Common Name(s): Subalpine Fir
Scientific Name: Abies lasiocarpa
Distribution: Mountainous regions of eastern North America
Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 33 lbs/ft3 (530 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .31, .53
Janka Hardness: 350 lbf (1,560 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 8,420 lbf/in2 (58.0 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,324,000 lbf/in2 (9.13 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 4,910 lbf/in2 (33.9 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 2.6%, Tangential: 7.4%, Volumetric: 9.4%, T/R Ratio: 2.8
Color/Appearance: Heartwood is usually white to reddish brown, with pale sapwood that isn’t clearly distinguished from the heartwood.
Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a uniform, medium-coarse texture.
Endgrain: Resin canals absent; earlywood to latewood transition gradual, color contrast medium; tracheid diameter medium-large.
Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable regarding decay resistance, with little resistance to insect attacks.
Workability: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Glues, stains, and finishes well.
Odor: Generally has no odor, though some pieces may have an unpleasant scent when green.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, fir in the Abies genus has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Pricing/Availability: Subalpine Fir is used as construction lumber and is commonly grouped together with other species of spruce and pine and sold under the more generic label spruce-pine-fir, or simply SPF. Prices should be moderate for such utility lumber, though clear, quartersawn, or other such specialty cuts of fir lumber are likely to be more expensive.
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: Construction lumber, paper (pulpwood), plywood, and other utility wood purposes.
Comments: Fir is divided into different groupings, with the primary species in the western United States (including Subalpine Fir) all belonging to the white fir group.
- European Silver Fir (Abies alba)
- Pacific Silver Fir (Abies amabilis)
- Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea)
- White Fir (Abies concolor)
- Grand Fir (Abies grandis)
- California Red Fir (Abies magnifica)
- Noble Fir (Abies procera)