Categories
domestic-hardwood

Maple, Soft (Acer saccharinum, A. rubrum, A. negundo, A. macrophyllum)

Maple, Soft is a domestic hardwood

Location

Soft maple includes silver maple (Acer saccharinum), red maple (A. rubrum), boxelder (A. negundo), and bigleaf maple (A. macrophyllum). Silver maple is also known as white, river, water, and swamp maple; red maple as soft, water, scarlet, white, and swamp maple; boxelder as ash-leaved, three-leaved, and cut-leaved maple; and bigleaf maple as Oregon maple. Soft maple is found in the eastern United States except for bigleaf maple, which comes from the Pacific Coast.

Characteristics

Heartwood and sapwood are similar in appearance to hard maple: heartwood of soft maple is somewhat lighter in color and the sapwood, somewhat wider. The wood of soft maple, primarily silver and red maple, resembles that of hard maple but is not as heavy, hard, and strong.

Primary Uses

Soft maple is used for railroad crossties, boxes, pallets, crates, furniture, veneer, wooden ware, and novelties.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-hardwood

Maple, Hard (Acer saccharum, A. nigrum)

Maple, Hard is a domestic hardwood

Location

Hard maple includes sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and black maple (A. nigrum). Sugar maple is also known as hard and rock maple, and black maple as black sugar maple. Maple lumber is manufactured principally in the Middle Atlantic and Great Lake States, which together account for about two-thirds of production.

Characteristics

The heartwood is usually light reddish brown but sometimes considerably darker. The sapwood is commonly white with a slight reddish-brown tinge. It is roughly 7 to 13 cm or more (3 to 5 in. or more) wide. Hard maple has a fine, uniform texture. It is heavy, strong, stiff, hard, and resistant to shock and has high shrinkage. The grain of sugar maple is generally straight, but birdseye, curly, or fiddleback grain is often selected for furniture or novelty items.

Primary Uses

Hard maple is used principally for lumber and veneer. A large proportion is manufactured into flooring, furniture, cabinets, cutting boards and blocks, pianos, billiard cues, handles, novelties, bowling alleys, dance and gymnasium floors, spools, and bobbins.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-hardwood

Magnolia (Magnolia)

Magnolia is a domestic hardwood

Location

Commercial magnolia consists of three species: southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), sweetbay (M. virginiana), and cucumbertree (M. acuminata). Other names for southern magnolia are evergreen magnolia, big laurel, bull bay, and laurel bay. Sweetbay is sometimes called swamp magnolia. The lumber produced by all three species is simply called magnolia. The natural range of sweetbay extends along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts from Long Island to Texas, and that of southern magnolia extends from North Carolina to Texas. Cucumbertree grows from the Appalachians to the Ozarks northward to Ohio. Louisiana leads in the production of magnolia lumber.

Characteristics

Sapwood of southern magnolia is yellowish white, and heartwood is light to dark brown with a tinge of yellow or green. The wood, which has close, uniform texture and is generally straight grained, closely resembles yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). It is moderately heavy, moderately low in shrinkage, moderately low in bending and compressive strength, moderately hard and stiff, and moderately high in shock resistance. Sweetbay is much like southern magnolia. The wood of cucumbertree is similar to that of yellowpoplar (L. tulipifera); cucumbertree that grows in the yellowpoplar range is not separated from that species on the market.

Primary Uses

Magnolia lumber is used principally in the manufacture of furniture, boxes, pallets, venetian blinds, sashes, doors, veneer, and millwork.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-hardwood

Locust, Black (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Locust, Black is a domestic hardwood

Location

Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is sometimes called yellow or post locust. This species grows from Pennsylvania along the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia and Alabama. It is also native to western Arkansas and southern Missouri. The greatest production of black locust timber is in Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia. Locust has narrow, creamy white sapwood. The heartwood, when freshly cut, varies from greenish yellow to dark brown.

Characteristics

Black locust is very heavy, very hard, very resistant to shock, and very strong and stiff. It has moderately low shrinkage. The heartwood has high decay resistance.

Primary Uses

Black locust is used for round, hewed, or split mine timbers as well as fence posts, poles, railroad crossties, stakes, and fuel. Other uses are for rough construction, crating, and mine equipment. Historically, black locust was important for the manufacture of insulator pins and wooden pegs used in the construction of ships, for which the wood was well adapted because of its strength, decay resistance, and moderate shrinkage and swelling.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-hardwood

Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

Honeylocust is a domestic hardwood

Location

The wood of honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos) has many desirable qualities, such as attractive figure and color, hardness, and strength, but it is little used because of its scarcity. Although the natural range of honeylocust has been extended by planting, this species is found most commonly in the eastern United States, except for New England and the South Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains.

Characteristics

Sapwood is generally wide and yellowish, in contrast to the light red to reddish-brown heartwood. The wood is very heavy, very hard, strong in bending, stiff, resistant to shock, and durable when in contact with the ground.

Primary Uses

When available, honeylocust is primarily used locally for fence posts and general construction. It is occasionally used with other species in lumber for pallets and crating.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-hardwood

Hickory, True Group (Carya ovata, C. glabra, C. laciniosa, C. tomentosa)

Hickory, True Group is a domestic hardwood

Location

True hickories are found throughout the eastern half of the United States. The species most important commercially are shagbark (Carya ovata), pignut (C. glabra), shellbark (C. laciniosa), and mockernut (C. tomentosa). The greatest commercial production of the true hickories for all uses is in the Middle Atlantic and Central States, with the Southern and South Atlantic States rapidly expanding to handle nearly half of all hickory lumber.

