In this text, the distinction between Oregon pine and European Douglas is only made where necessary. Otherwise, the term Oregon pine is used.

  • European Douglas or Oregon Pine imported from North America
  • Salmon-coloured to reddish-brown heartwood, creamy white to yellow sapwood
  • Straight grain, rough texture and beautiful flame pictures on the surface of the flat grain
  • Available in planks, battens and beams
  • One of the most versatile wood species on the Belgian market
  • Innumerable interior applications: Stair treads, parquet, wooden floors, furniture, ceilings
  • Also for supporting structures, wall cladding, balustrades, attics, cut veneer
  • Exterior joinery, such as windows and doors

Oregon pine and European Douglas are the commercial names for the botanical species Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco. The list of names of the most commonly used wood species in Belgium (NBN 199) distinguishes between Oregon pine imported from North America (no. 416) and the European Douglas (no. 108). They are, nevertheless, the same botanical species.

Oregon Pine

The growth zone for Oregon pine stretches all over North America:

A 2000 kilometre-long strip along the West Coast, between 35 and 55 degrees latitude;
the plain between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains;
Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia;
the US states of Washington and Oregon. 
Oregon Pine

European Douglas

Douglas Firs were imported as park trees round 1830 by Great Britain and, later, by Germany.  It was not until the early 20th century that the first trees were planted. After World War II, the species’ economic value prompted its real breakthrough. 

Today, three quarters of European Douglas Pines grow in France and Germany. Nevertheless, it also grows throughout Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Ireland.


Under natural conditions, the Oregon pine grows in mixed pine woods. It is a pioneer tree and its seedlings thrive well on waste and fallow ground. It does not, however, grow in the shade of other trees, which in time crowd it out. The majority of the trees therefore does not regenerate naturally. The species mainly revives after forest fires. 

The wood from primary forests has a finer grain and fewer knots than the wood from cultured woods. The European Douglas is highly adaptable and is an important wood type for reforestation.

Colour and figures

The heartwood is salmon-coloured to reddish-brown, changing to red tints under the influence of light. The sapwood is creamy-white to yellow. 
The wood changes abruptly from early wood to late wood. 
The wood generally has a straight grain and coarse texture, particularly in second generation trees. The surface of vertical grain sawn timber has a soft texture with small, but clearly visible rays. 
Oregon pine and European Douglas have few resin canals, but a lot of resin pockets. With freshly sawn wood, that produces a typical lemony scent, which disappears in drying.


Oregon pine is a moderately heavy wood type. It is however one of the hardest pine species, with good bending resistance. Unlike most other pines, the strength and texture of the wood are not reduced by expansion of the growth rings. Despite the extremely narrow growth rings in timber from coastal areas - barely 1 mm - it is nonetheless softer (and less colourful).

The density of planted wood is therefore comparable with that of first generation Oregon pine.


The heartwood is moderately durable (natural durability class III) and is sensitive to termite damage. The sapwood is not durable (natural durability class V).

Drying and Moisture Content

Oregon pine dries easily, with little distortion. Even so, it is advisable to allow the timber to dry more slowly than other pines. Otherwise it can split. Drying at an air temperature of more than 70 °C limits resin secretion afterwards. Smaller sections can be dried either in the open air or in a kiln.


Timber with narrow growth rings is easy to work. It is more difficult to work lumber with growth rings of 5mm or more, or with a lot of knots. The late wood can then separate from the early wood. Nevertheless, current techniques can generate a nice, smooth surface.


Oregon pine can be glued well with all the usual glue types. It is particularly suitable for glued laminated applications.

Finishing and treating

In principle, for exterior joinery Oregon pine requires no preservation treatment, at least if all sapwood is carefully removed. Treatment according to procedure C1 prevents it from turning blue. 
For carpentry, a preventive preservation in accordance with procedure A2.1 is recommendable. 
It is advisable to degrease the resin-rich parts before finishing the wood. Sanding or brushing produces excellent results. This does better justice to the late wood and the typical flame figure on the flat grain surface.


Pre-drill the lumber or use a nail gun, as it splits easily, especially if you want to nail it by hand. If the lumber comes into contact with metal, then there is a danger of corrosion and discolouration, particularly if the moisture content is higher than 18% - 20%. Then one should use stainless steel attachment elements.

Quality standards

Nr. 2 Clear & Better guarantees the top quality of wood imported from North America with very little sapwood and healthy knots, as with the derived Oregon Clears quality for fine joinery and furniture work.
As of 1 September, NBN EN 14081 is the reference for the CE-marking of construction wood.
Select & Merchantable guarantees the quality of Oregon pine. The visual strength is indicated: 
by SS (Special Structural) or GS (General Structural) in accordance with the British Standard BS 4978;
by S4, S6, S8 or S10 in accordance with Belgian standard STS 04 (where S6 and S8 correspond with the British labels GS and SS, respectively).

  • Load-bearing structures
  • Exterior joinery
  • Parquet and wooden floors
  • Ceilings
  • Balustrades
  • Roof overhangs
  • Steps
  • Benches
  • Furniture
  • Ladders
  • Gymnastic equipment
  • Handles
  • Tools
  • Barrels
Professional information

Average Density*

550 kg/m³

Radial shrinkage

60 to 30% r.a.h.**



90 to 60% r.a.h.**


Tangential shrinkage

60 to 30% r.a.h.**



90 to 60% r.a.h.**



60 to 30% r.a.h.**



90 to 60% r.a.h.**


Flexural strength

89 N/mm²

Modulus of Elasticity

13.500 N/mm²

Compressive strength (parallel with the fibre)

50 N/mm²

Shear strength

9,5 N/mm²

Hardness - Radial

4020 N

Hardness -  Surface

2940 N

* at wood moisture content of 15 per cent / ** relative atmospheric humidity


Commercial measurements

Construction lumber


65 mm

80 mm


155/180 mm

205/230 mm



26/32/52/65/80/105/130/155 mm


245/305/365/425/490/550/610 cm
(670/730/790/855/915/103,5/109,5/116/122 cm also available but rare)

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