Conifer. Sugar pines have been growing along side of other ancient conifers such as Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine and Western hemlock in the same location of the northwest Pacific coast for thousands of years. Each tree can live for up to 1,000 years. This pine thrives at high elevations and is found in the Cascades and Klamath Mountains of Oregon and the Sierras and Yosemite of California. The sugar pine is a monster: the tallest and broadest of all the pines. Its average height is 200 feet, and its average trunk diameter is 10 feet. Unlike other pines, which resemble poles with sparse shaggy tops, the sugar pine is mightily branched from bottom to top of the trunk with thick, heavy limbs as long as 60 feet each! At the tip of each branch hangs a long, thick, heavy pinecone, often measuring 24 inches long and weighing over a pound. Today the biggest sugar pine measures 270 feet high with a trunk circumference of 348 inches and a branch spread of 68 feet on all sides. It was recorded by the National Register of Big Trees in 1992 and can be visited in Yosemite National Park, California.

Sugar pine is categorized as a soft wood but it is a very hard pine. It gets its name from the resin it produces, which has a sweet taste, unlike that of any other pine. This sugary substance protects the wood from rapid decay. The wood`s original creamy color ages to a fine, even, pale brown tinged with pink. Light in weight with a straight, uniform grain that is unique among pines, sugar pine wood is remarkable for clear, nearly knot free properties. It works well with either hand or machine tools, fashioning easily into smooth, straight surfaces and shapes. It stays in place and has great nailing properties. The wood`s fine textured surface makes for superior finishing and staining. It is also an excellent choice where an ultra-smooth painted surface is desired

Since its discovery in the early 1800`s, sugar pine has been very valuable. It enjoyed its heyday throughout that century when it was used to build homes and most public buildings such as churches and schools and to make the furniture, pews and desks that were used inside of them. The wood`s density, weight and strength made it suitable for structural use while its beauty and ease of workability made it perfect for interior finish work. It has always been popular for cabinetry, for custom furniture making, and for carving and sculpture. Another important traditional use is for making patterns and models for metal casting. Almost all sugar pine lumber is still produced in California, the remainder being milled in southeast Oregon. Because the sugar pine tree is so valuable, it is used entirely for lumber products. Today`s sugar pine wood is sold primarily for fine millwork: for interior and exterior trim applications such as sash, frames and moldings. It continues to be used for foundry patterns, also.

It is a deciduous hardwood. Other common names are hard maple and rock maple. Average height: 60 lt. to 75 ft. Average trunk diameter: 1 ft. to 3 ft. The 1992 National Register of Big Trees identifies the largest sugar maple: it is found in Norwich, Connecticut and is 93 ft. tall with an 80 ft. canopy spread and a trunk circumference of 269 inches. Big, handsome, leafy trees, sugar maples grow throughout New England, the Appalachians, and the Northern Midwestern and Great Lakes States. A beloved American specie, many states claim the sugar maple for their official tree, among them Wisconsin, West Virginia, New York and of course, Vermont.

In the lumber industry sugar maple is referred to as hard maple, with a good reason. The very hard wood is heavy, strong, stiff and shock resistant. It works beautifully with both machine and hand tools. The sapwood is cream color tinged with pale brown. The heartwood is a deeper reddish brown with dark mineral streaks. The most distinctive surface feature of sugar maple, however, is the rare, highly figured grain patterns found in more variety than in any other domestic hardwood. They include: wavy, curly, quilted, blistered, fiddleback, leaf figure, maple burl and of course, the famous bird`s eye. Although often stained to bring out these unusual patterns, maple wood is never painted. Its color and grain is too beautiful to ever be covered.

From earliest Colonial times sugar maple has been prized equally for its warm beauty and its durability - its unusual resistance to abrasion and indentation. It was a first choice for furniture building and all interior finish application such as flooring, paneling and cabinetry. In manufacturing it has been, and still is, used for woodenware, bakery paddles, bowling pins, gun stocks, piano parts, spools, lasts and handles. Figured maple wood and veneer has been, and still is used for decorative purposes such as fine furniture inlays, violin backs and picture framing.

Although the sugar maple tree is highly identified with New England due to its brilliant autumn color leaf display and its maple syrup production, maple lumber production comes principally from the mature upland forests of the Middle Atlantic and Lakes States. It is still one of America`s most valuable hardwoods and remains popular in today`s marketplace. Maple still has a close association with the manufacture of Early American style furniture. Its use in millwork production is important. It is a top flooring choice for heavily trafficked areas such as dance floors, bowling alleys and throughout the home in kitchens, halls and stairways, especially. It is used for kitchen cabinetry and fixtures, cutting surfaces and school furniture. It serves many purposes in industry and in the manufacture of durable wooden items and tools. Straight grained maple is readily available in an average price range. Figured maple wood and veneer is more rare and thus more valuable, selling in a high price range.

More than 40 species make up the group of trees that are known as Spruce or Spruce-Pine Fir (SPF). Sitka Spruce, White Spruce, Lodgepole Pine, Engleman Spruce and White Fir are commercially the most important. All of these trees are conifers.

Sitka Spruce (Pinusitchensis) - One of the major timber-producing species of the Pacific Northwest. Forms extensive pure forests but is sometimes mixed with western hemlock and Douglas fir. Varies in height from 180 to 200 feet. Trunk diameters are from 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet.

White Spruce (Picea glauca) - Grown principally in the Great Lake States and New England, in dense stands on hill sides and mountain tops. The largest white spruce, found in Koochching, Minnesota, is 128 feet high with a trunk circumference of 116 inches.

Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) - A medium sized tree 70 to 80 feet high and 15 to 30 inches in diameter. It is found in Western North America from California through British Columbia into the Western Yukon. It is a prolific seeder and one of the most aggressive and hardy of western forest trees.

Engleman Spruce (Picea engelmannii) - Typically a mountain species found on the West coast of North America, the Rocky Mountains and the Casade Mountains. It is a very tolerant tree and attains heights of 100 to 120 feet and trunk diameters of 18 to thirty inches.

White Fir (Abies concolor) - White fir has the largest range of any of the commercial western firs and can be found throughout the Western United States. It ranges in height from 130 to 150 feet with a trunk size of 3 to 4 feet in diameter.