All woods species are divided into two large groups: deciduous and coniferous. The first group includes: birch, ash, maple, linden, alder, aspen, oak, hornbeam, walnut, beech. The second – spruce, pine, cedar, fir, larch. In the construction of houses, coniferous species are used, since they are the most durable, heat-resistant and moisture-resistant. Hardwood is used for temporary buildings (bins, bridges, bunkers); as elements of the framework of temporary premises, such as warehouses, sheds, workshops, awnings; as formwork, fixtures, fences, protective visors; as well as for the manufacture of shavings for roofing.
Pine – is the most widely used wood for the construction of low-rise buildings. Due to the resin content, it is highly resistant to negative environmental influences. It has an even trunk with a small number of twigs. It grows up to 50 meters in height and a half meters in width. It grows mainly in Siberia and in the northern part of Russia. Southern pines are not in demand in construction, as they have lower strength characteristics. Trees growing in the harsh climatic conditions of the north have not only extra strength (their age can reach 500 years), but also high resistance to atmospheric phenomena. The disadvantage of pine is its turning blue as a result of getting wet. But this is easily removed, or rather prevented, by a layer of bioprotective coating.
Spruce – an evergreen coniferous plant with a straight trunk, reaching a length of 60 meters. It has high strength, heat resistance, but it is used in construction much less often than pine because of the large number of small knots, which complicate the processing of logs. The resin content of spruce is low, which leads to decay and the formation of fungus. This can also be avoided by treating the logs with special impregnations.
Cedar belongs to the pine family and has very similar characteristics. It grows on low-compacted and well-permeable soils in areas with high humidity (in the Mediterranean, Himalayas, Crimea). Cedarwood is highly regarded, and is used not only for building houses, but also for decorating baths and saunas. Cedar is used even in shipbuilding.
Fir – is a thermophilic evergreen tree, found most often on the Pacific coast and in Japan. It has low frost-resistant characteristics (except for Siberian fir growing on the territory of Russia: in Siberia and the Urals). It differs from other conifers mainly with flat needles. Fir prefers high humidity, both air and soil, does not accept permafrost. They use wood in shipbuilding, for the production of piles, masts, poles, logs. This sturdy, durable material is good for building in areas with high humidity. When shrinking, it almost does not lose in size. However, the tree does not have tar, and is therefore highly susceptible to decay. Widespread use as a decorative element in the manufacture of furniture.
Larch – is a coniferous tree that sheds its needles annually (hence the name). This is the most resistant and durable tree. The thickness of the trunk can reach two and a half meters, and the life cycle of up to 800 years. It occurs mainly in the northern regions (Siberia, the Far East). This is a photophilous plant, dying in the dark. It has excellent indicators of frost resistance: withstands temperatures up to – 70 °. Not demanding on the soil: grows in marshy areas; in soils close to permafrost; on the mountain peaks. Larch is rich in resin, which also has a special composition. Due to this, the tree has incredible resistance to environmental influences and thins the rich smell. However, possessing such excellent properties, it is rarely used in construction because of its high density, which leads to the fact that it is impossible to hammer a nail into a log. In addition, high density creates a large mass, and excessive resin content remains on the tools, contaminating them and spoiling the cutting surface. In addition, due to its high mass, it is impossible to transport a tree with an alloy after cutting, as it sinks in water. And this is often the only way to transport logs.
So, we examined the conifers used for construction. Which one to choose depends on the area of residence, funds and preferences of the customer.