Here at Dwell, we love natural materials—and wood is no exception. Oak is another common type of wood in North America. Box 427 High Point, NC 27261 Tel. Red oak has a color range from light brown to pinkish red with swirls reminiscent of spilled liquid. Japanese maple tree also have delicate toothed long lobes on leaves on horizontal branches. The shape of the young tree, and its branch formation also suggest this ssp type. Read on if you want to sound like a pro at identifying some of the most common species of wood. Consider drink coasters, as this will help keep surfaces clean and dry. Maple is slightly harder than oak is (1450 on Janka hardness scale vs. Red Oak at 1290) and it is lighter in color than oak. In terms of appearance, Douglas fir usually has a light-brown color with a touch of red or yellow in-between darker growth rings, although the appearance can range widely depending on age and location of growth. Cherry can often be identified because of its reddish-brown tone, which starts out as a lighter, pinkish-yellow hue that darkens after being exposed to sunlight. There are few knots in red and white oak, but a distinctive feature that makes it easy to identify the species is visible in a certain cut of the wood, called quartersawn, where it displays strong flecks of rays (cells that run perpendicular to growth rings). The cut reduces the yield amount of a particular tree, but it produces top-grade lumber that is crack, check and warp resistant. Species of birch are found in northern temperate climates like North America, Europe, and Asia, and will typically have a less dense and looser grain than maple. These leaf blades are made up of … The terms are also used to indicate wood obtained from their respective trees. The most common type of cherry wood found in North America is black cherry. As soon as something spills on it, wipe it up immediately. In fact, there are over a dozen different species of cedar that belong to several different families of trees, some of which closely resemble cypress or juniper trees. Poplar grows throughout the northern hemisphere and is relatively inexpensive because of its prevalence. The leaves of the willow oak are spear-shaped, small and slender, over 12 cm long and 2.5 cm broad. Oaks show this same pattern in open-grown vs. forest trees and have similar branches with a “curly” arrangement of twigs. If the bark has green and white stripes, the maple is the striped or snake bark maple. Light stain colors will show the variations, darker stain colors help to even out those variations. If you have pets or young children in your house, you may wish to reconsider your timing and purchase oak furniture when they are much older. Oaks are considered to be a hardwood, … Surprisingly, Douglas fir isn’t a true fir (it was named after a Scottish botanist in the 1790s who described it as one), but has its own genus. White oak is a yellow wood with high dark to light contrasts vivid in the grains of the wood. Instead, look at reliable indicators for accurate maple tree identification like leaf shape and bark. Black walnut is by far the most common species of walnut in North America, but since it doesn’t yield as much wood as larger species, it tends to be more expensive. Boxelder has the largest range of all North American maples. Most of the maples on the North American continent have single-bladed leaves that possess a number of lobes. Physical Characteristics: Every species that is considered a red oak or a white oak has a distinct grain and texture. Oak is used in hardwood flooring, cabinetry, and fine furniture. Finally, Douglas fir is a very common softwood—a term that's not reflective of its density or durability, but rather of its status as a conifer. First of all, make sure that you’re looking at a solid piece of wood, as opposed to a veneer applied to plywood or MDF, or even a stamped piece of fiberboard—this is key to wood identification! Wood has been used in furniture for hundreds of years. Because they're porous, most woods take stain very well. Discover (and save!) Buds globular. Here’s what to look for when identifying pine, oak, maple, walnut, cherry, birch, cedar, poplar, ash, and Douglas fir. When you hear maple, you might be thinking of the distinctive maple tree, or even maple syrup, but the wood species of maple is actually sold under two distinct types: soft maple (which comes from a few different species) and hard maple (which comes from the Sugar Maple tree, which produces maple syrup). A rounder form rather than tall will strengthen your case for a Japanese maple tree. Put the stain on smoothly; the slightest variation will show. Maple has the likeness of cherry, is about as hard as cherry, without carrying the cost of cherry wood. Usually, the whitest parts of birch will be darker than the whitest parts of maple, and birch holds a stain much better than maple, which can get splotchy and spotty. You can probably recognize a birch tree because of its long, horizontal strips of thin, papery bark. Maple is a very tight, white hardwood. However, there are other things you must consider. You can identify oak trees by their deeply lobed leaves with pointed or rounded tips. Surface scratches are more noticeable with very smooth woods like maple and cherry, and dark stain colors show them even more. Oak wins over maple when you want a dark or dramatic, but for neutral tones or to lighten up a space, oak is less popular. A favorite cut for oak is called Quarter Sawn. Even expert cabinetmakers can struggle to distinguish between the two. Pine is the most common and abundant type of wood in North America, and there are dozens of different species of pine. Pin oak or Quercus palustris is named for a characteristic where small, thin, dead branches stick out like pins from the main trunk. Leaf Shape. Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more. Beautiful mineral streaks become noticeable with darker stains. Species of birch are found in northern temperate climates like North America, Europe, and Asia, and will typically have a less dense and looser grain than maple. All true maple trees and shrubs belong to the Aceraceae, or maple family. The leaves are light green to yellow-brown in color and turn pale yellow in fall. Whether it's sourced from sustainable forests or reclaimed from existing buildings, it can be painted, stained, or left all natural. Most maple species have simple, as opposed to compound, leaves with multiple lobes, the veins of which … It has a warm, rich tone and a distinctive grain pattern. Here, we tackle a few ways to recognize some of the most common species of wood in North America by sight. It contains fact … The worst thing about maple is knowing that it is not cherry. With over sixty different oak species in the U.S alone and hundreds more across the globe, it can be challenging to identify oak leaves. It can be a challenge to do tree ID from photos on the net, yet I still suspect this is a Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) variety of some type, as they posses the very silvery coloration just as in the photo, on the underside of their leaves. Oak will not warp with time. When it’s freshly cut, maple has light, creamy color that darkens to a light yellow, or sometimes a light reddish-brown if it’s exposed to direct sunlight, making it an unfavorable selection for some spaces or items. Aug 18, 2015 - This Pin was discovered by Chas Rice. Of the more than 600 species of oak that exist in the world, the most readily available are red oak and white oak. Oaks offer distinctive acorn fruit, different for every species; some mature in one year, others take two. Related Reading: 8 Beautiful Home Projects Using Reclaimed Wood, 6 Quick Tips for Maintaining Wood Countertops. It is very similar to the sugar maple, with a few distinguishing characteristics: the leaves are usually palmately 3-lobed with hairy lower leaf surfaces, the leaf blades are thicker and … It’s easy to mistake a maple tree leaf for an oak tree leaf because both have lobes and sinuses. Pin oak is among the most widely planted native oaks in the urban landscape, the third most common street tree in New York City. White oak is a yellow wood with high dark to light contrasts vivid in the grains of the wood. Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, Inc. P.O. Now it may look like hard maple is heads and tails above the rest (and to a certain extent, it is), but for reference, black cherry has a janka hardness of 950 lb f (the same as red maple), and black walnut is rated at 1,010 lb f.Also note that black maple (not pictured), isn’t quite as hard as its close relative, hard maple, and … Wood is a warm material that is easy to shape and work with. Oak is expensive, which can be a deterrent when cost is considered. You may already be familiar with the distinctive leaf shape associated with most members of the genus Acer. More and more furniture and cabinetry are being made with maple every day. Oak belongs to the genus Quercus and Maple to the genus Acer. February 9, 2008 Hard vs. soft maple Can these maples be mixed, and what are the differences? Black ash is typically found from the East Coast up into Eastern Canada, and has a light- to medium-brown heartwood. Maple hardwood generally comes from Canada and the northern US. It's known for its durability and use in countless handheld pieces of equipment, ranging from tool handles and baseball bats to hockey sticks, oars, and paddles. The strength and consistency of oak measures up well against maple hardwood flooring, and traditional themes demand the use of traditional building materials. Oak and maple are two different trees. Its sapwood can have wide spacing between growth rings, which tends to be beige or light brown, and can blend in with the heartwood. Both species are light brown in color, although red oak usually has hints of red, and both have visible growth rings and straight grains. The wood is sold in both qualities as hard and soft. Maple may also form translucent waves running across the grain. Its sapwood (the outer rings of the tree trunk where the wood is the youngest and still growing) can be a pale yellow, making a stark contrast between the lighter outer rings and the darker inner rings. If you resurface your wood, you need to make sure that the surface has been sanded evenly. Common characteristics of aromatic red cedar are its knotty and narrow planks, which reflect the tree's slow, time-consuming growth. Related Content. This is a beginner identification video that shows how to identify several common North American trees by their bark during autumn and wintertime. The less common plane tree maple also has bark that flakes off to reveal orange-tinged inner bark. Both are types of hardwoods. "Water Oak" Versus "Pin Oak" Locally common names for Oak varieties can cause confusion. It is still done today as it provides excellent raw material for both consumer and commercial use. Woodworking fits well with the phrase, “It takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master.” Plenty of people call themselves carpenters, but very few of them are well versed in the art of woodworking. The grain is very fine and uniform in appearance. Direct sunlight can ruin the appearance of oak, as can heat. ), because wood is fibrous and grows in response to its immediate climate and location. Oak has long been an extremely popular choice for wood flooring, particularly in traditional-style homes. Another characteristic that helps with the identification of maple is