twenty per cent in the fifty rings next to the bark. It averages forty-five per cent of the wood of the stump and only twenty-four per cent of that of the top.

Sawing the log into boards, the yearly rings are represented on the board faces of the middle board (radial sections) by narrow parallel strips (see Fig. 1), an inner, lighter stripe and its outer, darker neighbor always corresponding to one annual ring.

On the faces of the boards nearest the slab (tangential or bastard boards) the several years' growth should also appear as parallel, but much broader stripes. This they do if the log is short and very perfect. Usually a variety of pleasing patterns is displayed on the boards, depending on the position of the saw cut and on the regularity of growth of the log (see Fig. 1). Where the cut passes through a prominence (bump or crook) of the log, irregular, concentric circlets and ovals are produced, and on almost all tangent boards arrow or V-shaped forms occur.

Anatomical Structure

Holding a well-smoothed disk or cross-section one-eighth inch thick toward the light, it is readily seen that pine wood is a very porous structure. If viewed with a strong magnifier, the little tubes, especially in the spring-wood of the rings, are easily distinguished, and their arrangement in regular, straight, radial rows is apparent.

Wood of Spruce

Fig. 2. Wood of Spruce. 1, natural size; 2, small part of one ring magnified 100 times. The vertical tubes are wood fibres, in this case all "tracheids." m, medullary or pith ray; n, transverse tracheids of ray; a, b, and c, bordered pits of the tracheids, more enlarged.

Scattered through the summer-wood portion of the rings, numerous irregular grayish dots (the resin ducts) disturb the uniformity and regularity of the structure. Magnified one hundred times, a piece of spruce, which is similar to pine, presents a picture like that shown in Fig. 2. Only short pieces of the tubes or cells of which the wood is composed are represented in the picture. The total length of these fibres is from one-twentieth to one-fifth inch, being the smallest near the pith, and is fifty to one hundred times as great as their width (see Fig. 3). They are tapered and closed at their ends, polygonal or rounded and thin-walled, with large cavity, lumen or internal space in the spring-wood, and thick-walled and flattened radially, with the internal space or lumen much reduced in the summer-wood (see right-hand portion of Fig. 2). This flattening, together with the thicker walls of the cells, which reduces the lumen, causes the greaterfirmness and darker color of the summer-wood. There is more material in the same volume. As shown in the figure, the tubes, cells or "tracheids" are decorated on their walls by circlet-like structures, the "bordered pits," sections of which are seen more magnified as a, b, and c, Fig. 2. These pits are in the nature of pores, covered by very thin membranes, and serve as waterways between the cells or tracheids. The dark lines on the side of the smaller piece (1, Fig. 2) appear when magnified (in 2, Fig. 2) as tiers of eight to ten rows of cells, which run radially (parallel to the rows of tubes or tracheids), and are seen as bands on the radial face and as rows of pores on the tangential face. These bands or tiers of cell rows are the medullary rays or pith rays, and are common to all our lumber woods.

Group of fibres from pine wood

In the pines and other conifers they are quite small, but they can readily be seen even without a magnifier. If a radial surface of split-wood (not smoothed) is examined, the entire radial face will be seen almost covered with these tiny structures, which appear as fine but conspicuous cross-lines. As shown in Fig. 2, the cells of the medullary or pith are smaller and very much shorter than the wood fibre or tracheids, and their long axis is at right angles to that of the fiber.

In pines and spruces the cells of the upper and lower rows of each tier or pith ray have "bordered" pits, like those of the wood fibre or tracheids proper, but the cells of the intermediate rows in the rays of cedars, etc., have only "simple" pits, i.e., pits devoid of the saucer-like "border" or rim. In pine, many of the pith rays are larger than the majority,each containing a whitish line, the horizontal resin duct, which, though much smaller, resembles the vertical ducts on the cross-section. The larger vertical resin ducts are best observed on removal of the bark from a fresh piece of white pine cut in the winter where they appear as conspicuous white lines, extending often for many inches up and down the stem. Neither the horizontal nor the vertical resin ducts are vessels or cells, but are openings between cells, i.e., intercellular spaces, in which the resin accumulates, freely oozing out when the ducts of a fresh piece of sapwood are cut. They are present only in our coniferous woods, and even here they are restricted to pine, spruce, and larch, and are normally absent in fir, cedar, cypress, and yew. Altogether, the structure of coniferous woods is very simple and regular, the bulk being made up of the small fibres called tracheids, the disturbing elements of pith rays and resin ducts being insignificant, and hence the great uniformity and great technical value of coniferous woods.

