eastern-white-pine-sealed1-225x300Eastern White Pine
Pinus strobus

Distribution Eastern North America, also widely grown on plantations throughout its natural range. Heartwood is a light brown, sometimes with a slightly reddish hue, sapwood is a pale yellow to nearly white. Color tends to darken with age. Grain is straight with an even, medium texture. Large resin canals, numerous and evenly distributed, mostly solitary; earlywood to latewood transition gradual, color contrast fairly low; tracheid diameter medium to large. The heartwood is rated as moderate to low in decay resistance. Eastern White Pine is easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Glues and finishes well. Eastern White Pine is widely harvested for construction lumber. Prices should be moderate for a domestic softwood. This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern. Common uses; crates, boxes, interior millwork, construction lumber, carving, and boat building. It’s one of the three primary commercial species of White Pine, with the other two – Sugar Pine and Western White Pine – being found on the west coast.

red-pine-sealed1-222x300Red Pine
Pinus resinosa

Distribution Northeastern North America. Heartwood is light reddish brown, sapwood is pale yellow to nearly white. Grain is straight, with a medium, even texture and a somewhat oily feel. Heartwood is rated as moderately durable to non-durable regarding decay resistance. Red Pine is readily treated with preservatives and can thereafter be used in exterior applications such as posts or utility poles. Red Pine is easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Glues and finishes well, though excess resin can sometimes cause problems with its paint-holding ability. Red Pine is sometimes mixed with various species of spruce, pine, and fir and is stamped with the lumber abbreviation “SPF.” In this form, Red Pine should be widely available as construction lumber for a modest price.  This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.  Common use; utility poles, posts, railroad ties, paper (pulpwood), and construction lumber. So called because of the tree’s reddish-brown bark. Red Pine is the state tree of Minnesota.

red-spruce-sealed1Red Spruce
Picea rubens

Distribution: Eastern North America.  Red Spruce is typically a creamy white, with a hint of yellow and/or red.  Red Spruce has a fine, even texture, and a consistently straight grain.  Heartwood is rated as being slightly resistant to non-resistant to decay.  Easy to work, as long as there are no knots present. Glues and finishes well, though it can give poor results when being stained due to its closed pore structure.  A sanding sealer, gel stain, or toner is recommended when coloring Spruce.  Construction grade spruce is cheap and easy to find.  This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.  Common Uses are, paper (pulpwood), construction lumber, millwork, crates, Christmas trees, and musical instrument soundboards.  Red Spruce compares very similarly with Sitka Spruce in terms of mechanical properties, with the two species having nearly  identical values.

aromatic-red-cedar-sealed-e1399236952194Red Cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Distribution: Eastern North America.  Heartwood tends to be a reddish or violet-brown. Sapwood is a pale yellow color, and can be appear throughout the heartwood as streaks and stripes.  Has a straight grain, usually with knots present. Has a very fine even texture.  Regarded as excellent in resistance to both decay and insect attack.  Overall, Aromatic Red Cedar is easy to work, notwithstanding any knots or irregularities present in the wood.  It reportedly has a high silica content, which can dull cutters.  Aromatic Red Cedar glues and finishes well, though in many applications, the wood is left unfinished to preserve its aromatic properties.  Common uses are; fence posts, closet and chest linings, carvings, outdoor furniture, pencils, bows, and small wooden specialty items.  Though Eastern Redcedar trees are widely distributed throughout the eastern half of the United States, it is a very slow-growing species, and most trees harvested tend to be fairly small in diameter. Because of this, Aromatic Red Cedar boards tend to be knotty and narrow.

atlantic-white-cedar-sealedWhite Cedar
Chamaecyparis thyoides

Distribution: Coastal plain regions of eastern United States.  Heartwood is a light reddish brown. Narrow sapwood is pale yellow-brown to almost white and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood.  Grain is straight, with a fine uniform texture.  Rot Resistance, reported to be durable to very durable regarding decay resistance.  Easy to work with both hand and machine tools.  Holds paint well.  Stains, glues, and finishes well.  Expect prices to be in the medium to high range for a domestic softwood.  This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.  Common uses are; boatbuilding, carving, siding, shingles, and construction lumber.  Atlantic White Cedar has excellent stability and decay resistance, but isn’t nearly as hard or strong as its west coast counterpart, Port Orford Cedar. Atlantic White Cedar is also sometimes referred to as Southern White Cedar to differentiate it from Northern White Cedar of the Juniperus genus.

tamarack-sealed1-220x300Tamarack, American Larch, Eastern Larch
Larix larcina

Distribution; Canada and northeastern United States. Heartwood ranges from yellow to a medium orangish brown. Narrow sapwood is nearly white and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Flatsawn sections can exhibit a lot of character and interesting patterns in the growth rings. Knots are common but are usually small. Grain is generally straight or spiraled. Texture is medium to fine with a greasy or oily feel. Most hand and machine operations produce good results. However, Tamarack is high in silica content and will blunt cutting edges. Also, because of the disparity between the soft earlywood and the hard latewood, sanding can create dips and uneven surfaces. Lumber production of Tamarack is very small, and wood is very seldom available commercially. Expect prices to be moderate. Sustainability: this wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern. Common uses are snowshoes, utility poles, posts, rough lumber, boxes/crates, and paper (pulpwood).

eastern-hemlock-sealed1-222x300Eastern Hemlock, Canadian Hemlock
Tsuga canadensis

Distribution: Eastern North America. Heartwood is light reddish brown. Sapwood may be slightly lighter in colour but usually isn’t distinguished from the heartwood. Grain is generally straight, but may be interlocked or spiralled. Has a coarse, uneven texture. Rated as non-durable regarding decay resistance, and also susceptible to insect attack. Working properties are intermediate. The wood tends to splinter easily when being worked,  and tends to plane poorly. Also, because of the disparity between the soft earlywood and the hard latewood, sanding can create dips and uneven surfaces. Glues, stains, and finishes well. Eastern Hemlock is one of the two primary commercial species of hemlock harvested in North America – with the other being Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla). Hemlock is used primarily as a construction timber, and is in good supply. Expect prices to be moderate for a domestic softwood. This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Common uses; boxes, pallets, crates, plywood, framing, and other construction purposes.