its typically unusual and varied grain patterns, as opposed to straight grains. A maple tree with purple to reddish leaves during spring is a strong signal for a Japanese maple. If you’re looking at an upholstered piece of furniture with a wood frame or a wood crate or pallet, chances are you’re looking at poplar. LEARN MORE View a slideshow of ash and maple twigs, buds, and bark. Oak Tree Identification. Compare Oak vs Maple Hardwood Flooring Oak Overview. Western red cedar has heartwood that's reddish- to pinkish-brown, often with areas or stripes of darker brown or red, and a narrow, light yellow–white sapwood. Red oak is most commonly a reddish-brown color and is lighter than … January 21, 2002 Another Wood Identification … One of the most common is oak, which spans several species. Brown maple comes from the center of various maple trees. Three of the more common types of compound leaves are illustrated in Figure 4. These flecks can create beautiful, unusual patterns that have a reflective quality and give a lot of character to a design or space. Leaves turn … Because of these various treatment options, it can be particularly difficult—if not nearly impossible!—to identify certain types or species of wood. The black maple is a large, deciduous tree 60 to 80 ft in height with a dense, rounded crown and a straight trunk up to 4 ft in diameter. If you're trying to identify poplar, it has a heartwood with a creamy, light yellow-brown color, sometimes with streaks of gray, green, or even a gray-purple hue. This makes them important construction materials—from rough-sawn lumber used in home construction and wood shingles to untreated fence posts that can be staked directly into the ground. Constant moisture will spoil the wood. This is a gorgeous White Oak (Quercus alba) right next to the Old Schoolhouse on the intersection of Route 21C and Harlemville Road (picture taken Jan 13th, after the thaw…). You might have even heard of spalted or figured maple, where the wood has been affected by the initial stages of a fungus but is then dried to prevent further decay. The waxy leaves have tiny bristles at the tip. However, there are a few key criteria to look for in wood identification. Oak flooring is also strong and durable; it can last for generations. Red oak has a color range from light brown to pinkish red with swirls reminiscent of spilled liquid. But did you know there are more than 60 different species of oak trees in the United States alone? July 30, 2020 April 24, 2019. In North America, the most common are eastern red cedar (referred to as aromatic red cedar when in wood rather than tree form) and western red cedar. Maple leaves always occur opposite one another along the twig; leaf veins run like outstretched fingers from a common base. Maple grain has broad patterns of differing colors, with fewer sharp edges than oak or ash. If you're trying to identify them in the wild, this picture might help: The top-left is an example of a maple leaf. Most lobed maple leaves have a palmate shape, meaning they look like a h… Designer Kelli Ellis, featured on HGTV, reviews our 3-drawer end table, Thank you to Firearm Freedom for interviewing us at the 2019 Great American Outdoor Show, 2018 NRA: Hide it All in Plain Sight with Secret Compartment Furniture, Secret Compartment Furniture Designs Stylish Hiding Spots For Guns, Oak versus Brown Maple: Pros and Cons of These Furniture Woods. It’s also semi-ring porous, so the growth rings are slightly darker than the rest of the wood, but the difference isn’t nearly as strong as that found in pine. The difference between hardwoods and softwoods is density. Maple has lighter graining for a smoother and sleeker look. The sugar maple has either three or five lobes, the silver maple always has five, and the red maple and chalk maple foliage may have three or five lobes. It has a straight grain with some distinction between growth rings and the rest of the wood, and is often used for cabinetry since it's not strongly affected by changes in humidity. Brown maple has natural variations in wood color. Furniture made from oak is timeless, and with periodic maintenance, your investment will last generations. Because oak is cumbersome and susceptible to scratches, moving furniture pieces made from oak is not only labor intensive, but increase the chances of surface damage. I make sure that the students understand the difference between a leaf and a leaflet. The bark color of oaks ranges from whitish-gray to dark, almost black. Cherry wood is coveted by many for its smooth, intense, deep red beauty. Oak … Some can only be distinguished by looking at the \"hairs\" on their stems, or the color of their acorn caps, or the number and shape of lobes on their leaves. It is a very smooth wood providing an excellent surface for darker dye stains like Onyx. Hardwood is quite literally harder than softwood varieties due to its density. Oak can display rings, strips, flecks, wavy figures, or other complex patterns, which is a desirable trait that maple wood does not possess. Plus, many woods, like cedar and pine, tend to turn a grayish color when left outside. It's known for being extremely stiff and strong for its weight, and therefore it's a valuable type of commercial lumber. Hard maple, red and white oak are very hard and soft maple is medium hard in terms of resistance … Now, you should be ready to look for a few key characteristics of wood: its color, type of grain (either straight, knotty, or interlocking), and whether it's ring-porous (where the growth rings show up as dark bands throughout the wood) or diffuse-porous. The Aceraceae family belongs to the Rosidae subclass and Sapindales order. There are several varieties of woods, some of which are used more than others. This only