Western white pine lumber characteristics and uses

Common Names

Silver pine, white pine, western white pine, pine, mountain pine, idaho white pine

Common Uses

Interior construction, domestic flooring, trimming, partitions, wainscotting, flooring, rafters, interior trim, moldings, exterior trim & siding, millwork, siding, sub-flooring

Western white pineSpecies Distribution

REGIONS: North America

COUNTRIES: Canada, United States

Environmental Profile

Although the species may be rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery,it is reported to be rather widespread, abundant and globally secure(Source – The Nature Conservancy – Rank of relative endagerment based primarily on the number of occurrences of the species globally).

Product Sources

It is currently unknown whether some material from this species is available from sustainably managed, salvaged,recycled, or other environmentally responsible sources.

Tree Data

Western white pine is reported to mature into a large to very large tree with a straight trunk.It attains a height of about 100 feet (30 m) with a trunk diameter of about 36 inches (90 m).

Sapwood Color

The sapwood is nearly white to pale yellowish white, and is narrow to medium in width.

Heartwood Color

Heartwood is pale yellow to reddish brown or cream to light brown and darkens upon exposure.The wood is reported to be similar to Eastern white pine in appearance.Numerous knots, which are darker in color,are reported to make the timber a very popular choice for panelling.The wood is also characterized by fine resin ducts.


Grain is usually straight and even.


Texture is typically medium to coarse.

Drying Defects

Wetwood may cause chemical brown stains.

Movement in Service

Seasoned wood is reported to be stable, and exhibits only small dimensional changes in response to fluctuations in atmospheric conditions.

Natural Durability

Heartwood is reported to have some natural resistance to attack by decay fungi,but it requires to be chemically protected before application under conditions that promote decay.

Resin Content

The wood is resinous.

Blunting Effect

Blunting effect on cutting edges is reported to be small.

Cutting Resistance

The material is reported to be easy to saw, especially if cutting edges are kept very sharp.


Western White pine is reported to have very good planing properties,and works to yield very clean and smooth surfaces.


The material is reported to turn very well.


Moulding qualities are rated as very good.


The timber is reported to respond very well to boring.


Mortising characteristics are rated as excellent.


Resistance to splitting in nailing operations is reported to be excellent,and nail holding properties are good.


Screwing properties are rated as excellent, and screw-holding qualities are good.


Western White pine has excellent gluing qualities.


Sanding characteristics are reported to be good.


The material is reported to polish well.


The wood takes stains rather well.


The material is reported to varnish well.


The wood is reported to take paint well.

Steam Bending

The timber is reported to be unsuitable for steam bending.

Response to Hand Tools

The timber is reported to respond well to hand tools.It requires very sharp cutting edges,but it works to produce a very clean surface.

Strength Properties

Bending strength in the air-dry condition is medium.It is weak in compression parallel to grain (maximum crushing strength).The wood is soft, and surfaces may dent easily. Weight is medium.





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