In British Columbia, subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa (Hook) Nutt.) has developed a poor reputation in the wood products industry because of its low density, high moisture content, and high incidence of decay. This poor reputation aside, subalpine fir accounts of 22% of the total mature standing softwood volume in the interior of British Columbia. The understand this species better, a review was carried out to compare the wood properties of subalpine fir with its principal tree species associates: lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Englem.), Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii Parry), and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss). This review is based on a literature search and personal communications with British Columbia experts working with subalpine fir, including foresters, sawmill quality control supervisors, truss fabricators, wood preservation specialists, and researchers in the pulp and paper sector. Their observations and perceptions, along with the information in the literature, have helped us formulate the current picture and future potential of subalpine fir.
FRDA Research Report 168 (1164 KB)
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Updated July 24, 2015