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Lumber Descriptions

Alder - Alnus glutinosa

Dull, light reddish-brown with darker lines or streaks formed by broad rays. Straight grained, with fine texture but without luster.



Ash - Fraxinus americana

Heartwood is grey-brown, sometimes tinged with red. Generally straight grained and coarse but even textured.


Aspen - Populus tremuloides

Heartwood is cream-grey to very pale biscuit, with a fine, even texture and straight grain which is inclined to be woolly.

Basswood - Tilia americana

Creamy-white to pale pinkish-brown, straight grained and fine, even texture due to uniform growth and lack of contrast between early and latewood zones.


Birch - Betula papyrifera

Wide sapwood, creamy white in color with a pale brown heartwood.  Straight grained, and texture fine and uniform.


Black Limba - Terminalia superba

The wood is pale yellow-brown to straw colored; the heartwood may have grey-black streaks.  It is a close, straight grained timber, sometimes with interlocked or wavy grain producing excellent figure, with a moderately coarse but even texture.


Bloodwood - Brosium paraense

The heartwood color varies from grey-red to deep rich red, with a golden luster and variegated yellow and red stripes.


Bocote - Cordia alliodora

The heartwood is dull golden brown color with variegated irregular markings and an attractive ray flecked figure on quartered surfaces.  It is straight grained, with a medium coarse texture.


Bubinga - Guibourtia tessmannii

The wood is medium red-brown with lighter red to purple veining.  The grain is straight or interlocked.  In some logs the grain is very irregular and these are converted by peeling into rotary cut veneers called kevasingo.

Butternut - Juglans cinera

The heartwood is medium dark brown in color but not as dark as black American walnut, which it otherwise resembles.  It is straight grained with a coarse but soft texture.

Cedar - Juniperus virginiana

The heartwood is a uniform reddish-brown color with an aromatic "cedar" scent. A thin dark line of latewood marks the boundary of each growth ring. The wood is soft, straight-grained, with a fine, even texture and grain.


Cerejeira - Amburana cearensis

A uniform yellow to medium-brown with an orange-pink tint.  Straight to irregular grain and a coarse texture.  It is faintly scented.

Chakte - Guilandina platyloba

The heartwood color is bright, vivid orange-red, maturing upon exposure to red-brown.  It has a variegated stripy to marble-like figure, sometimes accentuated by pin knots.  It is usually straight to interlocked grained with a fine, compact, smooth texture with a natural luster.


Cherry - Prunus serotina

Heartwood varies from rich red to reddish-brown, with a fine, straight, close grain with narrow brown pith flecks and small gum pockets, and with smooth texture.


Cocobolo - Dalbergia retusa

The heartwood color varies from rich red to an attractive variegated appearance of yellow, orange and red streaks and zones, which mature upon exposure to a mellow orange red.  The grain is irregular and variable, but has fine uniform texture.


Cypress - Cupressus lindeyi

The heartwood is orange to pinkish-brown.  It is straight grained with a fairly fine, even texture.  The growth rings are marked by an inconspicuous narrow band of latewood.  Although classed as "non-resinous", resin cells are present and may appear as brown streaks or flecks.


Ebony - Diospyros celebica

The heartwood is dark brown to black, streaked throughout with bands of grayish-brown, yellow-brown, or pale-brown.  The grain is mostly straight, but may sometimes be irregular or wavy.  The texture is fine and even.

Elm - Ulmus americana

The heartwood is medium reddish-brown in color.  The grain is usually straight but sometimes interlocked, the texture coarse rather than woolly.


Elm, Red- Ulmus hollandica

The heartwood color is a dull brown, with the annual rings distinct due to large earlywood pores, giving a coarse texture to the wood.  Tends to be of irregular growth and crossgrained.


English Yew - Taxus baccata

The heartwood color is golden orange-brown streaked with dark purple, mauve and brown in patches with veins, tiny knots and clusters of in-growing bark.  The grain is straight, but sometimes curly and irregular.


