The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.




Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

Michigan Firewood, your BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat

iDRY Wood Lumber Vacuum Drying for everyon

Nyle Kiln Dry Systems

Chainsawr, The Worlds Largest Inventory of Chainsaw Parts

Smith Sawmill Service



Author Topic: Balsam Fir  (Read 9011 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Paul_H

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7073
  • Age: 59
  • Location: Enderby,BC
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Balsam Fir
« on: February 06, 2003, 11:30:49 AM »


Has anybody worked much with Balsam Fir(abies amabalis,or lasiocarpa) ?

We log a fair amount of it,and it grows at higher elevations along side of Western Hemlock,and Mountain Hemlock.The lumber from Balsam,and Hemlock stays a light colour,doesn't tend to darken like D-fir.I have seen some interior finishing done in both species,but not as much as I'd expect.

A freind had three boards planed and finished,Spruce,Balsam and White Pine,and asked me to pick out the Pine.I couldn't,and he told me most people can't.

Does it have many other good or bad traits?
Science isn't meant to be trusted it's to be tested

Offline Jeff

  • Fearless Leader
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 51562
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Harrison MI
  • Gender: Male
  • Oh la di oh la da
    • Share Post
    • Behind the  Forestry Forum YouTube channel
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2003, 11:56:58 AM »
It makes a DanG good flag pole. I'll have to take a picture when I get to the cabin again. Forest tech up near the cabin told me that when they are doing an aspen cut they have the skidder operator try to run over all the small balsam in the area to try to weed it out.
Just call me the midget doctor.
Forestry Forum Founder and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.

Commercial circle sawmill sawyer in a past life.
Ezekiel 22:30

Offline Tom

  • In Memoriam
  • *
  • Posts: 25838
  • Age: 79
  • Location: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • Toms Saw
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2003, 12:17:13 PM »
Everything I've read about it says it's Americas first and favorite Christmas tree.  Weed it out!  ::)  Sounds like a hidden industry there waiting to happen to me. 8)

It's all that non-wanted stuff that begins to smell like Money.
extinct

Offline MrMoo

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 509
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Barrington, NH
  • Gender: Male
  • Do you have a spare log dar
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2003, 12:25:11 PM »
Jeff,
Run the skidder over the weeds. Sounds like a great weedin trick. Think I'll try that in the veggie garden next summer...now I'll need to convince the wife we need a skidder to do the weedin.
Hmmm, wonder how that'll go over.

Offline Minnesota_boy

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1773
  • Age: 69
  • Location: near Bemidji, Minnesota
  • Gender: Male
  • Some like 'em short, but I prefer looong!
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2003, 12:42:42 PM »
Paul,
Our balsam fir grows with a straight taper, that is, it tapers pertty evenly from the butt to the top.  It is a light weight wood with fair strength and usually stays straight.  It also saws easily.  If it weren't for the pitch it leaves on the clothes, it might be my favorite wood to saw.  Your Douglas Fir is stronger, but balsam fir has plenty of strength for a stud wall.  I'd be cautious about using it for rafters because it isn't as strong as I'd like and is a bit brittle.
I eat a high-fiber diet.  Lots of sawdust!

Offline GarryW

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 71
  • Age: 68
  • Gender: Male
  • Just trying to cut wood not metal
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2003, 01:08:53 PM »
I cut some of it last summer. I thought my blade was dull because it looked like it was just ripping the wood apart when I was cutting it.  :D But I found that if I slowed down a bit it cut really nice. And I did notice that on some of the logs, the pine beetles were in there chewing away.  :o

I gave the wood to my friend that is building a large shed, he used it for siding. The wood has stayed white so far.
Garry

Offline Kevin

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 6651
  • Age: 67
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2003, 01:29:09 PM »
They harvest it for pulp here.

Offline Paul_H

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7073
  • Age: 59
  • Location: Enderby,BC
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2003, 01:30:44 PM »
I'm glad to see that balsam is appreciated.I have seen it used as houselogs a couple of times,and they looked great.The loghome that was built here,burned down about 4 years ago.Has anyone had experience with Balsam as houselogs?

I'm guessing that the Balsam are weeded out of Aspen plantations because they are shade tolerent,and would eventually take over.



This picture shows a piece of Western Hemlock that was used in our stair railings.It was a worm eaten ugly old 6x6,ripped in half.The Fir has darkened a lot in 2 years,but like Balsam,the Hemlock has stayed light.

It would be interesting to know how it holds up as siding.
 
Minnesota_boy,  it sounds like we have the same species.Straight and round,and brittle.



Science isn't meant to be trusted it's to be tested

Offline Minnesota_boy

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1773
  • Age: 69
  • Location: near Bemidji, Minnesota
  • Gender: Male
  • Some like 'em short, but I prefer looong!
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2003, 04:07:25 PM »
Places where my grandmother grew up in Canada east of lake Huron the old barns were verticle sided with unfinished hemlock.  Still looked OK after 100 years.
I eat a high-fiber diet.  Lots of sawdust!

Offline Tillaway

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 1219
  • Location: Tillamook, Oregon
  • Gender: Male
  • Funny looking tall guy.
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2003, 04:59:52 PM »
Paul,

The Amabalis (Pacific Silver Fir) is used for a variety of interior uses in Oregon or Washington.  It only grows at either high elevation in the Cascades or on poorer sites in the coast range there.  It is rare any of it ever makes it to market since it grows mostly on Federal lands were timber harvest is largely not allowed.  If any is cut it usually goes to the pulp mill since there usually isn't enough to make a load out of any one side.