Fig. 3. Group of Fibres from Pine Wood. Partly schematic. The little circles are "border pits" (see Fig. 2, a-c). The transverse rows of square pits indicate the places of contact of these fibres and the cells of the neighboring pith rays. Magnified about 25 times.



Light soft, stiff, not strong, of fine texture. Sap- and heartwood distinct, the former lighter, the latter a dull grayish brown or red. The wood seasons rapidly, shrinks and checks but little, and is very durable in contact with the soil. Used like soft pine, but owing to its great durability preferred for shingles, etc. Cedars usually occur scattered, but they form in certain localities forests of considerable extent.

(a) White Cedars

1. White Cedar (Thuya occidentalis) (Arborvitæ, Tree of Life). Heartwood light yellowish brown, sapwood nearly white. Wood light, soft, not strong, of fine texture, very durable in contact with the soil, very fragrant. Scattered along streams and lakes, frequently covering extensive swamps; rarely large enough for lumber, but commonly used for fence posts, rails, railway ties, and shingles. This species has been extensively cultivated as an ornamental tree for at least a century. Maine to Minnesota and northward.

2. Canoe Cedar (Thuya gigantea) (Red Cedar of the West). In Oregon and Washington a very large tree, covering extensive swamps; in the mountains much smaller, skirting the water courses. An important lumber tree. The wood takes a fine polish; suitable for interior finishing, as there is much variety of shading in the color. Washington to northern California and eastward to Montana.

3. White Cedar (Chamæcyparis thyoides). Medium-sized tree. Heartwood light brown with rose tinge, sapwoodpaler. Wood light, soft, not strong, close-grained, easily worked, very durable in contact with the soil and very fragrant. Used in boatbuilding cooperage, interior finish, fence posts, railway ties, etc. Along the coast from Maine to Mississippi.

4. White Cedar (Chamæcyparis Lawsoniana) (Port Orford Cedar, Oregon Cedar, Lawson's Cypress, Ginger Pine). A very large tree. A fine, close-grained, yellowish-white, durable timber, elastic, easily worked, free of knots, and fragrant. Extensively cut for lumber; heavier and stronger than any of the preceding. Along the coast line of Oregon.

5. White Cedar (Libocedrus decurrens) (Incense Cedar). A large tree, abundantly scattered among pine and fir. Wood fine-grained. Cascades and Sierra Nevada Mountains of Oregon and California.

6. Yellow Cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis) (Alaska Cedar, Alaska Cypress). A very large tree, much used for panelling and furniture. A fine, close-grained, yellowish white, durable timber, easily worked. Along the coast line of Oregon north.

(b) Red Cedars

7. Red Cedar (Juniperus Virginiana) (Savin Juniper, Juniper, Red Juniper, Juniper Bush, Pencil Cedar). Heartwood dull red color, thin sapwood nearly white. Close even grain, compact structure. Wood light, soft, weak, brittle, easily worked, durable in contact with the soil, and fragrant. Used for ties, posts, interior finish, pencil cases, cigar boxes, silos, tanks, and especially for lead pencils, for which purpose alone several million feet are cut each year. A small to medium-sized tree scattered through the forests, or in the West sparsely covering extensive areas (cedar brakes). The red cedar is the most widely distributed conifer of the United States, occurring from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from Florida to Minnesota. Attains a suitable size for lumber only in the Southern, and more especially the Gulf States.

8. Red Cedar (Juniperus communis) (Ground Cedar). Small-sized tree, its maximum height being about 25 feet. It is found widely distributed throughout the Northern hemisphere. Wood in its quality similar to the preceding. The fruit of this species is gathered in large quantities and used in the manufacture of gin; whose peculiar flavor and medicinal properties are due to the oil of Juniper berries, which is secured by adding the crushed fruit to undistilled grain spirit, or by allowing the vapor to pass over it before condensation. Used locally for construction purposes, fence posts, etc. Ranges from Greenland to Alaska, in the East, southward to Pennsylvania and northern Nebraska; in the Rocky Mountains to Texas, Mexico, and Arizona.

9. Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) (Sequoia, California Redwood, Coast Redwood). Wood in its quality and uses like white cedar. Thick, red heartwood, changing to reddish brown when seasoned. Thin sapwood, nearly white, coarse, straight grain, compact structure. Light, not strong, soft, very durable in contact with the soil, not resinous, easily worked, does not burn easily, receives high polish. Used for timber, shingles, flumes, fence posts, coffins, railway ties, water pipes, interior decorations, and cabinetmaking. A very large tree, limited to the coast ranges of California, and forming considerable forests, which are rapidly being converted into lumber.


10. Cypress (Taxodium distinchum) (Bald Cypress, Black, White, and Red Cypress, Pecky Cypress). Wood in its appearance, quality, and uses similar to white cedar. "Black" and "White Cypress" are heavy and light forms of the same species. Heartwood brownish; sapwood nearly white. Wood close, straight-grain, frequently full of small holes caused by disease known as "pecky cypress." Greasy appearance and feeling. Wood light, soft, not strong, durable in contact with the soil, takes a fine polish. Green wood often very heavy. Used for carpentry, building construction, shingles, cooperage, railway ties, silos, tanks, vehicles, and washing machines. The cypress is a large, deciduous tree, inhabiting swampy lands, and along rivers and coasts of the Southern parts of the United States. Grows to a height of 150 feet and 12 feet in diameter.


This name is frequently applied to wood and to trees which are not fir; most commonly to spruce, but also, especially in English markets, to pine. It resembles spruce, but is easily distinguished from it, as well as from pine and larch, by the absence of resin ducts. Quality, uses, and habits similar to spruce.

11. Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea) (Balsam, Fir Tree, Balm of Gilead Fir). Heartwood white to brownish; sapwood lighter color; coarse-grained, compact structure, satiny. Wood light, not durable or strong, resinous, easily split. Used for boxes, crates, doors, millwork, cheap lumber, paper pulp. Inferior to white pine or spruce, yet often mixed and sold with these species in the lumber market. A medium-sized tree scattered throughout the northern pineries, and cut in lumber operations whenever of sufficient size. Minnesota to Maine and northward.

12. White Fir (Abies grandis and Abies concolor). Medium- to very large-sized tree, forming an important part of most of the Western mountain forests, and furnishes much of the lumber of the respective regions. The former occurs from Vancouver to California, and the latter from Oregon to Arizona and eastward to Colorado and Mexico. The wood is soft and light, coarse-grained, not unlike the "Swiss pine" of Europe, but darker and firmer, and is not suitable for any purpose requiring strength. It is used for boxes, barrels, and to a small extent for wood pulp.

13. White Fir (Abies amabalis). Good-sized tree, often forming extensive mountain forests. Wood similar in quality and uses to Abies grandis. Cascade Mountains of Washington and Oregon.

14. Red Fir (Abies nobilis) (Noble Fir) (not to be confounded with Douglas spruce. See No. 40). Large to very large-sized tree, forming extensive forests on the slope of the mountains between 3,000 and 4,000 feet elevation. Cascade Mountains of Oregon.

15. Red Fir (Abies magnifica). Very large-sized tree, forming forests about the base of Mount Shasta. Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, from Mount Shasta southward.


Light to medium weight, soft, stiff, but brittle, commonly cross-grained, rough and splintery. Sapwood and heartwood not well defined. The wood of a light reddish-gray color, free from resin ducts, moderately durable, shrinks and warps considerably in drying, wears rough, retains nails firmly. Used principally for dimension stuff and timbers. Hemlocks are medium- to large-sized trees, commonly scattered among broad-leaved trees and conifers, but often forming forests of almost pure growth.

16. Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) (Hemlock Spruce, Peruche). Medium-sized tree, furnishes almost all the hemlock of the Eastern market. Maine to Wisconsin, also following the Alleghanies southward to Georgia and Alabama.

17. Hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana). Large-sized tree, wood claimed to be heavier and harder than the Eastern species and of superior quality. Used for pulp wood, floors, panels, and newels. It is not suitable for heavy construction, especially where exposed to the weather, it is straight in grain and will take a good polish. Not adapted for use partly in and partly out of the ground; in fresh water as piles will last about ten years, but as it is softer than fir it is less able to stand driving successfully. Washington to California and eastward to Montana.


Wood like the best of hard pine both in appearance, quality, and uses, and owing to its great durability somewhat preferred in shipbuilding, for telegraph poles, and railway ties. In its structure it resembles spruce. The larches are deciduous trees, occasionally covering considerable areas, but usually scattered among other conifers.

