Sugar Pine trees are the tallest and most massive pine trees with very long cones and is in white pine group. Sugar pines are easy to distinguish from other Pines- because of their long, narrow needles, bound in bundles of 5 and very large cones.
Eight species of pine are native to the Pacific Northwest, although many others have been introduced. Four pines (lodgepole, sugar, ponderosa, and western white)
To identify pines, count the needles in each bundle. This will divide the species into smaller groups. Then check the range and the appearance of the cones to pinpoint the species.
Two needles per bundle: LODGEPOLE
Sugar Pine wood is great for inside or outside applications. The natural resin produced in a super pine protects the wood from wide range of weather including direct heat from the sun and rain. Old timers used to use sugar pine for roofs splitting shakes and cutting shingles. Today there are still barns that are in good shape that were roofed with sugar pine shakes scattered through southern Oregon and northern California. Sugar Pine is very nice to work with and is commonly used for carving, window casing, paneling, shiplap and Bat n’ Board sidings. Characteristics of Sugar Pine is narrow Sap (3”-4”) that blues quickly while standing dead or decked and bug holes penetrating the sap but not entering the heart wood. The Heart wood is full of tiny specks of pitch that when exposed to direct sun light on hot days produce a sweet resin. This resin moves to the outside of the board or slap over seasons and coats the board protecting it from weather and bugs. Heart wood in the butt logs is known to have high percentage of clear wood free of knots. The large limbs of a sugar pine further up the tree will produce very large knots in the wood that when cut are beautiful character pieces great for making tables, benches and counters. We generally saw the but logs into high grade lumber # 1 and better. All sugar pine has a great smell when cut, worked or heated.
Lumber-We produce full thickness rough sawn material that can be used for a wide variety of uses and applications.
Common grades/characteristics and applications:
Clears free of knots and bright color and are commonly used for carving, window casings and trim.
Grade #1 Bright- that has no bluing and very little sap wood few blemishes in heart wood with small pin knots, commonly used for trim, Interior tongue and groove paneling and exterior sidings.
Grade #2 Mixed Bright and blued with no bug holes. mostly cut to 1”x12” commonly used for exterior sidings on custom homes and barns and outbuildings. This product can be ship lapped with various knife cuts to match historic sidings and be ran as is Bat and Board.
Grade #3 commonly called Blued and Buggy will have solid firm wood with deep blue to grey color mixed with bright and numerous bug holes, Large knots that may be solid and may loosen when drying. These boards are commonly used for interior rustic paneling and exterior siding for barns and outbuildings.
Extra Large Slabs-The logs that produce large knots we generally slab for table stock. These slabs will vary in size with widths of up to 60”. Common size is 36”-40” in width and thickness cut 2 1/2”-3”. These slabs make great dining tables, countertops and picnic tables. They are rich with character displaying the massive size of the great trees showing the blued sap wood and deep red stains of the moving resin through the heart wood. They are very stable and do not crack or split when exposed to direct sun light of the heat of the summer and withstand cool damp climates in winter.
All slabs are rough sawn, some have been rough sanded. They are a great Do It Your Self Project that needs finished (planed, sanded, shaped and oiled). Sugar Pine can be finished for exterior uses with Oil products or left un finished. The resin will naturally be drawn to the surface of the board sealing it and protecting it, giving it a beautiful natural red rust hewn after 3-4 years. Over many years the board will rich’n in natural color aged by hot summer sun and wet winters. For interior applications it is recommended to use a hard-self-leveling floor finish or polyurethane. We have had the best results with Gym floor finishes that are water based applied after a sanding sealer. Self-leveling Two-part Epoxy’s work well for table tops. Epoxy can be ordered on line through U.S. Composites.