Wood species

Softwood species

Each species of wood has its own textural and colour characteristics that distinguish it. But in a general classification, it falls into one of two types - hardwood or softwood. We have already written about hardwood species here. To be fair I also chose some softwood species. They are fast-growing species which makes the wood relatively cheap and has less environmental impact.

SOFTWOOD SPECIES / are easy to process and transport / chosen for their acoustic and thermal properties / produce strong timber / have various uses in construction, panels, cladding, beams, poles, furniture.


Pine has a uniform texture and is very easy to work with. It has a light white to light yellow colour and lots of knots. It finishes well and resists shrinkage, swelling and clogging. The most commonly used finish on this wood is oil or wax. It is used in house construction, hut, beams, doors, furniture, profiled patterns and is very common as furniture in homes in rural areas.

pine house
Exterior of a pine house
Pine walls and furniture
Pine-clad interior / source: theleishouses.blogspot.com

The fir tree is uniformly textured and has a low resistance to degradation being one of the softest species. It is easy to work and finishes well but has low resistance to insect attack. Fir is used for the production of furniture, doors, frames, windows, plywood, veneer, laminated products, interior ornaments, special creationsbut also in exterior works.

Concert pavilion /Bad Ischl, Austria /source: twoinabox.at

Spruce is a strong wood that finishes well and has low resistance to decay. It is soft, flexible and lightweight. It has a slight natural sheen and a creamy-white colour sometimes with slight yellow or red tints. Spruce is an important European species and is widely used in construction. It is an ideal choice for making crates, boxes, laminated products, ladders, poles, oars, ship masts and aircraft spars. In construction it is commonly used for non-structural items such as flooring and cladding, cheap furniture, joinery and general carpentry.


Spruce is also appreciated by violin makers for its acoustic properties, being one of the types of wood used by Antonio Stradivari to make violins.spruce_chirati

Cedar is a reddish wood with a sweet smell. It is very easy to work, has a uniform texture and is resistant to decay. Its knots can create some difficulties when processing. Cedar is usually used for cabinets, chests of drawers, cabinet veneers, platforms and blinds, but there are designers who use it in a more artistic way.

Even what some might consider flaws - existing knots or natural patches of colour - are now used as an aesthetic advantage. All these imperfections can add beauty and uniqueness to wooden products.

There are so many species of wood to talk about, we have presented here just a few of the most known and used. What is certain is that forests provide us with beautiful and durable material. The important thing is to use it intelligently and make new sustainable products.


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