The softwood that's not just for framing anymore Thriving in the deep, damp forests of the Pacific Northwest, western hemlock rivals Douglas fir as preferred construction lumber. Yet in its beauty, this tree ranks ahead of all other conifers. Western hemlock is a dignified tree. It grandly stands with pendulous branches and fronds of flat needles that provide it with a deep-green, lace-like coat. Although known in the past primarily as a construction species, western hemlock has developed new admirers. Called a "white" wood in the industry, it resembles pine. But planing and sanding bring out an enhancing luster. That's why it now draws more notice as paneling, doors, flooring, even cabinets and furniture.
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