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Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)

Sassafras is a domestic hardwood


Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) ranges through most of the eastern half of the United States, from southeastern Iowa and eastern Texas eastward.


Sassafras is easily confused with black ash, which it resembles in color, grain, and texture. Sapwood is light yellow, and heartwood varies from dull grayish brown to dark brown, sometimes with a reddish tinge. Freshly cut surfaces have the characteristic odor of sassafras. The wood is moderately heavy, moderately hard, moderately weak in bending and endwise compression, quite high in shock resistance, and resistant to decay.

Primary Uses

Sassafras was highly prized by the Indians for dugout canoes, and some sassafras lumber is still used for small boats. Locally, sassafras is used for fence posts and rails and for general millwork.