Pine (Ponderosa) Softwood

Pine (Ponderosa)

Ponderosa Pine is a species of softwood native to western North America, with a wide, whitish to pale yellow sapwood, and a dark heartwood that is deep yellow to red-brown or orange-brown. This wood is much heavier than its sapwood and has a uniform medium texture. The grain of Ponderosa Pine is typically straight and even, and often characterized by many knots, which are usually sound, and the dark lines of resin ducts. Bird's-eye figuring can occasionally occur.

Ponderosa Pine is a very versatile timber, suitable for a wide range of applications, including furniture, turnery and joinery. If currently available from sustainable and legal sources, Ponderosa Pine can be an excellent choice for a wide range of projects.

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Also Called:
Big Pine, Knotty Pine, Bird'S-Eye Pine, Western Yellow Pine, British Colombia Soft Pine, Californian White Pine

Durability Notes:
Pine (Ponderosa) wood is non durable. It is perishable and should only be considered for internal use.

The drying and seasoning of Pine (Ponderosa) is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Pine (Ponderosa) - dries well, but the sapwood can suffer from blue fungal staining. Movement in service is medium. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Ponderosa Pine: medium crushing and bending strength, low resistance to shock loads, low stiffness and a poor steam-bending rating. Ponderosa Pine works well with both hand and machine tools and has only a little blunting effect on tooling. It can be resinous causing some issues with working and finishing. The wood saws, nails and screws well and planes, turns, moulds, drills and glues very well. Ponderosa Pine finishes well. It may require treatment of the resin before applying some finishes.

Typical Uses:
Construction, Furniture, Cabinetry, Flooring, Decks, Exterior Siding, Interior Trim, Musical Instruments, Exterior Doors, Outdoor Furniture.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about Ponderosa Pine Wood

Is Ponderosa Pine a hardwood or a softwood? Ponderosa Pine is a softwood. It is the same for; is Ponderosa Pine hardwood or softwood? - Ponderosa Pine is a softwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Pine family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is Ponderosa Pine? Ponderosa Pine can be described as light brown, white/cream (very light brown), yellow/brown, orange

Is Ponderosa Pine good for outdoor use? or is Ponderosa Pine good for exterior use? Ponderosa Pine is most suited for interior/interior use. Ponderosa Pine can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

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