18. Tamarack (Larix laricina var. Americana) (Larch, Black Larch, American Larch, Hacmatac). Heartwood light brown in color, sapwood nearly white, coarse conspicuous grain, compact structure, annual rings pronounced. Wood heavy, hard, very strong, durable in contact with the soil. Used for railway ties, fence posts, sills, ship timbers, telegraph poles, flagstaffs. Medium-sized tree, often covering swamps, in which case it is smaller and of poor quality. Maine to Minnesota, and southward to Pennsylvania.

19. Tamarack (Larix occidentalis) (Western Larch, Larch). Large-sized trees, scattered, locally abundant. Is little inferior to oak in strength and durability. Heartwood of a light brown color with lighter sapwood, has a fine, slightly satiny grain, and is fairly free from knots; the annual rings are distant. Used for railway ties and shipbuilding. Washington and Oregon to Montana.


Very variable, very light and soft in "soft" pine, such as white pine; of medium weight to heavy and quite hard in "hard" pine, of which the long-leaf or Georgia pine is the extreme form. Usually it is stiff, quite strong, of even texture, and more or less resinous. The sapwood is yellowish white; the heartwood orange brown. Pine shrinks moderately, seasons rapidly and without much injury; it works easily, is never too hard to nail (unlike oak or hickory); it is mostly quite durable when in contact with the soil, and if well seasoned is not subject to the attacks of boring insects. The heavier the wood, the darker, stronger, and harder it is, and the more it shrinks and checks when seasoning. Pine is used more extensively than any other wood. It is the principal wood in carpentry, as well as in all heavy construction, bridges, trestles, etc. It is also used in almost every other wood industry; for spars, masts, planks, and timbers in shipbuilding, in car and wagon construction, in cooperage and woodenware; for crates and boxes, in furniture work, for toys and patterns, water pipes, excelsior, etc. Pines are usually large-sized trees with few branches, the straight, cylindrical, useful stem forming by far the greatest part of the tree. They occur gregariously, forming vast forests, a fact which greatly facilitates their exploitation. Of the many special terms applied to pine as lumber, denoting sometimes differences in quality, the following deserve attention: "White pine," "pumpkin pine," "soft pine," in the Eastern markets refer to the wood of the white pine (Pinus strobus), and on the Pacific Coast to that of the sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana). "Yellow pine" is applied in the trade to all the Southern lumber pines; in the Northwest it is also applied to the pitch pine (Pinus regida); in the West it refers mostly to the bull pine (Pinus ponderosa). "Yellow long-leaf pine" (Georgia pine), chiefly used in advertisements, refers to the long-leaf Pine (Pinus palustris).

(a) Soft Pines

20. White Pine (Pinus strobus) (Soft Pine, Pumpkin Pine, Weymouth Pine, Yellow Deal). Large to very large-sized tree, reaching a height of 80 to 100 feet or more, and in some instances 7 or 8 feet in diameter. For the last fifty years the most important timber tree of the United States, furnishing the best quality of soft pine. Heartwood cream white; sapwood nearly white. Close straight grain, compact structure; comparatively free from knots and resin. Soft, uniform; seasons well; easy to work; nails without splitting; fairly durable in contact with the soil; and shrinks less than other species of pine. Paints well. Used for carpentry, construction, building, spars, masts, matches, boxes, etc., etc., etc.

21. Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana) (White Pine, Pumpkin Pine, Soft Pine). A very large tree, forming extensive forests in the Rocky Mountains and furnishing most of the timber of the western United States. It is confined to Oregon and California, and grows at from 1,500 to 8,000 feet above sea level. Has an average height of 150 to 175 feet and a diameter of 4 to 5 feet, with a maximum height of 235 feet and 12 feet in diameter. The wood is soft, durable, straight-grained, easily worked, very resinous, and has a satiny luster which makes it appreciated for interior work. It is extensively used for doors, blinds, sashes, and interior finish, also for druggists' drawers, owing to its freedom from odor, for oars, mouldings, shipbuilding, cooperage, shingles, and fruit boxes. Oregon and California.

22. White Pine (Pinus monticolo). A large tree, at home in Montana, Idaho, and the Pacific States. Most common and locally used in northern Idaho.

23. White Pine (Pinus flexilis). A small-sized tree, forming mountain forests of considerable extent and locally used. Eastern Rocky Mountain slopes, Montana to New Mexico.

