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Ponderosa Pine Pinus ponderosa
SOFTWOOD VALUED FOR ITS SAPWOOD
Ponderosa pine has a split personality. The sapwood is silky to the touch, pale yellow in color and has subtle lines of earlywood and latewood that blend softly into one another with an even texture. The heartwood, however, is far more variable, being heavier and distinguished by dark resin lines. It can also be knotty and is not particularly strong or durable. The sapwood is stable and valued for specific purposes like pattemmaking and carving, and veneer is cut from clear logs. With preservative it can be used outside. The main problem when working the lumber is that the heartwood is very resinous and likely to clog cutters and blades.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS

Type Temperate softwood
Other names Western yellow pine, knotty pine, bird's-eye pine, California white pine, Rocky Mountain yellow pine
Related species Jeffrey pine (P. jeffreyi), which is often sold as ponderosa pine
Sources Western United States and Canada
Color Pale yellow sapwood; darker heartwood with reddish brown resin lines
Texture Fire and even, particularly the sapwood, which is soft and easy to work
Grain Straight, but high risk of knots diverting the grain direction
Hardness Soft to medium for a softwood
Weight Medium (32 lb./cu. ft.) (510 kg/cu. m)

AVAILABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
Widely available and not listed as endangered.



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