1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Douglas Fir versus True Fir

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by clearblue16, Feb 5, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. clearblue16

    clearblue16 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    51
    Loc:
    Seattle
    anybody care to compare qualities? which is best for burning?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,290
    Loc:
    Just South of Portland, OR
    doug.
  3. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,453
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I remember from school that doug fir is pseudo tsuga mensisii or something close. Meaning false fir. But I forget what true fir is equivalent to. Do you have the common name of true fir.

    I'll tell you right now though that modern stoves don't really care what type of wood you feed them. I got a 9 hour burn (10PM to 7AM) last night on four blocks of cottonwood stuffed into my smallish heritage. As you know, cottonwood is about the lowest grade wood that you can acquire here in the NW. Had I filled the stove with doug fir I would have gotten the same 9 hour burn. Less total heat output maybe but the same 9 hour burn.

    Good old large diameter doug fir logs are a dream to work with. Straight grained, nice smell, easy on teh saw. The butt ends (4-8' long and about 20" diameter) are available from the mills in Tacoma as a waste prodcut so I scored 4.5 cords of that last March. That's doug fir in the pics. In my sig I have the splitter pics where I was working on the same reject doug fir load from the mill.

    Attached Files:

  4. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    475
    Loc:
    NJ Piney
    Dats purdy nice wood stackin!
  5. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,971
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    Doug Fir IS true fir. The End.

    Also, don't let these east coasters fool you. Doug Fir is the bee's knees.
  6. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,290
    Loc:
    Just South of Portland, OR
    Almost, except it has its own genus. Technically, it's not like the other firs. It's better.
  7. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,290
    Loc:
    Just South of Portland, OR
    I also have no problems burning cottonwood. It's plenty hot, lights just fine, coals nicely. It sure stinks, though, and doug seems hotter. If I'm choosing between two free trees, I'm going with the fir.
  8. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,971
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,358
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    It's obviously fake! I've been watching it for months... the grass hasn't grown any and the wood hasn't greyed.
  10. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,290
    Loc:
    Just South of Portland, OR
    http://bss.sfsu.edu/holzman/courses/Fall00Projects/Douglas-fir.html

    The end.
  11. ctarborist

    ctarborist New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    24
    Loc:
    southern CT
    oh madrone you beat me to it, yes pseudo tsuga means false hemlock named due to the distinct white lines under the needles of doug fir which look quite similar to the undersides of hemlock needles. true fir carries the latin name Abies ex. Abies Concolor (concolor fir) etc. not to be confused with Picea Abies which is norway spruce...yes it can get confusing.
    CT. arborist
  12. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,971
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    Blah Blah Blah Blah. . .

    Doug Fir is the only fir. The End.
  13. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,428
    Loc:
    British Columbia
    As I at one time worked as a (log scaler). I can tell you that there is a lot of balsam being sold as douglas fir. Not that anyone is trying to be deceptive, it can be somewhat difficult to discern the difference--for both seller`s and buyers...

    Seasoned properly, both are an excellent choice for the PNW. It`s not like we have a lot of choices anyway :coolhmm:
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,453
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Both spruce and hemlock are way lower on the chart than doug fir.

    We in the PNW have low btu woods like cottonwood/aspen/willlow and then the medium stuff like red cedar/hemlock/spruce and then the good stuff like red alder/fir/maple and then the really good stuff like madrona and fruitwood.

    Any woodseller that you buy CSD from will advertise a maple/fir/alder mix as the standard and he might be honest. They will charge double for madrona or fruit and only a little less for the lower btu wood.

    Good old doug fir is the bees knees and the most common tree you'll see on the hillside since it has been replanted after logging for about as long as loggers have replanted. The lower btu stuff grows wild and especially well in the wetter areas.
  15. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,528
    Loc:
    USA
    LOL!!!
  16. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,290
    Loc:
    Just South of Portland, OR
    I think what Bigg Redd was saying is that Doug is the One True Fir.
  17. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,971
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    I don't need your fancy "science" with all their "nomenclature" saying what "is" and what "isn't" "fir"
  18. osteotome

    osteotome New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Central WA
    What about "Red" Fir? I'm new to Central WA and I got about 7 Pick up loads of "mixed" forrest wood from DNR piles. I could make out the Tamarak and the lodge pole but a wood expert neighbor told me that most of it was Red Fir which made sence as the heartwood was red. In ID I burnt mainly lodge pole.
  19. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,971
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    I think "red" fir is what the east-of-the-mountains types call Doug Fir
  20. osteotome

    osteotome New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Central WA
    Thanks Bigg Redd. I guess Yakima is East of the mountains. I must say I think this Douglas/Red Fir is giving me just as hot/long burn times as my tamarack and lodge pole does.
  21. ctarborist

    ctarborist New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    24
    Loc:
    southern CT
    well actually "red" fir is abies magnifica shastensis (spelling may be off its been a while) also called shasta fir which technically speaking is a tru fir unlike doug fir.

    but if it makes you feel better by just calling it " DOUG FIR EAST OF THE MOUNTAINS... END STORY" well than all the more power too ya.

    But the truth of the matter is that doug fir is not a true fir, yes it does burn better then the true firs, and red fir is not doug fir and is a true fir
    try saying that ten times fast. ;-P

    CT. arborist, or as my kids call me "the plant nerd" LOL
  22. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,971
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    Well allow me to retort: every time I've heard/seen anyone refer to red fir east of the mountains they were looking right at a Doug Fir.
  23. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,290
    Loc:
    Just South of Portland, OR
    Aw crap, this is getting fiddly. Red "Shasta" Fir grows in Cali and Southern Oregon. We don't grow it up north. The yokels east of the Cascades call Douglas "red fir". Although that's doubly wrong, they all know what each other are talking about. There's a few "white" firs, too, but they're all actually firs. I call them all "fires".
  24. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,971
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
  25. ctarborist

    ctarborist New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    24
    Loc:
    southern CT
    Thanks for the clarification, sorry bigg red, I've never heard of a doug being called a red fir... see thats where common names can bite ya in the a$$ hence the reason for these screwy latin names.

    the end.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page