Hardwood vs Softwood

Woods: Hard or Soft?


From their names, you can already tell that these two terminologies cannot be interchanged in any circumstance. Hardwood is a wood material derived from angiosperm trees that have broad-leaves or trees not belonging to monocots. This wood material has pores that act like a vessel in transporting water. Hardwood is typically used in high-quality furniture, decks, flooring, and other materials required for a long-term use. Hardwood has a higher density than softwood making them more fire resistant and more expensive. They shed their leaves during autumn and winter and are harder to grow. Examples of hardwood trees are beech, oak, balsa, maple, mahogany, alder, hickory, walnut, and teak.

Softwood on the other hand came from the family of gymnosperms that possess needles and cones. Water is transported by medullary rays and tracheids, and these structures also produce sap. Unlike hardwood, softwood does not contain pores. Softwood is used for timber most of the time and is also used in windows, doors, furniture, medium-density fiberboard, paper, Christmas trees and the like. Softwood is fast to grow and they can keep their needles in a year. However, have less density making it more prone to fire. Common softwood trees are juniper, pine, redwood, cedar, Douglas fir, spruce, and yew.


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