Soft Wood


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Soft Wood - short version

Wood from coniferous and typical evergreen trees, such as cedar, fir, pine and spruce.



Soft Wood - long version

Softwood is used to describe wood from conifers. It may also be used to describe these trees, which tend to be evergreen, notable exceptions being bald cypress and the larches.

Softwood is the source of about 80% of the world's production of timber, with traditional centers of production being the Baltic region (including Scandinavia and Russia) and North America. The term softwood is used as opposed to hardwood, which is the wood from angiosperm trees. Softwoods are not necessarily softer than hardwoods. In both groups there is an enormous variation in actual wood hardness, with the range in density in hardwoods completely including that of softwoods; some hardwoods (e.g. balsa) are softer than most softwoods, while the hardest hardwoods are much harder than any softwood. This is not surprising as there are about a hundred times as many hardwoods as there are softwoods. The woods of longleaf pine, douglas fir, and yew are much harder in the mechanical sense than several hardwoods.

Applications

In general softwood is easy to work: it forms the bulk of wood used by humans.

Prime material for structural building components.
Furniture
Millwork
Raw material as pulp in the production of paper and board
Printmaking
The finer softwoods find many specialty uses.



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