Is spruce lumber a good type of material to use and is it available in Toronto?
Spruce lumber is an excellent choice for your building project. It is in the pine family and typically gets used for all sorts of heavy construction in and around the Toronto area. Generally speaking it is mostly found in the southeastern United States and it grows in clusters with no other specific designation. The pine family is well-known as a solid choice of building material and the spruce variety is no different. Pine tends to secrete a sap that can be tough on machinery and sanding tools, but otherwise it is a strong and sturdy form of lumber that will hold up well for a long time. Spruce is commonly used for large projects such as telephone poles, bridge work, and railroad ties. It can be cut into sheets of plywood as well. The grain is typically straight with little twisting and it holds up well against rot and decay. For these reasons spruce lumber is ideal for construction.
Spruce can be classified under the following lumber categories:
- Sustainability – Spruce is not considered a rare or “at risk” tree, so the lumber culled from it is pretty common.
- Workability – Spruce provides a strong surface and is an ideal building material. There can be issues with the resinous sap and mechanical tools, but it is nothing regular cleaning will not resolve.
- Availability – This is a dense, heavy form of lumber and due to the added weight, it can be expensive to ship, so it typically used more in the eastern regions than other parts of North America.
- Decay – Lumber from spruce of the heartwood variety is known to be hard and a decent choice for rot and decay prevention.
- Grain – The fine to medium texture of spruce makes it a strong candidate for building materials because it will also maintain its grain without twisting or warping.
- Colour – This does not typically matter much in the building phase, but spruce usually is described as having a reddish-brown heartwood with a light overall colour.
Should you choose to use spruce lumber for your building project, it is important to understand that it is not the cheapest wood material you could use in the Toronto area, but it is of a high quality. It is classified in the “Softwoods” family, which is the case with most pines and firs, but it tends to grow strong and straight with solid trunks. Spruce has been highly sought after in the past and there are many tree farms that grow it for harvesting since it is a fast grower with few knots, even in the young trees. In the Toronto area, there are some contractors like The Lumber Guys that have access to these farms and can generally supply you as much spruce as you require. There are a number of softwoods that can be used for building materials in the Toronto area and spruce is certainly a good choice. It is a solid form of lumber that will serve you well no matter what your project should require.