Characteristics

The sapwood of the true hickory group is white and usually quite wide, except in old, slow-growing trees. The heartwood is reddish. The wood is exceptionally tough, heavy, hard, and strong, and shrinks considerably in drying. For some purposes, both rings per centimeter (or inch) and weight are limiting factors where strength is important.

Primary Uses

The major use for high quality hickory is for tool handles, which require high shock resistance. It is also used for ladder rungs, athletic goods, agricultural implements, dowels, gymnasium apparatuses, poles, and furniture. Lower grade hickory is not suitable for the special uses of high quality hickory because of knottiness or other growth features and low density. However, the lower grade is useful for pallets and similar items. Hickory sawdust, chips, and some solid wood are used to flavor meat by smoking.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-hardwood

Hickory, Pecan Group (Carya cordiformis, C. illinoensis, C. aquatica, C. myristiciformis)

Hickory, Pecan Group is a domestic hardwood

Location

Species of the pecan hickory group include bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis), pecan (C. illinoensis), water hickory (C. aquatica), and nutmeg hickory (C. myristiciformis). Bitternut hickory grows throughout the eastern half of the United States; pecan hickory, from central Texas and Louisiana to Missouri and Indiana; water hickory, from Texas to South Carolina; and nutmeg hickory, in Texas and Louisiana.

Characteristics

The sapwood of this group is white or nearly white and relatively wide. The heartwood is somewhat darker. The wood is heavy and sometimes has very high shrinkage

Primary Uses

Heavy pecan hickory is used for tool and implement handles and flooring. The lower grades are used for pallets. Many higher grade logs are sliced to provide veneer for furniture and decorative paneling.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-hardwood

Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

Hackberry is a domestic hardwood

Location

Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) and sugarberry (C. laevigata) supply the lumber known in the trade as hackberry. Hackberry grows east of the Great Plains from Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, and Oklahoma northward, except along the Canadian boundary. Sugarberry overlaps the southern part of the hackberry range and grows throughout the Southern and South Atlantic States.

Characteristics

Sapwood of both species varies from pale yellow to greenish or grayish yellow. The heartwood is commonly darker. The wood resembles elm in structure. Hackberry lumber is moderately heavy. It is moderately strong in bending, moderately weak in compression parallel to grain, moderately hard to very hard, and high in shock resistance, but low in stiffness. Hackberry has high shrinkage but keeps its shape well during drying.

Primary Uses

Most hackberry is cut into lumber; small amounts are used for furniture parts, dimension stock, and veneer.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-hardwood

Elm (Ulmus americana, U. rubra, U. thomasii, U. alata, U. crassifolia, U. serotina)

Elm is a domestic hardwood

Location

Six species of elm grow in the eastern United States: American (Ulmus americana), slippery (U. rubra), rock (U. thomasii), winged (U. alata), cedar (U. crassifolia), and September (U. serotina) elm. American elm is also known as white, water, and gray elm; slippery elm as red elm; rock elm as cork and hickory elm; winged elm as wahoo; cedar elm as red and basket elm; and September elm as red elm. American elm is threatened by two diseases, Dutch Elm disease and phloem necrosis, which have killed hundreds of thousands of trees.

Characteristics

Sapwood of elm is nearly white and heartwood light brown, often tinged with red. Elm may be divided into two general classes, soft and hard, based on the weight and strength of the wood. Soft elm includes American and slippery elm. It is moderately heavy, has high shock resistance, and is moderately hard and stiff. Hard elm includes rock, winged, cedar, and September elm. These species are somewhat heavier than soft elm. Elm has excellent bending qualities.

Primary Uses

Historically, elm lumber was used for boxes, baskets, crates, and slack cooperage; furniture; agricultural supplies and implements; caskets and burial boxes; and wood components in vehicles. Today, elm lumber and veneer are used mostly for furniture and decorative panels. Hard elm is preferred for uses that require strength.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
domestic-hardwood

Cottonwood ( Populus)

Cottonwood is a domestic hardwood

Location

Cottonwood includes several species of the genus Populus. Most important are eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides and varieties), also known as Carolina poplar and whitewood; swamp cottonwood (P. heterophylla), also known as cottonwood, river cottonwood, and swamp poplar; black cottonwood (P. trichocarpa); and balsam poplar (P. balsamifera). Eastern and swamp cottonwood grow throughout the eastern half of the United States. Greatest production of lumber is in the Southern and Central States. Black cottonwood grows on the West Coast and in western Montana, northern Idaho, and western Nevada. Balsam poplar grows from Alaska across Canada and in the northern Great Lakes States.

Characteristics

The heartwood of cottonwood is grayish white to light brown. The sapwood is whitish and merges gradually with the heartwood. The wood is comparatively uniform in texture and generally straight grained. It is odorless when well dried. Eastern cottonwood is moderately low in bending and compressive strength, moderately stiff, moderately soft, and moderately low in ability to resist shock. Most strength properties of black cottonwood are slightly lower than those of eastern cottonwood. Both eastern and black cottonwood have moderately high shrinkage. Some cottonwood is difficult to work with tools because of its fuzzy surface, which is mainly the result of tension wood.

Primary Uses

Cottonwood is used principally for lumber, veneer, pulpwood, excelsior, and fuel. Lumber and veneer are used primarily for boxes, crates, baskets, and pallets.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.