(b) Hard Pines

24. Long-Leaf Pine (Pinus palustris) (Georgia Pine, Southern Pine, Yellow Pine, Southern Hard Pine, Long-straw Pine, etc.). Large-sized tree. This species furnishes the hardest and most durable as well as one of the strongest pine timbers in the market. Heartwood orange, sapwood lighter color, the annual rings are strongly marked, and it is full of resinous matter, making it very durable, but difficult to work. It is hard, dense, and strong, fairly free from knots, straight-grained, and one of the best timbers for heavy engineering work where great strength, long span, and durability are required. Used for heavy construction, shipbuilding, cars, docks, beams, ties, flooring, and interior decoration. Coast region from North Carolina to Texas.

25. Bull Pine (Pinus ponderosa) (Yellow Pine, Western Yellow Pine, Western Pine, Western White Pine, California White Pine). Medium- to very large-sized tree, forming extensive forests in the Pacific and Rocky Mountain regions. Heartwood reddish brown, sapwood yellowish white, and there is often a good deal of it. The resinous smell of the wood is very remarkable. It is extensively used for beams, flooring, ceilings, and building work generally.

26. Bull Pine (Pinus Jeffreyi) (Black Pine). Large-sized tree, wood resembles Pinus ponderosa and replacing same at high altitudes. Used locally in California.

27. Loblolly Pine (Pinus tæda) (Slash Pine, Old Field Pine, Rosemary Pine, Sap Pine, Short-straw Pine). A large-sized tree, forms extensive forests. Wider-ringed, coarser, lighter, softer, with more sapwood than the long-leaf pine, but the two are often confounded in the market. The more Northern tree produces lumber which is weak, brittle, coarse-grained, and not durable, the Southern tree produces a better quality wood. Both are very resinous. This is the common lumber pine from Virginia to South Carolina, and is found extensively in Arkansas and Texas. Southern States, Virginia to Texas and Arkansas.

28. Norway Pine (Pinus resinosa) (American Red Pine, Canadian Pine). Large-sized tree, never forming forests, usually scattered or in small groves, together with white pine. Largely sapwood and hence not durable. Heartwood reddish white, with fine, clear grain, fairly tough and elastic, not liable to warp and split. Used for building construction, bridges, piles, masts, and spars. Minnesota to Michigan; also in New England to Pennsylvania.

29. Short-Leaf Pine (Pinus echinata) (Slash Pine, Spruce Pine, Carolina Pine, Yellow Pine, Old Field Pine, Hard Pine). A medium- to large-sized tree, resembling loblolly pine, often approaches in its wood the Norway pine. Heartwood orange, sapwood lighter; compact structure, apt to be variable in appearance in cross-section. Wood usually hard, tough, strong, durable, resinous. A valuable timber tree, sometimes worked for turpentine. Used for heavy construction, shipbuilding, cars, docks, beams, ties, flooring, and house trim. Pinus echinata, palustris, and tæda are very similar in character, of thin wood and very difficult to distinguish one from another. As a rule, however, palustris (Long-leaf Pine) has the smallest and most uniform growth rings, and Pinus tæda (Loblolly Pine) has the largest. All are apt to be bunched together in the lumber market as Southern Hard Pine. All are used for the same purposes. Short-leaf is the common lumber pine of Missouri and Arkansas. North Carolina to Texas and Missouri.

30. Cuban Pine (Pinus cubensis) (Slash Pine, Swamp Pine, Bastard Pine, Meadow Pine). Resembles long-leaf pine, but commonly has a wider sapwood and coarser grain. Does not enter the markets to any extent. Along the coast from South Carolina to Louisiana.

31. Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida) (Torch Pine). A small to medium-sized tree. Heartwood light brown or red, sapwood yellowish white. Wood light, soft, not strong, coarse-grained, durable, very resinous. Used locally for lumber, fuel, and charcoal. Coast regions from New York to Georgia, and along the mountains to Kentucky.

32. Black Pine (Pinus murryana) (Lodge-pole Pine, Tamarack). Small-sized tree. Rocky Mountains and Pacific regions.

33. Jersey Pine (Pinus inops var. Virginiana) (Scrub Pine). Small-sized tree. Along the coast from New York to Georgia and along the mountains to Kentucky.

34. Gray Pine (Pinus divaricata var. banksiana) (Scrub Pine, Jack Pine). Medium- to large-sized tree. Heartwood pale brown, rarely yellow; sapwood nearly white. Wood light, soft, not strong, close-grained. Used for fuel, railway ties, and fence posts. In days gone by the Indians preferred this species for frames of canoes. Maine, Vermont, and Michigan to Minnesota.

