Hemlock: A Construction Lumber Mainstay

Hemlock: A Construction Lumber Mainstay

At Lumber Capital Log Yard, we specialize in rough-cut hemlock lumber. Hemlock has been used for building throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada for centuries. Our area is abundant with 100-year-old barns made with hand-hewn hemlock timber frames and hemlock lap siding. Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), also known as Canadian hemlock, has a relatively low Janka hardness of 500 lbf (poundforce) when dry. Mature trees are between 65 to 100 ft tall and 2 to 3 ft in diameter.

Overseeing lumber mill cutting hemlock boards

Hemlock often grows on north-facing slopes where it experiences harsh winter conditions. When the growing area is also overly wet, the logs can get a defect called shake. Shake is when the growth rings begin separating, which causes the lumber to have linear cracking. It’s one of the most frustrating circumstances about milling hemlock.

Hemlock tree being cut down by lumber mill

The rough-cut, full-dimension hemlock lumber we provide is a fantastic choice for exterior board-and-batten siding, decks and porches, as it can be used green. The building techniques employed by contractors account for minimal shrinkage on such projects. For indoor applications, hemlock will dry fairly quickly with minimal warping when it’s stickered outdoors in dry weather.

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