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Diffuse Porous Hardwoods

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  1. Common name Sugar maple Soft maple Red Alder Basswood Yellow poplar American beech Sycamore Genus/species Acer saccharum Acer rubrum / saccharinum Alnus rubra Tilia americana Liriodendron tulipifera Fagus grandifolia Platanus occidentalis FW1035 Lab Lecture 3 Diffuse Porous Hardwoods Family Aceraceae (Sapindaceae) Aceraceae (Sapindaceae) Betulaceae Tiliaceae Magnoliaceae Fagaceae Platanaceae

  2. Sugar (Hard) Maple - Acer saccharum Aceraceae (Sapindaceae) • Black maple (Acer nigrum), a closely related species, is also sold as “hard maple”. The wood of the two species is indistinguishable. Prefers cool, moist climates Common throughout Northeastern US and Southwest Canada

  3. Sugar Maple - Acer saccharum Bird’s eye maple Mmmm…maple syrup

  4. Sugar Maple - Acer saccharum ID Characteristics: • Higher density (SG = 0.63) • Color: creamy white to light red-brown, lustrous with a dense latewood band of darker brown • Pores: small, diameter of largest about the same as width of widest rays • Longitudinal parenchyma: none obvious • Rays: easily visible on the cross section, two apparent widths (uniseriate and 7-8 seriate). Ray ends usually obvious. • Often confused with soft maple and birch Uses: furniture, flooring, pallets and packaging Figure: bird’s eye figured wood costs ~3 times more than non-figured

  5. Soft MapleAcer rubrum / saccharinum- Red Maple, Acer rubrum - Silver maple, Acer saccharinum Aceraceae (Sapindaceae) Red Maple Silver Maple

  6. Soft Maple - Acer rubrum / saccharinum Red Maple Silver Maple The leaves are different, but the woods are indistinguishable.

  7. Soft Maple • ID features: • Moderate density (SG=0.54) • Color: creamy white to reddish brown, commonly with grayish cast or streaks, dense latewood band not as apparent as in hard maple • Pores: small, with largest as wide as or slightly wider than the widest rays on the cross section • Longitudinal parenchyma: none obvious • Rays: variable in width (1-5 seriate). Ray ends are usually less obvious than with hard/sugar maple. • Often confused with hard maple and birch Uses: furniture, pulp and paper, pallets and packaging

  8. Red Alder - Alnus rubra (Betulaceae) Basis for local furniture and cabinetry industries on the West Coast. Favored by disturbance. Capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen. Lowland species. Common along the Pacific Northwest coast. Ranges from northern California to southeastern Alaska.

  9. Red Alder - Alnus rubra (Betulaceae) • Low to moderate density (SG=0.41) • Pink-brown to brown (usually with a reddish tinge). White when freshly cut. • Pores: very small, difficult to see (even with a hand lens) • Longitudinal parenchyma: none obvious • Rays: mostly uniseriate with occasional wide aggregate rays • Miscellaneous: growth rings are indistinct • Often confused with soft maple (for color only, look for the aggregate rays) • Uses: • furniture and cabinetry, plaques

  10. Basswood - Tilia americana (Tiliaceae) Grows in eastern and central hardwood woodlands.

  11. Basswood - Tilia americana (Tiliaceae) Preferred for wood carving and burning

  12. Basswood - Tilia americana (Tiliaceae) (Also called American basswood, linden, and lime-tree) • Low to moderate density (SG=0.37) • density is very even; cuts easily and easy to carve • Color: creamy white to light brown • Pores: small and indistinct • Longitudinal parenchyma: marginal is usually reasonably distinct, but not as obvious as in yellow poplar • Rays: distinct with hand lens - wide and evenly spaced (1-6 seriate) (low volume!). Noded. • Miscellaneous: faint “musty” odor • Often confused with Populus spp. • Uses: carvings, concealed furniture parts, pallets and packaging ~ 6% ray volume

  13. Tilia americana can grow to large sizes – 140 feet, 54 inch DBH.

  14. Yellow-poplar - Liriodendron tulipifera Magnoliaceae Grows throughout the eastern US. High commercial value as a substitute for softwoods.

  15. Yellow-poplar - Liriodendron tulipifera Magnoliaceae • Many common names: American tulipwood, canary wood, canoe wood, poplar, whitewood • Moderate density (SG=0.42) • Uses: • hidden furniture parts • musical instruments (Appalachian) • structural composite lumbers • export (furniture)

  16. Yellow poplar (continued) • Color: sapwood is creamy white; heartwood green, or yellow or tan with greenish cast • green fades to brown on exposure to light • Pores: small and indistinct • Longitudinal parenchyma: marginal; very obvious, even with naked eye • Rays: distinct on cross section (1-5 seriate) and noded • Miscellaneous : green color is very obvious - make a fresh cut! • Sapwood may be confused with Populus spp. (marginal parenchyma) or basswood (rays differentiate)

  17. American beech - Fagus grandifolia Fagaceae Can reach 300-400 years of age. Used for turning, steam bending, and a variety of household applications.

  18. American beech - Fagus grandifolia Fagaceae • High density (SG=0.64) • Color: light pink to reddish-brown • last formed latewood is a darker reddish-brown • Pores: small and indistinct • Longitudinal parenchyma: none obvious • Rays: 2 widths(1-5 seriate and 15-20 seriate) • noded (apparent with wide rays) • ray ends are large, dark colored and obvious • Most often confused with sycamore and hard maple

  19. American beech (continued) • Uses: Fagus sylvatica is a very important hardwood species in Europe. • commonly used in furniture • cabinetry • toys • lots of miscellaneous uses • Here: • flooring • kitchen utensils (e.g. wooden spoons) • toys (blocks) • furniture • cabinetry

  20. Sycamore - Platanus occidentalis Platanaceae Nice bark! Commonly planted as a shade tree.

  21. Sycamore - Platanus occidentalis Platanaceae • Moderate density (SG=0.49) • Color: light brown, often with reddish cast, denser band in late latewood (lighter brown to cream) • Pores: small and indistinct • Longitudinal parenchyma: none obvious • Rays: • wide, numerous, easily visible and obvious • up to 14-seriate • ray ends are large and closely spaced • Miscellaneous; ray fleck is often conspicuous • Most often confused with beech • Uses: concealed furniture parts, boxes and crates, drawer sides – under-appreciated furniture wood