Norway Pine (Pinus resinosa) is found from Canada to the Pacific coast, but does not reach far south in the United States. In Canada it is very commonly known as red pine. It attains a height of from 70 to 80 feet, with a diameter of 2 feet at the base, the trunk continuing of uniform diameter for two-thirds of its length. The wood is fine grained and white with a reddish tinge, somewhat soft, but quite strong and durable, its strength being about equal to that of spruce. It is used principally for framing timber.
Southern Hard Pines. - There are ten varieties of pine which grow in the Southern States, and which are popularly known as yellow pine, hard pine, pitch pine and Georgia pine. All of these varieties contain a considerable quantity of pitch, and all are heavier than the Northern pines. Of the ten varieties above mentioned but three are manufactured into lumber to any extent; these are:
Georgia Pine, or long-leaved Southern yellow pine (Pinus austra-lis, Pinus palustris). - This is the wood generally referred to when "yellow pine" or "Georgia pine" is specified. It is the most valuable of all the Southern pines, both on account of its superior strength and durability and also on account of its large size, which enables very long timbers to be cut from it. This tree sometimes attains a height of 150 feet and a diameter of 4 feet. It has but little sapwood, and the heartwood is of very uniform quality, its resinous matter being very regularly distributed and the grain of the wood being very fine and close. Though not so tough and elastic as white oak, the long-leaved pine, especially that from Georgia, successfully rivals it in stiffness. "If a beam of each kind of timber, equal in dimensions, be supported at the ends, the oak beam will depart most from its ' mold,' but will break under about the same load."
This variety of pine is principally obtained from the States of Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. It is almost the only wood used for building purposes in those localities, and is largely used throughout the Eastern and Middle States for heavy framing timbers, posts and girders. The wood is also much used for interior finish, for which purpose, however, it should be finished in varnish or hard oil, as it contains too much pitch to take paint well.
Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda), known in the West as Texas pine. - This is the common lumber pine from Virginia to South Carolina, and is found extensively in Arkansas and Texas. It is a large-sized tree and forms extensive forests; often confounded with the long-leaf pine, but the wood is wider ringed, coarser, lighter, softer and contains more sapwood. Largely used for heavy framing timber in Texas and the States directly north; also used for interior finishing, but is not quite as handsome as the Georgia pine.
Short-leaf Pine (Pinus echinata). - Resembles loblolly pine, and often approaches in its wood the Norway pine. It furnishes the common lumber pine of Missouri and Arkansas.
Effect Of Tapping Pitch Pines. - It has been generally believed, and is often found stated in books, that the tapping of pitch pine for turpentine is injurious to the strength of the timber. Recent tests made by the Forestry Division of the United States Department of Agriculture, however, have shown conclusively that this belief is erroneous. Not only is the strength not affected by tapping, but the chemical qualities are not changed, so that there is no reason whatever to believe that tapping in any way affects the durability of the lumber. Furthermore, the agent of the division, who had charge of the work, was unable to find a single person who could readily discern any difference between bled and unbled timber.
Oregon Pine (Abies Douglasii, Pseudotsuga Douglasit), sometimes called Douglass fir. - This tree really belongs to the spruce family, but as its wood more closely resembles that of the pine, it is most commonly known as Oregon pine. It is a noble tree, attaining a height of 300 feet and occasionally a diameter of 6 feet, and forming immense forests in the extreme Northwest of America. The wood is very variable, being usually coarse grained and heavy, with very pronounced summer wood, hard and strong, but often fine grained and light. It is largely used throughout the West for heavy framing, and is especially valuable for truss timbers, posts and for joist exceeding 24 feet in span.
Nearly all of the flagstaffs at the Columbian Exposition were of this wood. From various tests that have been made in California on the strength and stiffness of this wood, it would appear to be about nine-tenths as strong and about five-sixths as stiff as the best long-leaf pine; it is much lighter in weight, however, and easier to work.
The wood is also used for siding, and to some extent for finishing lumber, but for these purposes it is greatly inferior to the Eastern or sugar pine, or to redwood. Most of the Oregon pine found in the Western markets is shipped from Washington, and it is often sold under the name of Washington fir. It is seldom carried in stuck east of the Rocky Mountains on account of the high price of the timber due to the long haul.