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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

its uses.

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

boundary line.

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.

Tree Studies

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 Horsechestnut
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)
The Magnolias