Granadillo - Platymiscium pinnatum

The heartwood color varies form rose-red to rich red-brown with darker variegated streaks and veins. The grain is irregular and interlocked, with a uniform, medium texture and lustrous surface.


Holly - Ilex opaca

The heartwood is cream-white, sometimes with a greenish-grey cast with little or no figure.  The grain tends to be irregular but with a fine even texture which is velvet smooth to the touch. 


Imbuya - Phoebe porosa

The heartwood is yellow-olive to chocolate brown, with variegated streaks and stripes.  The grain is usually straight but often wavy or curly, with fine and even growth rings visible to the naked eye.  Fine to medium texture.


Ipe - Tabebuia serratifolia

The heartwood is olive-brown with lighter or darker streaks.  The grain is straight to irregular with a low to medium luster.  The pores, appearing as fine yellow dots, or, on longitudinal surfaces as yellow lines, contain yellowish lapachol powder which turns deep red in alkaline solutions.  The material is fine textured and appears oily; fine ripple marks may be present.


Kingwood - Dalbergia cearensis

The heartwood has variegated colors with a background of rich violet-brown, dark violet and black, sometimes with golden yellow, presenting an unmistakable appearance.  Usually straight grained, uniformly fine textured and lustrous.


Koa - Acacia koa


Lacewood - Platanus hybrida

The heartwood is light reddish-brown with very conspicuous and numerous broad rays present on quartered material, which show against the light colored background as a decorative fleck figure. The wood is straight grained with a fine to medium texture. Some logs are much lighter in color, pale pinkish-brown, with a small, irregular, darker colored core.


Mansonia - Mansonia altissima

Grey-brown to light mauve, often purplish with lighter or darker bands.  Wide variation in color.  Straight grained and fine smooth texture.

Mahogany, Honduras - Swietenia macrophylla

The heartwood color varies from light to dark reddish-brown to deep, rich red.  The grain is straight to interlocked.  Flat sliced or sawn timber shows a prominent growth ring figure.  The texture is medium to coarse and uniform.  Dark colored gum or white deposits commonly occur in the pores, and sometimes ripple marks are seen.

Mahogany, Philippine - Shorea polysperma



Maple, Birds' Eye - Scientific Name



Maple, Curly - Scientific Name



Maple, Hard - Acer saccharum

Cream-white with a reddish tinge.  Large trees may have dark brown heart.  Usually straight grained but sometimes curly or wavy.  Fine brown lines give an attractive growth ring figure on plain sawn surfaces.  Texture is fine and even.


Maple, Soft - Acer macrophyllum

Creamy white and straight grained.  It is less lustrous than rock maple and the growth rings are comparatively indistinct.  The rays are narrower and less conspicuous but pith flecks more frequently present.


Oak, English Brown - Quercus petraea

The heartwood is light tan to biscuit colored, usually straight grained, but irregular or cross-grained material can occur depending on growth conditions.  Characteristic silver grain figure on quartered surfaces due to broad rays. 

Oak, Red - Quercus rubra

The heartwood resembles other oaks with a biscuit to pink color, but has a reddish tinge.  Mostly straight grained and coarse textured, with a less attractive figure than white oak due to smaller rays.  Southern red oak has a more rapid growth than northern red oak and is harder, heavier, and coarser textured.


Oak, Quarter Sawn Red - Scientific Name



Oak, White - Quercus alba

Varies in color from yellow-brown to biscuit with a pinkish tint, similar to European oak. Straight grain, with the characteristic silver grain on quartered material. Appalachian oak is slow grown producing light weight, mild wood, but southern states produce fast grown oak with wide growth rings, and a harder, tougher timber.  Medium to coarse textured.


Padouk - Pterocarpus soyauxii

The heartwood is a vivid blood red, toning down to dark purple-brown with red streaks upon exposure.  The grain is straight to interlocked with a moderately coarse texture.


