I Woods Without Pores--conifers Or So-called "softwoods"
A. Woods with resin ducts.
1. Pines. Fig. 144. Resin ducts numerous, prominent, fairly evenly
distributed. Wood often pitchy. Resinous odor distinct. Clear
demarcation between heart and sapwood. There are two groups of
pines--soft and hard.
(a) Soft Pines. Wood light, soft, not strong, even-textured, very
easy to work. Change from early wood to late wood is gradual and the
difference in density is not great.
(b) Hard Pines. Wood variable but typically rather heavy, hard and
strong, uneven textured, fairly easy to work. Change from early wood
to late wood is abrupt and the difference in density and color is
very marked, consequently alternate layers of light and dark wood
show. The wood of nearly all pines is very extensively employed in
construction work and in general carpentry.
2. Douglas fir. Resin ducts less numerous and conspicuous than in the
pines, irregularly distributed, often in small groups. Odorless or
nearly so. Heartwood and sapwood distinct. The wood is of two kinds.
In one the growth rings are narrow and the wood is rather light and
soft, easy to work, reddish yellow in color; in the other the growth
rings are wide, the wood is rather hard to work, as there is great
contrast between the weak early wood and the very dense late wood of
the annual rings.
Douglas fir is a tree of great economic importance on the Pacific
Coast. The wood is much like hard pine both in its appearance and
3. Spruces. Resin ducts few, small, unevenly distributed; appearing
mostly as white dots. Wood not resinous; odorless. The wood is white
or very light colored with a silky luster and with little contrast
between heart and sapwood. It is a great deal like soft pine, though
lighter in color and with much fewer and smaller resin ducts. The
wood is used for construction, carpentry, oars, sounding boards for
musical instruments, and paper pulp.
4. Tamarack. Resin ducts the same as in the spruces. The color of the
heartwood is yellowish or russet brown; that of the distinct sapwood
much lighter. The wood is considerably like hard pine, but lacks the
resinous odor and the resin ducts are much fewer and smaller.
The wood is used largely for cross-ties, fence posts, telegraph and
telephone poles, and to a limited extent for lumber in general
B. Woods without resin ducts.
1. Hemlock. The wood has a disagreeable, rancid odor, is splintery, not
resinous, with decided contrast between early and late wood. Color
light brown with a slight tinge of red, the heart little if any
darker than the sapwood. Hemlock makes a rather poor lumber which is
used for general construction, also for cross-ties, and pulp.
2. Balsam fir. Usually odorless, not splintery, not resinous, with
little contrast between early and late wood. Color white or very
light brown with a pinkish hue to the late wood. Heartwood little if
any darker than the sapwood. Closely resembles spruce, from which it
can be distinguished by its absence of resin ducts.
The wood is used for paper pulp in mixture with spruce. Also for
general construction to some extent.
3. Cypress. Odorless except in dark-colored specimens which are somewhat
rancid. Smooth surface of sound wood looks and feels greasy or waxy.
Moderate contrast between early and late wood. Color varies from
straw color to dark brown, often with reddish and greenish tinge.
Heartwood more deeply colored than the sapwood but without distinct
Wood used in general construction, especially in places where
durability is required; also for shingles, cooperage, posts, and
4. Red Cedar. Has a distinct aromatic odor. Wood uniform-textured; late
wood usually very thin, inconspicuous. Color deep reddish brown or
purple, becoming dull upon exposure; numerous minute red dots often
visible under lens. Sapwood white. Red cedar can be distinguished
from all the other conifers mentioned by the deep color of the wood
and the very distinct aromatic odor.
Wood largely used for pencils; also for chests and cabinets, posts,
and poles. It is very durable in contact with the ground.
_Western red cedar_ is lighter, softer, less deeply colored and less
fragrant than the common Eastern cedar. It grows along the Pacific
Coast and is extensively used for shingles throughout the country.
5. Redwood. Wood odorless and tasteless, uniform-textured, light and
weak, rather coarse and harsh. Color light cherry. Close inspection
under lens of a small split surface will reveal many little resin
masses that appear as rows of black or amber beads which are
characteristic of this wood.
Redwood is confined to portions of the Pacific Coast. It is used for
house construction, interior finish, tanks and flumes, shingles,
posts, and boxes. It is very durable.
How To Identify Trees
Group I The Pines
The White Pine (pinus Strobus)
The Pitch Pine (pinus Rigida)
The Scotch Pine (pinus Sylvestris)
Group Ii The Spruce And Hemlock
The Norway Spruce (picea Excelsa)
Hemlock (tsuga Canadensis)
Group Iii The Red Cedar And Arbor-vitae
Red Cedar (juniperus Virginiana)
Arbor-vitae; Northern White Cedar (thuja Occidentalis)
Group Iv The Larch And Cypress
The European Larch (larix Europaea)
Bald Cypress (taxodium Distichum)
Group V The Horsechestnut, Ash And Maple
The White Ash (fraxinus Americana)
Sugar Maple (acer Saccharum)
Silver Maple (acer Saccharinum)
Red Maple (acer Rubrum)
Norway Maple (acer Platanoides)
Box Elder (acer Negundo)
Group Vi Trees Told By Their Form: Elm, Poplar, Gingko And Willow
American Elm (ulmus Americana)
Lombardy Or Italian Poplar (populus Nigra, Var Italica)
Gingko Or Maidenhair Tree (gingko Biloba)
Weeping Willow (salix Babylonica)
Group Vii Trees Told By Their Bark Or Trunk: Sycamore, Birch, Beech,
Blue Beech, Ironwood, And Hackberry
The Sycamore Or Plane Tree (platanus Occidentalis)
Gray Or White Birch (betula Populifolia)
American Beech (fagus Americana)
Blue Beech Or Hornbeam (carpinus Caroliniana)
Hackberry (celtis Occidentalis)
Group Viii The Oaks And Chestnut
White Oak (quercus Alba)
Black Oak (quercus Velutina)
Red Oak (quercus Rubra)
Pin Oak (quercus Palustris)
Chestnut (castanea Dentata)
Group Ix The Hickories, Walnut And Butternut
Shagbark Hickory (hicoria Ovata)
Mockernut Hickory (hicoria Alba)
Black Walnut (juglans Nigra)
Group X Tulip Tree, Sweet Gum, Linden, Magnolia, Locust, Catalpa,
Dogwood, Mulberry And Osage Orange
Tulip Tree (liriodendron Tulipifera)
Sweet Gum (liquidambar Styraciflua)
American Linden (tilia Americana)