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Characteristics of Wood Species

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WOOD SPECIES

Characteristics of Wood Species

Historically, wood has been classified as hardwood (from leaf-bearing trees) or softwood (from cone-bearing trees). However, this categorization is not as simple as it seems since some leaf-bearing trees contain softwood and vice-versa.

To make the process of distinguishing between species more simple, here is some specific information about some of our different wood types.

Oak

With more than 60 species in the United States, oak is the most commonly used hardwood.

Unique Characteristics: Heavy and strong, oak is also ring porous.

Maple

Although there are 115 species of maple grown around the world, only 5 exist in the U.S.

Unique Characteristics: Maple is extremely hard and contains a fine texture with an even grain.

Mahogany

There are several species of mahogany, and it is mostly grown in the Caribbean. Mahogany is one of the hardest and highest-quality woods around.

Unique Characteristics: Strong with poorly defined rings, mahogany also has a uniform pore structure.

Cherry

Sometimes referred to as “fruitwood,” this species is grown in the eastern part of the U.S.

Unique Characteristics: Moderately strong with a closed grain, cherry wood is practically immune to warping.

Walnut

Perhaps the most versatile wood around, a variety of walnut species are grown all over the world.

Unique Characteristics: Although strong and very durable, walnut is light in weight.

Teak

Although it’s grown mostly in Asia, some species of teak also grow in Africa.

Unique Characteristics: Teak is extremely hard and durable with a straight grain.

Pine

With more than 100 species, pine is grown in the Northern Hemisphere.

Unique Characteristics: Soft and light, pine is resistant to shrinking and swelling.

Ash

Ash is among the most popular of wood types, and 6 species of ash are grown in the U.S.

Unique Characteristics: Ash is hard and heavy with porous rings.

Hickory

Of the 16 species of hickory that exist, 8 are grown in the U.S.

Unique Characteristics: One of heaviest and hardest softwoods available, hickory is close grained.

Beech

Only one species of beech exists and it is grown in the eastern U.S.

Unique Characteristics: Strong and heavy, beech contains large pores.

Birch

Several species of birch are grown all over the world.

Unique Characteristics: Hard and heavy, birch is close grained.

Cedar

Many species of cedar exist in the Western Hemisphere.

Unique Characteristics: Soft and durable, cedar is very knotty.

If you are interested in ordering wood for a project of yours, feel free to call (909) 920-5430 or fill out our information request form to find out more information. Cherokee Wood Products looks forward to helping you with any and all of your wood-product needs.