REDWOOD (See Cedar)


Resembles soft pine, is light, very soft, stiff, moderately strong, less resinous than pine; has no distinct heartwood, and is of whitish color. Used like soft pine, but also employed as resonance wood in musical instruments and preferred for paper pulp. Spruces, like pines, form extensive forests. They are more frugal, thrive on thinner soils, and bear more shade, but usually require a more humid climate. "Black" and "White" spruce as applied by lumbermen usually refer to narrow and wide-ringed forms of black spruce (Picea nigra).

35. Black Spruce (Picea nigra var. mariana). Medium-sized tree, forms extensive forests in northwestern United States and in British America; occurs scattered or in groves, especially in low lands throughout the northern pineries. Important lumber tree in eastern United States. Heartwood pale, often with reddish tinge; sapwood pure white. Wood light, soft, not strong. Chiefly used for manufacture of paper pulp, and great quantities of this as well as Picea alba are used for this purpose. Used also for sounding boards for pianos, violins, etc. Maine to Minnesota, British America, and in the Alleghanies to North Carolina.

36. White Spruce (Picea canadensis var. alba). Medium- to large-sized tree. Heartwood light yellow; sapwood nearly white. Generally associated with the preceding. Most abundant along streams and lakes, grows largest in Montana and forms the most important tree of the sub-arctic forest of British America. Used largely for floors, joists, doors, sashes, mouldings, and panel work, rapidly superceding Pinus strobus for building purposes. It is very similar to Norway pine, excels it in toughness, is rather less durable and dense, and more liable to warp in seasoning. Northern United States from Maine to Minnesota, also from Montana to Pacific, British America.

37. White Spruce (Picea engelmanni). Medium- to large-sized tree, forming extensive forests at elevations from 5,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level; resembles the preceding, but occupies a different station. A very important timber tree in the central and southern parts of the Rocky Mountains. Rocky Mountains from Mexico to Montana.

38. Tide-Land Spruce (Picea sitchensis) (Sitka Spruce). A large-sized tree, forming an extensive coast-belt forest. Used extensively for all classes of cooperage and woodenware on the Pacific Coast. Along the sea-coast from Alaska to central California.

39. Red Spruce (Picea rubens). Medium-sized tree, generally associated with Picea nigra and occurs scattered throughout the northern pineries. Heartwood reddish; sapwood lighter color, straight-grained, compact structure. Wood light, soft, not strong, elastic, resonant, not durable when exposed. Used for flooring, carpentry, shipbuilding, piles, posts, railway ties, paddles, oars, sounding boards, paper pulp, and musical instruments. Montana to Pacific, British America.


Spruce or fir in name, but resembling hard pine or larch in appearance, quality and uses of its wood.

40. Douglas Spruce (Pseudotsuga douglasii) (Yellow Fir, Red Fir, Oregon Pine). One of the most important trees of the western United States; grows very large in the Pacific States, to fair size in all parts of the mountains, in Colorado up to about 10,000 feet above sea level; forms extensive forests, often of pure growth, it is really neither a pine nor a fir. Wood very variable, usually coarse-grained and heavy, with very pronounced summer-wood. Hard and strong ("red" fir), but often fine-grained and light ("yellow" fir). It is the chief tree of Washington and Oregon, and most abundant and most valuable in British Columbia, where it attains its greatest size. From the plains to the Pacific Ocean, and from Mexico to British Columbia.

41. Red Fir (Pseudotsuga taxifolia) (Oregon Pine, Puget Sound Pine, Yellow Fir, Douglas Spruce, Red Pine). Heartwood light red or yellow in color, sapwood narrow, nearly white, comparatively free from resins, variable annual rings. Wood usually hard, strong, difficult to work, durable, splinters easily. Used for heavy construction, dimension timber, railway ties, doors, blinds, interior finish, piles, etc. One of the most important of Western trees. From the plains to the Pacific Ocean, and from Mexico to British America.

TAMARACK (See Larch)


Wood heavy, hard, extremely stiff and strong, of fine texture with a pale yellow sapwood, and an orange-red heartwood; seasons well and is quite durable. Extensively used for archery bows, turner's ware, etc. The yews form no forests, but occur scattered with other conifers.

42. Yew (Taxus brevifolia). A small to medium-sized tree of the Pacific region.

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