Pinus contorta

 

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Family: Pinaceae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lodgepole Pine

 

 

 

The genus Pinus is composed of about 100 species native to temperate and tropical regions of the world. Wood of pine can be separated microscopically into the white, red and yellow pine groups. The word pinus is the classical Latin name. The word contorta means contorted or twisted, alluding to the irregular crown of the typical, scrubby shore pine of the coast. Poles of this tree were used by Native Americans for litter, drag sleds and teepees and lodges.

Other Common Names: Beach pine, bird's-eye pine, black pine, Bolander's pine, coast pine, contorta pijn, contorta pijn, contorta pine, contorta tall, contorta-tall, cypress, drehkiefer, Henderson pine, jack pine, knotty pine, lodgepole kiefer, lodgepole pijn, lodgepole pine, Mexican contorta pine, murray kiefer, Murray pine, north-coast scrub pine, pin de murray, pin lodgepole, pino contorcido, pino contorta, prickly pine, Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine, sand pine, scrub pine, shore pine, Sierra lodgepole pine, spruce pine, tamarack, tamarack pine, twisted pine, twisted-branch pine, western jack-pine, western scrub pine, white pine.

Distribution: Lodgepole pine is native to the Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain regions from the northern end of southeastern Alaska, central Yukon and southwestern Mackenzie District, south into Alberta, British Columbia, and from Washington to central Montana, south along the Pacific Coast to northern California, in the Sierra Nevada and the high mountains of southern California, and in the Rocky Mountains (chiefly in northeastern Utah and southern Colorado. Also locally in the Black Hills of South Dakota and southwestern Saskatchewan and in the mountains of northern Mexico.

The Tree: Lodgepole pine trees vary in growth rate, depending upon location. Trees from the Rocky mountains reach heights of 80 feet, with diameters of 1 foot. Trees from the mountains of Oregon reach heights of 75 feet, with diameters of 1 foot. Trees from the Sierra Nevada reach heights of 100 feet, with diameters of 17 inches. Trees from the coastal areas reach heights of 40 feet, with diameters of 20 inches. Dwarf trees reach heights of 20 to 40 feet.

General Wood Characteristics: The sapwood of lodgepole pine is nearly white to a pale yellow, while the heartwood is light yellow to a yellowish brown. The sapwood and heartwood are not easily separated from each other. It has a resinous odor. The wood is straight grained, has a medium to fine texture and has pronounced dimples on the split, tangential surface. It is moderately light in weight, moderately soft, moderately weak in bending and endwise compression and moderately low in shock resistance. It is easy to work with tools, easy to glue, average in paint holding ability and holds nails or screws moderately well. It shrinks appreciably, but seasons easily. It is not durable under conditions that favor decay and should be treated with a preservative. It is comparable to ponderosa pine in weight, strength, shrinkage and hardness.

 

 

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

0.38

1.08

5500

2610

250

5.6

330

680

Dry

0.43

1.34

9400

5370

610

6.8

480

880

aWML = Work to maximum load.

Reference (192).

 

Drying and Shrinkage

Type of shrinkage

Percentage of shrinkage
(green to final moisture content)

0% MC

6% MC

20% MC

Tangential

6.7

5.4

2.2

Radial

4.3

3.6

1.5

Volumetric

11.1

9.2

3.8

References: (56, 192, 178).

Kiln Drying Schedulesa

 

Conventional temperature/moisture content-controlled schedulesa


Condition

4/4, 5/4
stock

6/4 stock

8/4
stock

10/4
stock

12/4
stock

British schedule
4/4 stock

Lower grades

 

T5-C5

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Upper grades

T10-C4

NA

T9-C3

NA

NA

L

aReference (28, 185).

 

Conventional temperature/time-controlled schedulesa

 

Lower grades

Upper grades


Condition

4/4, 5/4 stock

6/4 stock

8/4 stock

4/4, 5/4 stock

6/4 stock

8/4 stock

12/4, 16/4 stock

Standard

291

291

291

291

294

294

289

aReferences (28, 185).

 

High temperaturea


Condition

4/4, 5/4 stock

6/4 stock

8/4 stock


Other products

Standard

400

400

400

Studs 412/407

aReferences (28, 184).

Working Properties: Lodgepole pine works well with tools.

Durability: It is not durable under conditions that favor decay and should be treated with a preservative.

Preservation: The heartwood is difficult to treat with preservatives, but the sapwood is permeable.

Uses: Historical Uses; railroad ties, mine timbers, lumber, house logs & rough construction. Current Uses; 8-foot studs, knotty pine paneling, shelving, cabinetry, interior finish, fence posts, corral rails, tramsmission or telephone poles, house logs, veneer, plywood, pulpwood and firewood.

Toxicity: In general, working with pine wood may cause dermatitis, allergic bronchial asthma or rhinitis in some individuals (4,10&17).

 

 

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. Dallimore, W.; Jackson, A. B., and Harrison, S. G. A handbook of Coniferae and Ginkgoaceae. London, UK: Edward Arnold Ltd.; 1966.

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

4. Hausen, B. M. Woods injurious to human health. A manual. New York, NY: Walter de Gruyter; 1981.

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

6. Little, jr. E. L. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Washington, DC: USGPO, USDA Forest Service, Ag. Handbook No. 541; 1979.

7. Lotan, J. E. and Critchfield, W. B. Pinus contorta Dougl. ex. Loud. Lodgepole Pine. in: Burns, R. M. and Honkala, B. H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America. Volume 1, Conifers. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service; 1990; pp. 302-315.

8. Lotan, J. E. and Perry, D. A. Ecology and regeneration of lodgepole pine. Washington, DC, USA.: USDA Forest Service, Ag. Handbook No. 606; 1983.

9. Lowery, D. P. Lodgepole Pine, an American wood. Washington, DC, USA.: USDA Forest Service, FS-253; 1984.

10. Mitchell, J. and Rook, A. Botanical dermatology: plants and plant products injurious to the skin. Vancouver, BC: Greenglass Ltd.; 1979.

11. Reid, R. W. and Watson, J. A. Sizes, distributions, and numbers of vertical resin ducts in lodgepole pine. Can. J. Bot. 1966; 44:519-525.

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

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

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

15. Western Pine Association. Facts about lodgepole pine. Portland. OR, USA.: Western Pine Association.

16. Wikstrom, J. H. Lodgepole pine -- A lumber species. Ogden, UT, USA: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Res. Paper 46.; 1957.

17. Woods, B. and Calnan, C. D. Toxic woods. British Journal of Dermatology. 1976; 95(13):1-97.

):1-97.