21 Most Common Types of Hardwood Trees

Types of Hardwood Trees

I hope you are well! Before going to discuss our main topic – “Types of Hardwood Trees”, let’s know some important things regarding hardwood trees. We are surrounded by trees. They enhance the appearance of buildings and offer relief from the summer heat. They may also add color to almost any garden or residential landscaping. Instead of their traditional industrial usage, hardwood trees are becoming more and more popular in landscape design.

Types of Hardwood Trees

It can be challenging to plant a hardwood tree, especially if you don’t know what you’re searching for! Hardwood trees come in a wide variety of varieties, and not all of them grow well in all regions. Even though many hardwood trees have various industrial use, they can also be a significant element of your home’s landscape, some hardwood trees will bloom, for example.

Many of the tree species found in this nation share the characteristics of hardwood trees. They yield fruit or nut, and throughout the winter, they frequently fall dormant. Simple or compound leaves can be found on hardwoods. In this article, we are going to delve deeper into the realm of Hardwood tree types to know about their growth pattern, identification, and uses. Here, we will look at 21 types of hardwood trees. They are,

  1. Ash hardwood tree,
  2. Birch hardwood tree,
  3. Oak hardwood tree,
  4. Maple hardwood tree,
  5. Cottonwood hardwood tree,
  6. Beech hardwood tree,
  7. Hickory hardwood tree,
  8. Basswood hardwood tree,
  9. Black cherry hardwood tree,
  10. Alder hardwood tree,
  11. Black Walnut hardwood tree,
  12. Balsa hardwood tree,
  13. Magnolia hardwood tree,
  14. American Elm hardwood tree,
  15. White Willow hardwood tree,
  16. Poplar hardwood tree,
  17. Black Locust hardwood tree,
  18. Aspen hardwood tree,
  19. Redwood hardwood tree,
  20. Hackberry hardwood tree, and
  21. Sycamore hardwood tree.

These types are further discussed below,

1. Ash hardwood tree

🌳 Scientific Name: Fraxinus.

The ash tree is a kind of woody plant that belongs to the olive family. The different varieties of ash are sometimes referred to by their color, such as black ash, green ash, white ash, blue ash, etc. There are between 45 and 65 different species of ash trees worldwide. The height of an ash tree can range from 30 to 120 feet, depending on the species. There are specific types of this tree native to certain regions, such as the California Ash tree.

The kind of swamp ash is used for electric guitar bodies due to its figure and renowned bright, cutting-edge, elastic, and enduring qualities. Ash is a sturdy wood with an attractive appearance and flexibility that is perfect for staircases. Ash stairs are quite durable, which is vital for treads especially. It is used to start fires and grills since it burns quickly and easily. Although it generates mild heat, it may be utilized to keep a fire going.

White ash which comes from eastern North America and European ash which comes from Europe are the two species that are economically most significant for the production of wood. In the United States, green ash trees are frequently planted as street trees.

2. Birch hardwood tree

🌳 Scientific Name: Betulaceae.

Birch hardwood tree

Birch is a deciduous hardwood tree of the genus Betula with thin leaves. Birch trees can be identified by their tall, thin, white trunks with black patterns running vertically along them. The majority of birch species can be found in northern temperate and boreal climates and are typically small to medium-sized trees or shrubs.

Despite having shallow root systems, birch trees can reach heights of 30 to 60 feet. A birch can survive up to 100 years on average. Masur Birchwood, which is used to make veneer and furniture, is fine-grained, light in color, and has a lovely satin-like gloss. Birch hardwood is mostly used for making plywood globally. Birch extracts are utilized in cosmetic products like shampoo and also offer a variety of benefits for the human skin or body as they contain medicinal properties.

This type of hardwood can be used for door and window paneling, as well as for interior decoration, ward drops, shelves, toys, etc. It does not have rot-resistance properties, hence, it would not be a good choice for outdoor work. And it is also recommended to use such wood after giving it a protective coating.

3. Oak hardwood tree

🌳 Scientific Name: Quercus.

Oak hardwood tree

An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus, belonging to the beech family of the Fagaceae. It is a highly durable hardwood tree having a lifespan of more than 200 years and it can reach a height of 148 feet. These magnificent trees come with more than 500 species total worldwide. Over the course of its existence, every single oak tree will yield about 10 million acorns.