The Lasiocarpa (Subalpine Fir)  rarely makes it to a mill even if you have lots of it.  It too is mostly on Federal lands so therefore unobtainable.  I heard, don't know how true this is, that it makes low grade kraft pulp only or nonstructural lumber.  The form of the tree is pretty poor, lots of taper and loaded with limbs.  Its a great Christmas tree though.
Making Tillamook Bay safe for bait; one salmon at a time.

Offline Ron Scott

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 8500
  • Age: 86
  • Location: Cadillac, MI
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2003, 06:13:53 PM »
Mostly used for christmas trees (has good needle retention) and pulpwood here. It also provides good thermal cover and escape routes for wildlife.
~Ron

Offline wiam

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1055
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Barnet, VT
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2003, 11:28:44 AM »
I would have run over the aspen and saved the balsam. :D :D

Offline burlman

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Age: 60
  • Gender: Male
  • I need to edit my profile!
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2003, 06:02:42 PM »
here in western Quebec, it is hard to find a balsam over 12 in. dia. All of it is currently cut along with spruce tree length and shipped to "chip and saw" mills. Trees are chipped square, and the cants are sawed into 2by lumber. the chips are trucked to the pulpmills to the south of us. Trees are usually centre rot, hard to get a good one. Also the spruce bud worm is causing alot of havoc, loosing alot of spruce and balsam in areas where they can't spray. Itis lovely wood to saw, alot better than the spruce around these parts. As to the hemlock, we use it alot here for barn siding, except for the weight, it is a great framing lumber in 2x10's etc.doesn't seem to twist all to hell like spruce when it dries. We have alot of it and a small market for the logs. Can buy it for about $300/1000 bf.

Offline WyMan

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Gender: Male
  • Freed Modern Slave!
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2003, 10:37:10 AM »
I bought about 1 1/2 semi load of subalpine fir in montana from a burn last year.  The burn was three years ago so the wood is nice and dry.  The bark falls off and the wood looks nice.  Nice long straight 40 to 50 ft, 8 to 12 inch tips with not very many knots.  I have been trying to decide what to do with it and am getting to the point where I need to get my money back out of it.  I would think it would make nice house logs because it is light wood.  I do know that the stud mills allow a certain amount of subalpine fir to go through the mill and there is no distinction in the species of the end product.  I would love to just make a log home out of it, but unfortunately there are too many mouths to feed now.  I passed up many more loads of the same stuff because of not enough money, but could probably get the stuff as I don't think they have sawed it yet.

Good to know about sawing it slowly.
Just a thought from a freed modern slave.

Offline L. Wakefield

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1278
  • Age: 70
  • Location: Hollis Maine
  • Gender: Female
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2003, 04:59:08 AM »
Quote


Also the spruce bud worm is causing alot of havoc, loosing alot of spruce and balsam in areas where they can't spray.



  Is that still bad? I know that it was horrible multiple years back- led to huge clearcuts (that were necessary to get anything at all back, but which led to the public perception that clearcutting is a horrible ugly thing- if you didn't know the history of the insect devastation you would indeed question why such a large area would be clearcut..) I hadn't heard it was bad recently. Do you know the current distribution and intensity? I am down in Maine and presently the fir is looking a lot better than it did a while back. They are afraid of the adelgid here on hemlock but I haven't seen but 1 but that I recognized, and I routinely look when I'm out in the woods (not been too much of that in the last couple months- the snow is right up to the top of some of the fences..if the cows could walk over there without sinking they could just keep right on walking..)   lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline burlman

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Age: 60
  • Gender: Male
  • I need to edit my profile!
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2003, 09:50:46 AM »
where we are in south western Quebec, The Spruce bud worm is supposed to be the worst hit area in the province. We have a huge crew of scientists, and technecians running all around private bush lots, measuring and marking out plots for tests. They spray bht. on the larger stands. I guess because of all the lakes in our area they can't get in all places. I'm forever being called out around cottage country to cut dead spruce and balsam on cottage lots. You can see a few hills around us here that have been wiped right out. Every summer you could see the green of the hill slowly fade away to a now dull brown of dead trees. Pulp sells by the ton around here, so not a very paying proposition. I cut a trailer load in 8 foot that had died ,off the side of a hill, compared to the same load cut in the green wood there was a differance in weight comparable to 6 cords. Kinda kills the profits. Plus the extra work  to cut a dry dead spruce, it won't fall down, if it does it sits up on the branches, the trunk is taller than you can reach. So to say the least, tree removals mostly end up as land fill now. have a good weekend.  burlman

Offline L. Wakefield

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1278
  • Age: 70
  • Location: Hollis Maine
  • Gender: Female
    • Share Post
Re: Balsam Fir
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2003, 06:40:34 PM »
   Not to quibble- I read your post and asked Mike- 'what is bht'?- He guessed maybe you meant bth- bacillus thuringensis? I dunno about how you fight the budworm but I guess maybe that stuff would do it. I likeit a lot that it's not an environmental toxin. (but I don't know that the budworms would agree with me..)

  They were bad here for a while and then it got better.  lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

xx
balsam ?

Started by sprucebunny on Tree, Plant and Wood I.D.

9 Replies
4293 Views
Last post November 12, 2005, 08:59:25 PM
by sprucebunny
xx
balsam logs?????

Started by parttime_logger on Forestry and Logging

8 Replies
4218 Views
Last post June 07, 2004, 03:48:56 PM
by SwampDonkey
xx
What Killed Balsam Fir ??

Started by g_man on Ask The Forester

5 Replies
1963 Views
Last post July 01, 2012, 09:46:24 PM
by g_man
xx
balsam poplar

Started by L. Wakefield on Forestry and Logging

13 Replies
10302 Views
Last post October 23, 2000, 07:49:38 PM
by Ron Scott
 


Powered by EzPortal