Pecan - Carya illinoensis

The wide sapwood is preferred to the heartwood, and is sold as "white hickory", while the heartwood, which is reddish brown is sold as "red hickory" - a distinction by color which has no relation to strength.  Mostly straight grained, but sometimes wavy or irregular, with coarse texture.


Pine - Pinus ponderosa

The tree has a wide, pale yellow sapwood, with a much darker heartwood varying from deep yellow to reddish-brown in color.  The resin ducts appear as fine dark brown lines on longitudinal surfaces, and the heartwood is considerable heavier than the softwood which is soft, uniform in texture and non-resinous.

Poplar - Populus nigra

The heartwood is usually creamy-white to grey in color, sometimes very pale brown or pinkish-brown.  Straight grained and inclined to be woolly; texture fine and even.


Purpleheart - Peltogyne paniculata

The heartwood is a deep purple-violet when freshly cut, maturing to a dark brown; the original color is restored when re-cut.  Straight grained, but often irregular, wavy, and sometimes interlocked, producing a pleasing striped figure on quartered surfaces.  Texture moderate to fine.


Rosewood, Indian - Dalbergia latifolia

From rose to dark purple-brown with darker purple-black lines terminating the growth zones.  The grain is narrowly interlocked producing a ribbon grain figure; the texture uniform and moderately coarse, and the surface dull but with a fragrant scent.


Sapele - Entandrophragma cylindricum

The heartwood has a medium to dark reddish-brown color, characterized by a well-defined ribbon striped figure on quartered surfaces. Sometimes, when wavy grain is present, a very attractive fiddleback figure, roe figure or occasionally, beautiful mottled figure is obtained. The grain is interlocked or wavy and the texture is fine.  Has cedar-like scent when freshly cut.  The timber is liable to ring or cup shakes.


Shedua - Guibourtia Ehie

Mid-yellow to chocolate brown colored, with grayish black stripes. The grain is interlocked and the texture moderately coarse.


Teak - Tectona grandis

The true teak of Burma is a uniform golden-brown color without markings, but most other teak is rich brown with darker chocolate-brown markings. Indian teak is wavy grained and mottled, but generally straight to wavy grained, coarse textured, uneven, oily to the touch, and sometimes with a white glistening deposit.

Tigerwood - Lovoa trichilioides

The heartwood is bronze orange-brown, with gum lines causing black streaks or lines. The grain is interlocked, sometimes spiral, producing a striking ribbon striped figure on quartered surfaces. It has a moderately fine texture and is lustrous.


Tulipwood - Dalbergia frutescens

The heartwood is a beautiful pink-yellow with a pronounced striped figure in varying shades of salmon pink, and rose red to violet.  It has a fragrant scent. The grain is straight but more often irregular; the texture is moderately fine.


Walnut - Juglans nigra

The heartwood is a rich dark brown to purplish-black, mostly straight grained, but with wavy or curly grain occasionally present. The texture is rather coarse.


Wenge - Millettia laurentii

The clearly defined heartwood is dark brown, with very close, fine, almost black veins.  The closely spaced whitish bands of parenchyma give the wood a most attractive appearance.  It is fairly straight grained with a coarse texture.


Willow - Salix alba

Willow is light, resilient, flexible and difficult to fracture.  The heartwood is a white-pinkish color.  The white sapwood varies in width according to growth conditions.  Growth rings appear on longitudinal surfaces as faint zones.  It is typically straight grained, and with a fine, even texture.

Zebrawood - Microberlinia brazzavillensis

The heartwood is a light golden-yellow with narrow veining or streaks of dark brown to almost black, giving the quartered surfaces a zebra-stripe appearance.  The grain is interlocked or wavy and produces alternating hard and soft grained material which makes the timber difficult to work.  Zebrawood has a coarse texture and a lustrous surface.

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