This wood, classified scientifically as Tsuga Heterophylla, is unique in its ability to change some of its physical properties depending upon its degree of exposure to the sun. A widely imported and exported source of lumber, Western Hemlock is one of many wood species which is predominantly grown in North America. With major growth populations in the northwestern U.S. as well as western Canada, Western Hemlock provides lumber for furniture and framing to numerous countries on at least four continents.
Western Hemlock is very similar to the Amabilis fir (Abies Amabilis) and is often sold alongside this other species. Collectively referred to as Hem-Fir, these trees can grow to over fifty meters in stature, and are very dense, sturdy sources of lumber. Its density places it among the lumbers most useful in support structures and framing.
Western Hemlock Applications
With a high demand but not necessarily the highest production, vast sources of Western Hemlock can be hard to come by; however, when found, it comes in a number of grades making it a decent choice for a variety of aesthetic options. This means that it can be used well in flooring, paneling, furniture (both indoor and outdoor), and saunas or other custom products.
Western Hemlock Stability
The stability of the lumber makes it difficult to bend, so when going through a kiln it is unlikely to be warped by the process. This, along with a multitude of grade options, has lent to the wood’s popularity. For decorative uses, the choice of grades and the property of changing color in different levels of light exposure make Western Hemlock suitable to a variety of design motifs, further increasing its versatility.