The density of oak wood is approximately 0.75 grams per cubic centimeter. Due to its high tannin content, this hardwood is particularly resistant to insect and fungus assault. Professional drums made of Japanese oak are best. Oak bark is also used by tanners to tan leather due to its high tannin content.

Oak hardwood is used to make timber, outdoor shades, flooring, paneling, indoor & outdoor furniture, and decoration work. These types of hardwoods are mostly found in countries like -North America, China, England, France, Germany, Poland, Croatia, and some other regions of Europe, and in the northern part of Asia and Africa.

4. Maple hardwood tree

🌳 Scientific Name: Acer.

Maple hardwood tree

Acer is a genus of trees and shrubs that belongs to the Sapindaceae family and is frequently referred to as maple. There are around 128 distinct species in the family. Maple hardwood trees typically have prominent winged fruits and they are easily recognized by their palmate leaves. The most durable species of maple trees is sugar maples and is also known as hard maple. The sap of sugar maple trees is used to make maple syrup.

Due to their vibrant fall color, relatively quick growth, and lack of hard seeds, lawn management becomes easier. The most attractive maple trees such as Norway maples, silver maples, Japanese maples, and red maples are often planted.

Maple trees are crucial because they are the source of getting lumber and syrup. Numerous musical instruments are made from maple, which is regarded as a tonewood, or a wood that effectively transmits sound waves. Maple is used for making the backs, sides, and necks of most violins, violas, cellos, and double basses in addition to electric guitar necks. The maple hardwood trees are also common for making flooring, furniture, and other interior decorative items.

5. Cottonwood hardwood tree

The cottonwood trees are divided into three species:

a) Eastern cottonwood hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific Name: Populus Deltoids.

One of the largest North American hardwood trees, Eastern cottonwood is a massive tree that may reach heights of 20 to 30 meters and has a trunk diameter of up to 2.8 meters. Eastern cottonwood is soft and typical of the Populus family, weighing just 0.45 g/cm3. It is used for things like plywood and the insides of furniture.

b) Fremont cottonwood hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific Name: Populus Fremontii.

The Fremont cottonwood is a sizable tree that can reach heights of 10 to 35 meters and often the trunk reaches a diameter of 1.5 meters. The species is native to the Southwestern United States and Mexico. They are mostly found in California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Baja California, Coahuila, Baja California Sur, and Nuevo LeΓ³n.

These trees have a broad crown and long, heart-shaped leaves with an elongated tip, white veins, rough crenate teeth along the sides, and leaves that are frequently stained with milky resin. Native Americans used several components of the Fremont cottonwood for medicinal purposes; nowadays, they are also grown for their ornamental value and for their ability to restore riparian zones.

c) Black poplar hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific Name: Populus Nigra.

Black poplars are also medium- to large-sized deciduous trees. Generally, these trees grow to a height of nearly 30 meters. Their leaves are green on both surfaces, diamond- to triangular in shape, and 5-8 cm in length. They live for about 25 to 50 years.

6. Beech hardwood tree

🌳 Scientific Name: Fagus.

Beech hardwood tree

Beech is a genus of deciduous trees in the family Fagaceae, and according to current classifications, there are 10 to 13 species within the Engleriana and Fagus subgenera. As a monoecious plant, beeches produce both male and female flowers on the same plant. Beech hardwood trees can grow as high as 110 feet. They can live up to about 300 to 400 years.

American beech and European beech are the most popular beech species worldwide. Beech trees are common in parks, communities, and campuses because they are attractive to look at and offer a lot of shade for people and structures. Beech hardwood trees are commonly popular for timber production, and for use as ornamental trees.

Their bark is thin and smooth in nature. Indo-European people used the bark of beech trees for writing-related reasons in antiquity, particularly in religious contexts. Beech trees are also used to produce sports equipment, toys, and several types of hand tools.

7. Hickory hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific Name: Carya.

Hickory is the common name used for all of the trees in the genus Carya. There are nearly 18 species present in this genus. While some species are native to the US, others can be found in Indochina, Mexico, China, and India.

With pinnate complex leaves and big nuts, hickories are temperate hardwood trees. Flowers of Hickory trees are small and they produce yellow-green catkins in springtime. Hickory trees are self-incompatible and they pollinate by air.

