Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Douglas-fir outperforms most commercial European softwoods.

Abstract

One of the main ideas of non-native tree species introduction into forest stands is to replace declining native species. The same is also valid for industry; the wood of native species should be replaced by a wood of the same or even better quality. Douglas-fir is often compared to other coniferous tree species based on its production. This study compared Douglas-fir wood properties with European commercial species, namely Norway spruce, Scots pine, and European larch. Trees representing different sites and ages were tested for wood density, shrinkage, and compression strength. In all cases, Douglas-fir outclassed spruce and pine in density and strength. The difference was striking, especially for spruce, where the density was surpassed by Douglas-fir by more than 100 kg.m-3 (above 25%). In the case of compression, the strength of Douglas-fir was up to 12.3 MPa higher (above 33%) compared to spruce. The only species that obtained higher figures was larch. Wood shrinkage was comparable to European softwoods. Therefore, Douglas-fir wood can be regarded as an excellent and promising substitute for the European processing industry.