Hemlock wood - the special fir

Hemlock firs, like our European fir, also belong to the pines family, but are a distinct species. Accordingly, the wood also has slightly different characteristics compared to native fir wood. Learn more about Hemlock wood in this post.

Technical values

Reading Descriptionvalue
Weight freshabout 650 kg / cm³
Weight dried470 kg / m³
Compressive strengthapprox. 55 N / mm²
flexural strengthapprox. 83 N / mm²

Subspecies, further names and DIN designation

The "real" Hemlock wood comes from only one species (Tsuga heterophylla), but usually the woods of similar species are mixed. The properties of these other species are largely identical, so that there is no loss of quality due to the admixture.

Further names and DIN designation

Hemlock fir wood is often referred to as Alaska Pine or Hembal. The term "Amabilis wood" is very little used. According to DIN EN 13556, the name for Hemlock wood is TSHT (after the botanical name of the originally used, "genuine" Hemlock species).



Like all softwoods, Hemlock does not have any pores. The wood rays are only very fine and hardly recognizable at Hemlock, the annual rings can be seen very clearly. Streaky structures are sometimes possible.


The sapwood and rime have a very similar color, ranging from yellowish gray to light gray. The heartwood darkens with time to a very bright yellowish brown. This process is accelerated by intense light. The appearance of the dried heartwood can then correspond to spruce wood.


Hemlock wood is a medium-heavy softwood and has similar properties as spruce wood, in contrast, it is completely resin-free. It is light, fine-grained, still relatively soft and consistently easy to work with.

Shrinkage and drying

The drying of Hemlock wood is unproblematic, the shrinkage is moderate.


Hemlock wood, like spruce wood, is neither weather-resistant nor resistant to fungal and insect infestation.


Due to its attractive appearance and its characteristics Hemlock wood can be used well in interior design. It is also used occasionally for furniture construction, as well as for cladding. It is popular in sauna construction because, unlike other softwoods, it does not give off resin even at higher temperatures (Hemlock wood is resin-free).


Hemlock wood comes mainly from the west coast of North America, Alaska and Canadian areas (British Columbia).


Hemlock is offered in different qualities in the timber trade and, depending on size and quantity, can be priced between around 850 EUR per m³ and 1,300 EUR per m³.

Here you will find all types of wood at a glance

Tips & Tricks

Hemlock wood may form dark discolorations on contact with ferrous metals and on contact with alkalis. This is especially true for damp wood, with dry wood there is less tendency to discoloration. You should always pay attention to this fact, even when cleaning and working on unprotected wooden surfaces.

Video Board: Wood Identification 101 episode 1, Spruce and Fir