Abies amabilis

 

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Family: Pinaceae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pacific Silver Fir

 

 

 

The genus Abies (True Firs) is composed of about 40 species native to North America [9], Central America [7], Africa [2], Europe [1] and Eurasia [25]. Abies is the classical Latin name of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) of Europe. The word amabilis means lovely.

 

Other Common Names

abete amabilis, abeto amabilis, alpine fir, amabilis den, amabilis fir, amerikansk silver-gran, Cascade fir, lovely silver fir, lovely fir, lovely red fir, purpur-gran, purpurtanne, red fir, red silver fir, sapin amabilis, sapin gracieux, silver fir, tannub el gamil, western fir, western balsam fir, white fir.

 

Distribution

Pacific Silver Fir is native to the Pacific Coast region from Alaska south to western Oregon and locally in northwestern California (Siskiyou County).

The Tree

Pacific Silver Fir commonly grows to heights of 200 feet with a diameter of 2 feet. The record is 245 feet tall with a diameter of 8 feet. The maximum age reported is 590 years. It grows from about sea level, in the western limits of its range, to 6,000 feet in the Cascades.

The Wood

General

The wood of Pacific Silver Fir ranges from nearly white to reddish brown. The sapwood is indistinguishable from the heartwood. It has a medium to coarse texture and is generally straight grained. It is easy to work and is dimensionally stable when dried. It is moderate to moderately low in strength, stiffness, shock resistance and in nail withdrawal resistance. It is dries easily, but may have problems with wetwood, a bacterial infection. It has good paint holding ability and is easily glued. The heartwood is not durable and is considered difficult to penetrate with preservatives.

 

Mechanical Properties (2-inch standard)

 

 

 

 

Compression

 

 

 

 

Specific

gravity

MOE

x106 lbf/in2

MOR

lbf/in2

Parallel

lbf/in2

Perpendicular

lbf/in2

WMLa

in-lbf/in3

Hardness

lbf

Shear

lbf/in2

Green

.40

1.42

6400

3140

220

6.0

310

750

Dry

.42

1.76

11000

6410

450

9.3

430

1220

aWML = Work to maximum load.

Reference (59).

 

Drying and Shrinkage

Type of shrinkage

Percentage of shrinkage
(green to final moisture content)

0% MC

6% MC

20% MC

Tangential

9.2

7.8

3.3

Radial

4.4

3.7

1.5

Volumetric

13.0

11.0

4.6

References: 0% MC (98),
6% and 20% MC (90).

Kiln Drying Schedulesa

 

Stock

Condition

4/4, 5/4, 6/4

8/4

10/4

12/4

16/4

Standard

T12-B5

T10-B3

1-in. squares

--

Whiter 1-in.squares

--

2-in. squares

T8-C4

Whiter 2-in. squares

T5-C4

aReferences (6, 86).

Working Properties: Pacific Silver Fir is easy to work, is moderately low in nail withdrawal resistance, is good in paint holding properties and is easily glued.

Durability: It is rated as slightly or nonresistant to heartwood decay.

Preservation: Penetration by preservatives is difficult.

Uses: Lumber, plywood, pulp for paper, framing, sheathing, subflooring, concrete forms, decking, planking, beams, posts, siding, paneling, millwork, prefabricated buildings and structural members, industrial crating and shook, furniture parts, mobile homes, fresh fruit and vegetable containers.

Toxicity: No information available at this time.

Additional Reading and References Cited (in parentheses)

1. Boone, R. S.; Kozlik, C. J.; Bois, P. J., and Wengert, E. M. Dry kiln schedules for commercial woods - temperate and tropical. Madison, WI: USDA Forest Service, FPL-GTR-57; 1988.

2. Crawford, P. D. and Oliver, C. D. Abies amabilis Dougl. ex Forbes, Pacific Silver Fir. in: Burns, R. M. and Honkala, B. H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America. Volume 1, Conifers. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service; 1990; pp. 17-25.

3. Elias, T. S. The complete trees of North America, field guide and natural history. New York, NY: van Nostrand Reinhold Co.; 1980.

4. Henderson, F. Y. A handbook of softwoods. London: HMSO; 1977.

5. Markstrom, D. C. and McElderry, S. E. White Fir, An American Wood. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, FS-237; 1984.

6. Markwardt, L. J. and Wilson, T. R. C. Strength and related properties of woods grown in the United States. Washington, DC: USGPO, USDA Forest Service, Tech. Bull. No. 479; 1935.

7. Record, S. J. and Hess R. W. Timbers of the new world. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press; 1943.

8. Simpson, W. T. Dry kiln operator's manual. Madison, WI: USDA Forest Service, FPL Ag. Handbook No. 188; 1991.

9. Summitt, R. and Sliker, A. CRC handbook of materials science. Vol. 4. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc.; 1980.

10. USDA. Wood handbook: wood as an engineering material. Madison, WI: USDA Forest Service, FPL Ag. Handbook No. 72; 1974.