American Softwoods has published a new brochure to provide importers, architects and specifiers with information on the range and diversity of American softwood species, and which are best suited to a wide variety of different applications.
A Guide to American Softwood Species presents details of the botanical name, properties and uses of the commercially important American softwood species. Physical and mechanical properties are described and each species is given a durability rating according to BS EN 350-1 (European Durability Classes).
Architects and structural engineers can also refer to tables which list and compare mechanical properties, such as the specific gravity, modulus of rupture, modulus of elasticity and compressive strength of American softwood species with the properties of European species such as Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), Whitewood (Picea abies) and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). Southern Yellow Pine and Douglas fir perform particularly well on these measures.
As well as better known species, the new guide to American softwood species also lists and describes less common species such as Engelmann spruce, California redwood, Alaska cedar and Incense cedar.
The brochure is an indispensable aid for importers and specifiers when choosing timber from the world’s largest producer of sustainable softwoods. Renowned for their strength and beauty, American softwoods are harvested from sustainably managed forests. Every year 1.6 billion seedlings are planted in the US – the equivalent of 4.4 million trees every single day of the year. As a result, America’s forests currently produce over 80 million cubic metres of sawn timber a year, but the success of its forest management and conservation has ensured that forested land is now greater than it was 75 years ago, and is increasing year on year.
The carbon sequestration during each tree’s growth more than offsets the total combined emissions from harvesting, processing and even transport of the timber to the EU from the US. American softwoods also offer a sustainable, fast growing and, when pressure treated, durable alternative to much more expensive tropical hardwoods, which can take three times as long to mature.
A Guide to American Softwood Species can be downloaded from www.americansoftwoods.com.