Southern Yellow Pine Vs Douglas Fir (Which One To Go For)?

When it comes to timber, two of the most popular wood species are Southern yellow pine and Douglas fir. 

Both are excellent for various purposes.

But you might wonder, where do they stand when you compare the two. So which is better, Southern yellow pine vs Douglas fir

In the fact that they are both softwoods, Southern yellow pine and Douglas fir are somewhat different. In strength, durability, weather resistance, looks, and usage. Southern yellow pine is stronger physically. Whereas Douglas Fir is more versatile and easy to work with. Their unique and amazing properties are what make them popular amongst engineers, carpenters, and other woodworkers. 

If you’re planning to get either one for your furniture or construction work. It’s better to know what their differences are.

So to help you out, we noted all the core differences between them down below.

Let’s get started. 

Southern Yellow Pine & Douglas Fir: Basic Difference

southern yellow pine vs douglas fir

In order to choose between the two timber types, you need to know them well. Furthermore, a comparison of the two would be more beneficial. That’s why we’ve provided a basic difference between them. 

FeaturesSouthern Yellow PineDouglas Fir
StrengthStronger than Douglas FirNot as strong as Southern Yellow Pine
Tendency to splintNoYes
Suitable for making benchYesNo
UsageConstruction of big projectsHousing and framing

Let’s look into a more detailed comparison to know more about them.

Differences Between Southern Yellow Pine And Douglas Fir

If you’re someone with experience in woodworking, you probably have had a debate on southern yellow pine vs douglas fir. But it’s hard to recognize their differences when everyone is giving different opinions about them. 

So to make it easier for you, we noted down the core differences between the two- 

1. Strength And Durability 

Strength and durability are primary concerns when it comes to timber. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about it when it comes to southern yellow pine and douglas fir. They do, however, vary in several ways.

Southern Yellow Pine 

Southern yellow pine is one of the strongest species of softwood. It’s so strong that it’s often used as the building material for wooden roller coasters. 

When it comes to its strength, MOR is 12,800 psi when dry. It’s also very stiff with a MOE of 1.8 million psi. And the hardness is 690 pounds. 

This strength shows that this wood is perfect for structural components. So whether you are a professional or a DIY enthusiast, you’ll never go wrong with this species of wood. 

Douglas Fir 

Among softwoods, Douglas fir is very strong. However, it’s not as strong as the Southern yellow pine. 

It’s one of the few softwoods that maintain their size and shape as it ages. It dries perfectly straight. 

This ensures that the wood can be nailed up green and allowed to season in place.

Seasoning takes a short time as well. It’s particularly resistant to decay, making it a long-lasting wood.

2. Usage

Both the wood species are quite different. So is their usage. Their unique properties are what make them suitable for different purposes. 

Southern Yellow Pine

Because of its strength and incredible properties, southern yellow pine is a common option for building. This wood also dries down and glues quickly. 

Making the installation process much easier and more effective.

Many businesses use southern yellow pine to make trusses and other building framings. It is also a great option for both indoor and outdoor furniture. 

With its high density and amazing properties, you don’t need to worry about damages. Even if it’s kept in an outdoor environment. 

Douglas Fir

Since the Douglas fir is rigid and sturdy, it can be used for a variety of purposes. including masts, in wooden boatbuilding. The majority of douglas-fir available for purchase is for building and framing. 

It works okay enough for construction purposes. But using it for making benches or other utilities is a big no. 

3. Crack Resistance

To use any wood, we must make sure that it’s prone to splinters or cracks. If it’s easily susceptible to those, it might not be useful for any construction.

Southern Yellow Pine

In the case of building a bench or anything, similar southern yellow pine is a better option. You don’t want a bench with chunks cracking off of the end.

As southern Yellow Pine grows on acidic red clay soil. It’s also tolerable to most weather conditions. 

Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir is way too soft and splintery to make a good benchtop. As it tends to get splinters and cracks your bench wouldn’t probably last long. 

But you can minimize its splinters by using good quality wood protection. Here are two that you can try. 

You won’t be able to change the complete dynamic of this wood species. With a little help from these wood stains, you can definitely make them more long-lasting. 

Which Should You Choose: Southern Yellow Pine Or Douglas Fir?

In case you’re looking for a smooth finish on your construction, go for Yellow Pine. But for a textured look, Douglas Fir is the best.

However, Douglas Fir does tend to crack and isn’t rot-resistant like Yellow Pine.

In the end, you must pick the wood you require for your desired construction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is Douglas Fir rot resistant?

Answer: Douglas Fir is moderately rot-resistant. Therefore, it is vulnerable to insect attack

Question: Is Southern yellow pine rot resistant?

Answer: Yes, Southern yellow pine is rot resistant. But it is a good idea to have a protective layer for extra assurance.

Question: How long will a Douglas fir deck last?

Answer: A Douglas fir deck will last around 10 to 25 years. However, it will be subjected to a certain level of damage during this time span. 


We hope you found this article to be informative. We made every effort to provide you with all of the pertinent information that will be of assistance to you.

So that you understand the differences between southern yellow pine vs douglas fir.

But at the end of the day, it is completely up to you to pick which wood for yourself. 

Thank you for your patience and for sticking with us all the way to the end.

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