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Author Topic: Western hemlock properties?  (Read 1950 times)

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Offline Timburr

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Western hemlock properties?
« on: May 08, 2005, 07:21:32 PM »
We have a tract of western hemlock growing in our woodlands and I was told it's good for 10 years in the ground without preservation treatment. My bibliographic references have not enough detail to substantiate this, because hemlock is considered a minor commercial species in Europe.
Although we have owned the wood for 10 years, the first 5 years we had a different marketing strategy so we have not been able to test this theory ourselves.
 What are your experiences on the durability of hemlock..with or without bark?

Thanks   Tim
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Western hemlock properties?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2005, 06:44:28 PM »
I've read that western hemlock has low resistance to heart rot and it does not take wood preservative well. On old logged sites from the 40's, that I've worked in sometimes, the hemlock was well rotted, where as with western red cedar, only the sapwood was rotten with the heart in tact. These abandoned cedar were often sought by shake block cutters and heli-lifted to a landing to be barged to market. In the rotten sapwood of western red cedar I've seen western hemlock growing and they were sometimes 20 cm at dbh. We had to climb over all those left behind cedar, which was not fun, and we had to measure those hemlock growing out of them.  ;D
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

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2020 Polaris Ranger 570 to forward firewood, Husqvarna 555 XT Pro, Stihl FS560 clearing saw and continuously thinning my ground, on the side. Grow them trees. (((o)))

Offline Tillaway

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Re: Western hemlock properties?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2005, 08:43:52 PM »
Western Hemlock is a poor choice for ground contact.  It will not last ten years, 4 or 5 maybe.  It is not used exterior for anything out here in the Hemlock region. 
Making Tillamook Bay safe for bait; one salmon at a time.

Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Western hemlock properties?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2005, 09:22:16 PM »
Even for interior studding, Ihave seen it do a 180 degree turn after beingnailed into place.  :'(  Some of the box stores are selling it as "premium cut" lumber and some is even kiln dried. :-X ::)
Frank Pender

Offline Don P

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Re: Western hemlock properties?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2005, 08:22:23 PM »
Below is a link to a Forest Products Labs tech sheet on it, the wood handbook at their site will also have a paragraph or two;

http://128.104.77.230/TechSheets/softwoodna/htmldocs/tsugaheterophylla.html
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Offline Timburr

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Re: Western hemlock properties?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2005, 03:49:42 PM »
Thanks guys.
Youv'e just clarified my thoughts, hence the posting. I knew I could count on my American compatriots in hemlock land.

Tim
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