What Is Lodgepole Pine?

September 4, 2018 7:49 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Lodgepole pine is a staple of the woods in the western United States, especially in Yellowstone National Park. If you’ve visited Old Faithful, you’ve likely seen it en masse, but it’s also found frequently along the Oregon coast, in the Yukon Territory in Canada, in the Cascades in Washington (at upper elevations) and in the Sierra de Juarez Mountains of Baja California, Mexico.

Lodgepole pine logs are often used for our teepees, but they are frequently used in other building projects, including woodworking and in construction. Here are just some of the characteristics and basics of lodgepole pine you may find interesting as you browse our wooden lodgepoles in Utah:

  • Appearance: The heartwood in lodgepole pine tends to be a light reddish or yellowish brown, with sapwood that is a yellowish white. In comparison to ponderosa pine, for example, the heartwood will be paler. It also frequently has very noticeable dimples on flatsawn surfaces, a trait that really helps distinguish it from many other types of pines that do not have that feature, save for jack pine, ponderosa pine and Jeffrey pine, in which the dimples are much less pronounced.
  • Endgrain: The endgrain in lodgepole pine has medium-sized resin canals that are evenly distributed across the endgrain. There is a rather abrupt transition from earlywood to latewood, with a low color contrast.
  • Smell: While cutting lodgepole pine, you’ll likely notice a faint, resinous odor. It is not quite as pungent as other types of pine, but still has a distinct smell of its own.
  • Availability: Lodgepole pine is widely available for use in the construction industry at relatively inexpensive prices. In some cases, lodgepole pine will be mixed in with ponderosa pine and labeled as construction lumber, or with a stamp that says “PP/LP” to note that it could be either type of pine. There are other circumstances in which it will be mixed in with various species of spruce, pine and fir under the abbreviation “SPF.” It is extremely common for use in construction of structures of many different types.
  • Uses: Lodgepole pine is extremely versatile. You’ll find it frequently used for veneers, plywood, sheathing, cabinetry, construction lumber, poles and posts, interior trim, crates and boxes and subflooring.
  • Workability: If you’re using lodgepole pine in your construction or woodworking projects, you’ll find it’s quite easy to work with both machine and hand tools, and that it glues and finishes quite well.
  • Grain: Lodgepole pine is characterized by its straight grain with medium texture.
  • Rot resistance: You typically won’t use lodgepole pine for exposed exterior applications where it’s likely to be affected by rain or moisture. This is because it’s rated moderate to low in decay resistance. That being said, it’s still an extremely common pine for use in teepees.

Looking for more information about lodgepole pine for your next project? We encourage you to give Huberwoods a call today and we’ll be happy to provide you with more information about our wooden lodgepoles in Utah.

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