Testing Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine

 

Ponderosa pine is one of the most widely-distributed pine species in western North America; it extends from western Canada to central Mexico. There is a unique population of the species in western Oregon known as Willamette Valley ponderosa pine or simply as 'Valley pine.'  As is generally the case, wood properties vary with growing conditions - and little is currently known about the wood properties of Valley pine.

In the winter/spring of 2017, we began 'the Valley Pine wood quality project'; we will be determining several commonly-reported wood properties including:

  • Specific Gravity (similar to density) - green, 12% moisture content, and ovendry (i.e., 0% moisture content)
  • Hardness - green and at 12% moisture content
  • Shrinkage - green to ovendry
  • Bending strength and stiffness (MOR and MOE) - green and 12% moisture content
  • Machinability - quality of shaped specimens with a CNC router
  • Permeability - ability to accept commonly used wood preservatives

We will report results here (below) as they become available (last updated 3/23/2017).

Tree No. Age

Top/Butt Diameter
(in.)

Elevation (ft.) Crown Class Comments
1 89 19.5/21.75 980 Dominant marginal Douglas-fir site
2 39 9.25/14.5 570 Intermediate  
3 29 11/21 590 Super Dom. very rough, knotty
4 ~100 18/19.5 700 Dominant  some sapstain

 

Tree No. - Log Segment

MOR (psi)
Bending Strength (green/12%)
[sample size]

MOE (x106 psi)
Bending Stiffness (green/12%)
[sample size]

Hardness (lbs.)(green/12%)
[sample size]

Specific gravity
(green/12%/ ovendry)
[sample size]

Shrinkage (%) -
green to ovendry
Tangential/Radial
[sample size]

1- butt log 5002/tbd [14]
0.83/tbd [14] 416/tbd [7]
0.36/tbd/0.39 [2]
5.04/3.55 [6]
1 - second log 6260/tbd [11] 0.91/tbd [11] 503/tbd [7]
0.45/tbd/0.53 [1]
5.56/4.05 [7]
2 - butt log 4589/tbd [2] 0.76/tbd [2] 285/tbd [3]
0.33/tbd/0.37 [4]
5.23/3.72 [3]
2 - second log 5866/tbd [12] 1.06/tbd [12] 518/tbd [5]
0.49/tbd/0.50 [4]
6.51/4.67 [6]
2 - third log 5729/tbd [1] 0.97/tbd [1] 422/tbd [2]
  6.50/4.34 [2]
2 - fourth log 5737/tbd [1] 0.96/tbd [1] 585/tbd [3]
  6.82/5.09 [3]
3 - butt log 3519/tbd [15] 0.50/tbd [15] 244/tbd [2]
  5.35/2.75 [2]
3 - second log 4024/tbd [1] 0.67/tbd [1] 311/tbd [2]
  7.02/4.13 [2]
3 - third log 3355/tbd [3] 0.48/tbd [3] 284/tbd [3]
0.36/tbd/0.43 [6]
5.99/2.60 [2]
4 - butt log 6457/tbd [2] 0.93/tbd [2] 465/tbd [2]
0.49/tbd/0.58 [5]
5.99/4.32 [2]
4 - second log 5677/tbd [5] 1.09/tbd [5] 393/tbd [4]
0.46/tbd/0.49 [2] 5.06/3.30 [4]
Overall Average 5110/tbd 0.83/tbd 402/tbd 0.42/tbd/0.47 5.9/3.9
Ponderosa pine (from USDA Wood Handbook) 5100/9400 1.0/1.29 320/460 0.38/0.40/? 6.2/3.9

Logs for study after arrival at sawmil; logs represent 4 trees (marked by color) and 11 log segments (butt log, second log, etc.)

Dick Flynn, Custom Cut Lumber in Eugene, OR sawing log from Tree 3 (butt log)

 
Lumber loaded for delivery to OSU.


Kelly Currans, senior in Renewable Materials, preparing slabs to be sawn into test specimens at OSU


Testing bending strength of green lumber


Testing hardness of green lumber