Conifer. Height 150 feet to 200 feet tall. Trunk diameter 3 feet to 4 feet. Distribution on the Pacific Coast from Alaska south, throughout western Canada into central California, east to Idaho and Montana. This species, western hemlock, grows exclusively in the northwest and is one of the most important timber trees of that region. Because it tolerates deep shade exceptionally well, hemlock can grow to maturity in the thickest, deepest forest. Sprouting from living stumps, it replaces itself easily and can replace other species nearly as easily, eventually dominating the forest. Although referred to in the lumber industry by a large variety of nicknames, western hemlock is not a fir or a spruce; it is a pine.

Western hemlock is a stately, graceful and handsome tree. Tall and straight, it commonly forces itself up through the existing forest canopy. The wood is a pleasing off-white, tinged with pale purple, with small, sound, black knots. Although a lightweight softwood, it is very strong, stiff and shock resistant. The grain is straight, fine textured, free of pitch and works like pine. It dries well by air seasoning or kiln drying.

A hardworking soft wood, western hemlock is available in large dimensions, due to its tall, straight growth pattern. Because the timber is also free from large knots and defects it is often cut in lengths of 14 feet to 16 feet, 12 inches wide and 4 inches thick. It is easy to work and will not dull tools or cutters. It stains, paints and glues well. It is readily available and economical.

Historically, western hemlock has been used almost exclusively for building construction materials: sheathing, siding, sub-flooring, joists, studding, planking and rafters. It is also commonly used in the manufacture of boxes, pallets and crates. Because of its long, defect free lengths and dependability, it is used for wooden ladders and stair rails. Traditionally under-rated, it has more recently been used for flooring, joinery, and, in small amounts, as furniture and cabinetry. It is also used in the manufacture of overhead garage doors and in staircases.

Tropical. Height 150 feet to 160 feet. Trunk diameter of 6 feet to 8 feet. The Asiatic teak may achieve a huge trunk circumference of 40 feet. Distribution: southern India, Thailand, Burma and Java; also Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the East Indies. Grown in commercial quantities throughout Southeast Asia, numerous plantations have recently been developed within this natural range and also in tropical areas of Latin America and Africa. Because it can be harvested in as little as 60 years it is an ideal plantation species. As the forest grown teak becomes increasingly hard to bring out, plantations are a cost effective answer.

Teak naturally grows in groups among other tropical species. It is a very hard, heavy, strong wood, distinctively oily to the touch. This oil in the grain makes teak very durable. It is a "natural preservative" making all applied treatments totally unnecessary. It is resistant to insects, fungus, and marine borers; termites won`t touch it! It is also resistant to rot and moisture damage. When first cut, it is a tawny golden color streaked with dark brown and gold. The color lightens as it dries and can look white when it has been aged and sun bleached, as on boat decks.

Teak is one of the most valuable of all woods. It is expensive due to its scarcity and because it is so difficult to harvest and transport. The over-riding advantage of teak is its unique ability to prevent rust and corrosion when in contact with metal. This makes it invaluable in the shipbuilding industry and exterior millwork applications Teak finishes well and when stained can look like ebony or mahogany. Due to its oil content, pretreatment is, at times, necessary to ensure good glue bonding. Teak works well with both hand and machine tools. Because of the presence of silica in the grain it has a tendency to dull tools, but this can be overcome with proper tool usage. It is readily available as veneer and as lumber. Teak is used principally in shipbuilding and in the construction of expensive boats and yachts. Because of its decay resistance, it is used extensively in interior decking, millwork, trim and windows; also for garden furniture, park benches and many marine applications. Indoors it is used for flooring and paneling in banks, auditoriums and offices. It is strongly associated with Scandanavian, Chinese and modern furniture design and decorative objects.

Southern Yellow Pine is actually a species group that is made up of primarily four trees: loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), long leaf pine (Pinus palustris), shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) and slash pine (Pinus eliottii) Together they make up the commercial classification called Southern Yellow Pine (SYP).

Loblolly Pine is the most important and predominant of the four. It grows 80 to 100 feet tall with a trunk diameter averaging 2 to 5 feet. It grows throughout the Atlantic Coastal Plain, often in commercial stands, from Maryland south through all the Carolinas and Georgia into Florida, and westward to East Texas.

Southern yellow pine grows fast and straight up with a clear long trunk. It is classified as a hard pine and is harder than white pine. It is successfully planted by plantation growers in huge tracts. All of this makes it a very practical timber tree.

The color of the wood is warm pale yellow with a distinctive light and dark grain pattern. The upper grades of SYP are clear and straight grained. It machines easily. It is durable when properly handled, installed and finished. It is very stable in service.

The upper grades take paint nicely, but the rich grain patterns lend themselves especially well to staining, pickling and polyurethaning.

Southern yellow pine is heavier, stronger and harder than many other species. Because of its high degree of structural strength it is used extensively for framing. It also takes treatment well which makes it an ideal wood for outdoor use such as decks. Today 50% of all the SYP sold is pressure treated.

Its use in the manufacture of plywood has also made it one of the most useful wood products in today`s market.

SYP is used in construction as subflooring and sheathing, joists and framing. It is also enjoying expanded use in millwork. Its rich golden color and low price give it great advantage.