Hickory wood is firm, rigid, dense, and shock-resistant. Drumsticks, lacrosse stick handles, wheel spokes, carts, tool handles, pickaxe handles, and golf club shafts are just a few examples of their uses. They are also used to make floors and furniture. Due to its density and high energy content, hickory is also highly valued as a fuel for fireplaces and stoves that burn wood. In older times, Kanuchi soup was made by Cherokee Indians using certain species of nuts from hickory trees.

8. Basswood hardwood tree

🌳 Scientific Name: Tilia Americana.

In the Malvaceae tree family, basswood is a species of tree that is indigenous to eastern North America. It is also found in several other regions of North America. The height of these trees can range from 24 to 43 meters, depending on the climate they live in. These trees can live 150 to 200 years or even more.

The American basswood tree is easily identified by its large canopy, dense leaves, and yellow-white blooms.
This deciduous tree has a density of 0.32 g/cc, and is one of the US’s fastest-growing hardwood trees, making it a very popular choice for lumber. The wood is thought to have no smell.

Despite being a hardwood tree, its wood is sufficiently soft to resist splitting. This wood is frequently used by artisans to build furniture and cabinets.

9. Black cherry hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific Name: Prunus Serotina

Black cherry is another type of deciduous tree or shrub and belongs to the genus Prunus. Sometimes they are also known as mountain black cherry.

A fast-growing, medium-sized forest tree, the black cherry can reach heights of 15 to 24 meters. The flowers are tiny, white, and 5-petaled, and they are arranged in racemes that are 10-15 cm long and contain a large number of flowers. The leaves are ovate-lanceolate in shape and have finely toothed margins.

Black cherry bark has therapeutic qualities. The bark is stripped by experts for use in tonics, sedatives, and cough remedies. However, black cherry trees generally look fantastic in front of yards and gardens.

10. Alder hardwood tree

🌳 Scientific Name: Alnus.

Alders are trees that belong to the genus Alnus. It is a tree that grows incredibly quickly and has firm, light-colored wood and thin bark. They are among the hardwood trees with the softest wood. Alders are mostly deciduous trees with alternating, simple, and serrated leaves.

Some alder species’ catkins are edible to some extent and are a good source of protein. Although they are known for their nasty and bitter taste, they can come in handy if there’s a question of survival. Salicin, an anti-inflammatory found in alder bark, is converted into salicylic acid and has many medicinal uses. Alder is a hardwood that is commonly used in the production of furniture, cabinets, and other woodworking goods.

11. Black walnut hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific name: Juglans nigra.

The eastern American black walnut, or Juglans nigra, is a species of deciduous tree that is native to North America and belongs to the Juglandaceae family of walnuts. It primarily grows in riparian areas.

These trees are 30 to 40 meters tall (100–130 ft). It grows a tall and straight trunk and, on the stem, the complex leaves are placed alternately, and its leaves contain medicinal properties. Nuts from black walnuts are edible. These nuts are grown and harvested specifically in the USA.

Missouri, a state in the United States, accounts for about 65% of the yearly wild harvest of black walnuts. Black walnut is also prized for having heartwood with a pure straight grain. Such types of trees are mostly grown for providing lumber and food. It is easy to work with, heavy, sturdy, and shockproof, thus making it a good fit for woodwork.

12. Balsa hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific name: Ochroma pyramidale.

The genus Ochroma consists of only one tree, the Balsa. It is a big, quick-growing native American tree. The tree’s name, balsa, is derived from the Spanish word for “raft.” It is a pioneer plant that grows incredibly quickly, reaching heights of up to 27 meters in just 10 to 15 years. But its lifespan is short around 35 years.

Balsa timber has a density of about 160 kg/m3 and is extremely soft and light in weight. It also has a coarse, open grain. Due to its lightweight, balsa wood is easy to handle and effective in blocking out sound and heat. Although, it is light and soft, but truly strong, which makes it one of the best hardwood trees for woodworking.

13. Magnolia hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific name: Magnolia

The magnolia trees are also a kind of deciduous trees or shrubs. They are distinguished by their big, fragrant blossoms that commonly have a bowl or star form and come in hues of white, pink, purple, or yellow. The magnolia tree is a popular attractive addition to yards, parks, gardens, and other public places because of its eye-catching blossoms.

