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Log Species for
Post and Beam Log Homes

Our location in the interior of British Columbia, Canada provides a selection of home building logs unsurpassed worldwide. Only premium quality logs are hand selected from trees growing at high elevations. These trees experience slower growth rates, resulting in a higher structural value due to tighter annual growth rings. In addition to strength, each log is hand selected based on straightness of grain and consistency of size.
Cedar and Fir log slices
Fir log post and beam structure
Douglas Fir
Douglas Fir is a very strong wood with a rich reddish heartwood. Generally tight growth rings, straight grain, medium heavy with good resistance to mildew and fungus.
Due to its high strength, Fir is a perfect choice for both wall logs and beams and joists.
Log home with cedar log posts
Western Red Cedar
Western Red Cedar has a reddish to dull brown heartwood. It is very resistant to decay, and features generally straight grains with uniform texture. Other advantages are low shrinkage and light weight. However cedar is moderately soft, and provides low strength when used as beams.
Cedar can be used for most components in post and beam homes if the logs are oversized large enough. Also, cedar is very popular for use as character posts.

Douglas Fir bough and cone
pseudotsuga menziesii
Also known as Coast Douglas-fir, Oregon Pine, Oregon Douglas-fir, Douglas Tree, Interior Douglas-fir this is not a fir at all but 'Pseudotsuga' or "False Hemlock"
Named after the Scottish botanist, David Douglas, who introduced many of BC's native conifers to Europe.
  • distinctive three-forked bracts between the scales on the cones
  • light yellow with orange tints to exterior of peeled logs
  • tight grain, redish brown interior heart wood 
  • British Columbia southern mainland coast, Vancouver Island
  • an interior variety is found throughout southern and central BC
  • can reach up to 85 meters in height on the coast and 42 meters in the interior
  • dense, hard, stiff, durable, strong
  • modern - heavy duty construction such as log homes, trestles, bridge parts and commercial buildings
  • traditional - wood: fuel, fishing hooks, handles, snowshoes, fishtraps; boughs: floor coverings; seeds: eaten; twigs/needles: can exude a sugar like substance which was prized
  • 5 to 11 cm long
  • green when young, turning to brown as they age
  • papery scales, with three pronged bracts (resembling mouse hind legs and tail) in between them
  • have winged seeds
  • seeds are eaten by birds and small animals
  • flat with pointed tips
  • bright yellowish-green with single groove on upper surface
  • paler colour on lower surface
  • spirally arranged so appear to stand out around the twig
  • smooth, grey-brown, blistered when young
  • furrowed, thick, dark reddish-brown ridges as the tree ages
  • bears scrape off the bark to eat the sap layer beneath
QUICK/EASY ID (identification) for DOUGLAS FIR:
  • cones: forked
  • needles: flat, fragrant, friendly (the boughs are soft to the touch when you run your hand up and down)
  • bark: furrowed
WOOD SPECIES: Engelmann Spruce

Englemann Spruce bough
picea engelmanni
...named after the botanist George Engelmann. 'Picea' is derived from the Latin word for pitch.
  • a straight, spire-like tree
  • near the ground the branches tend to droop
  • interbreeds with white spruce in certain areas
  • grows throughout the Interior and many southern areas of British Columbia
  • found at high elevations
  • this spruce prefers deep, rich soils with sufficient moisture
  • can grow to 50 metres in height and 1 metre in diameter
  • not very strong
  • modern - log houses (walls only), plywood, violins, pianos, aircraft parts
  • traditional - roots: sew seams of baskets, make baskets; bark : cooking baskets, canoes, roofing, baby carriers; pitch: wound dressings; needles: chewed for cough control
  • seed cones - yellow or purplish-brown; hang from upper branches; scales are papery with jagged edges
  • pollen cones - yellow
  • four sided and sharp but not too stiff
  • bluish-green with white lines on upper and lower surfaces
  • they are arranged in all directions along the twig
  • strong odor
  • reddish-brown
  • scaly
WOOD SPECIES: Western Red Cedar

Cedar bough
thuja plicata
Other common names: Giant Arbor-Vitae, Canoe-cedar, Pacific Red-cedar, Shinglewood.
The western red cedar is British Columbia's official tree.
  • drooping branches that turn up at tip
  • trunk spreading out at the base
  • has large number of cones bent backward along the branches
  • low to mid elevations
  • coast and wet belt of the Interior
  • in cool, mild, moist locations
  • can grow in shaded areas with lots of nutrients
  • up to 60 meters tall (197 feet)
  • resistant to decay and insect damage
  • aromatic fragrance that lasts for years
  • wood can remain sound for over 100 years
  • modern - house siding, log home shell packages, interior paneling, outdoor furniture, decking, fencing, roof shakes
  • traditional - wood: canoes, totem poles, longhouses, household boxes, tools, paddles; pounded fibers: mats, clothing, baskets, nets, fishing lines; medicines, religious masks
  • seed cones: egg shaped
  • 1 cm long with several pairs of scales
  • pollen cones: small, reddish
  • are scale-like
  • lie in pairs
  • overlapping like shingles
  • very strong aroma
  • grey
  • stringy - tearing off in long strips
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