In the subfamily Magnolioideae of the family Magnoliaceae, the huge genus Magnolia contains between 210 and 340 species of flowering plants. Magnolia hardwood trees can survive for 100 years or more and are extremely disease and pest-resistant. As it is a hardwood tree, its lumber is used to make furniture, door & window panels, etc.

14. American Elm hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific Name: Ulmus Americana.

American Elm hardwood trees are extremely hard in nature and can survive temperatures as low as βˆ’42 Β°C. They are most commonly found in eastern North America. Elms can live up to 200 years and typically reach heights between 60 to 130 feet. Elmwood is prized for its interlocking grain, which results in resistance to splitting. Coffins, chair seats, and wagon wheel hubs are all commonly made from elm wood.

Because of their fast growth, twiggy lateral branches, light shade, and root-sucking characteristics, elms are also planted in vineyards to be used as protective shade trees and sustain the plants there. In addition to being one of the most popular choices for fodder, American Elm serves a variety of medicinal and decorative applications.

15. White Willow hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific Name: Salix Alba.

White willow is a kind of willow that is indigenous to Europe, western and central Asia. The name is derived from the white color of the leaf undersides. It is a medium to large-sized deciduous tree that generally reaches a height of 10 to 30 meters(30 to 100 feet) and has a trunk diameter of up to one meter. The bark of this tree is grey-brown and becomes severely fissured with age. Although these trees grow rapidly, they do not live more than 20 to 30 years.

The best soils for them are those that are wet. Hence, these types of hardwoods grow mostly near or beside lakes and rivers. The white willow used to produce cricket bats is cultivated in Britain. Willow has been used for many years by herbalists to treat a variety of diseases, although their claims that it possesses analgesic properties are not entirely accurate.

16. Poplar hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific Name: Populus.

Poplar is another hardwood tree that belongs to the family of Salicaceae. Poplars are deciduous trees under the genus Populus. It is not considered a good quality hardwood tree as it is flexible and soft in nature.

The tint of their bark helps identify these massive deciduous trees. A poplar tree can have white, grey, or white grey, and it also bears oval or heart-shaped leaves. The starchy sap layer (underneath the outer bark) of poplar is edible to humans, in both raw and cooked form. In addition, poplar wood is frequently used to make paper, chopsticks, wooden shoes, and the core of snowboards.

17. Black locust hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific Name: Robinia Pseudoacacia.

The black locust is a medium-sized deciduous hardwood tree. These trees are a member of the Fabaceae family. Black locusts are found mostly in North America and some parts of Europe. They generally grow well in dry soil with adequate sunlight. Black locust typically grows to a height of 12 to 30 meters and has a diameter of 0.61 to 1.22 meters. It is a fast-growing tree with an average lifespan of 85 years.

The leaves, bark, seeds, and some other parts of these trees are poisonous. Economically these trees are mostly used to produce lumber. The wood of these trees is highly valued for furniture, flooring, paneling, fence posts, and small boats because it is incredibly hard, rot-resistant, and sturdy.

18. Aspen hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific Name: Populus Tremula.

The aspen is another medium-sized deciduous tree. These majestic hardwood trees can reach heights of up to 25 meters, but typically, the height is 15 meters. Its trunk can grow to be over 1 foot in diameter and have smooth, pale bark that has recognizable black marks.

As they are deciduous trees, they drop their leaves in winter. The leaves of this plant are round-shape with blunt-toothed edges. These trees usually grow in cool regions, mostly found in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Timber from Aspen trees is prized in the pulp and paper sector. These trees are used to make furniture, boards, etc. This wood is also used as a source of fuel. This species also serves as a safe haven for several insects and fungi.

19. Redwood hardwood trees

🌳 Scientific name: Sequoioideae

Redwood is a subfamily of coniferous trees within the Cupressaceae family. In this family, the world’s biggest and tallest trees can be found. Redwood trees have a lifespan of nearly 3000 years. The average height of a redwood tree is about 200 to 300 feet.

They are generally used to make veneer, building lumber, beams, posts, decking, and outdoor furniture. Turning, musical instruments and other small specialist goods all use burls and other figured Redwood variations. This tree is also considered the most environmentally friendly building material. Lumber from redwood trees helps in the process of lowering emissions of dangerous gases in the atmosphere.

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