compounds the challenges involved with identifying wood types. It’s versatile, expressive, and can be used for everything from structural supports and floor coverings to dining room tables and delicate doorknobs. The pros are obvious; this has just about every property of high-quality cherry wood, from color, strength, and appearance, without carrying the high price tag. Is this tree a conifer or a deciduous tree?. The most common types of ash trees can be separated into two basic categories: white ash and black ash. Think of it … You can do this by looking at the edges of a piece and seeing if the end grain matches up with the direction of the grain along the face of the wood. Three of the more popular choices when it comes to American hardwoods are Oak, Maple… It also has a straight grain and is ring-porous, so the growth rings in the grain appear as darker brown lines throughout. We call this being "palmately lobed". The growth form of maple-leaf oak ranges from short, stunted multi-trunked shrubs to single-trunked trees up to fifty feet tall. Maple is a white hardwood and is considered to have a very tight and even grain. Lobed leaves can have rounded tips like the white oak leaf (left) or pointed tips like maple leaf (right) The most easily identifiable type of tree leaf is the lobed variety. Most people know what an oak tree is, and can probably even identify at least one type of oak tree when they see it. Nov 20th 2015. It is a fast-growing but short-lived maple, and in favorable conditions, it may grow as much as 80 feet in height. Care should be taken to use felt pads, or better yet, glass to cover the surface. It is a sturdy wood categorized into two main varieties; red and white. If it looks like the same pattern repeats itself on all sides of the board, then you’re not looking at solid wood. Look for the largest veins converging on a single point. Oak vs. Oak is used in hardwood flooring, cabinetry, and fine furniture. But recognizing the wood once it's milled and turned into lumber can be a bit more difficult, because it can resemble the light, creamy colors of maple. Oak vs Maple. Both types give off the distinct, well-known cedar scent, and are resistant to rot and decay. Posted by SCF In autumn we travel great distances to find the brightest fall palette. Cedar is another wood that commonly grows in North America and is familiar to many people by sight and smell. It tolerates drought, poor soils and is easy to transplant. To help narrow down a specific tree, they can be distinguished into two basic categories by leaf shape alone: red oaks and white oaks. Maple and oak are two different types of trees. Its grain has a straight, uniform pattern, and the wood tends to get darker with sun exposure. To identify oak trees, look for bark that has deep fissures and ridges, giving it a scaly look. But when winter arrives and our primary means of identifying deciduous trees drops to the forest floor, we tend to turn our focus to their coniferous neighbors. Begin identifying your tree by choosing the appropriate region below. However, it's possible to isolate a few characteristics that are unique to birch in order to identify this type of wood. This method of sawing cuts the wood parallel to the wood’s medullary rays as opposed to across them. Here are the hardness ratings of oak and maple according to the Janka hardness test – Red Oak – 1290 lb f (Pound-force) White Oak – 1360 lb f. Hard Maple – 1450 lb f. Soft Maple – 950 lb f. The higher the number, the harder the wood. Although its grain is generally straight or slightly wavy and there are usually knots in the wood, it can exhibit a wide range of grain patterns when cut into a veneer. Many types of oak can also cross with other typ… Just like the Sugar Maple tree, the Japanese maple … Usually, a little bit of sanding goes a long way in revitalizing wood whose surface appearance has been changed—and it's easier to identify the wood and its grain. The sugar maple tree (Acer saccharum) grows abundantly in the northeastern part of North America: the northeastern United States (including as far south as Tennessee) and the southeastern portion of Canada.Sugar maples produce strong timber and yield maple syrup, and both commodities contribute … There are two basic types of oak flooring: red oak … Maple wood is available as hard and soft maple wood. It looks more modern and contemporary while oak has a more classic and … The grain in oak is versatile, allowing different cuts for a desired appearance. in mid-western North America, and the only maple with pinnately compound leaves. Because of these variations in the grain—the visible growth rings and the knots—it lends itself to a more rustic, casual look. Birch is most commonly used as a veneer over plywood rather than as solid wood, but it's sometimes used in furniture and millwork. Maple is quickly becoming the wood of choice for people because of its strength and uniform appearance. Usually, the whitest parts of birch will be darker than the whitest parts of maple, and birch holds a stain much better than maple, which can get splotchy … True oak trees belong to the Quercus genus. It is seamless in appearance when finishing it off with cherry veneers. Though both belong to the hardwood category, there are quite a lot of differences between the two. (336) 885-8315 Fax (336) 886-8865 Despite its resiliency, oak is incredibly susceptible to scratches. Maple is fine for humid conditions–no worse than most other woods, since they will all “move” in different humidity conditions. © 2020 Dwell Life, Inc. All rights reserved. Maple, on the other hand, does not have a history of being a top choice in furniture woods like oak does. When this cut is chosen for furniture, the perpendicular fibers bind together. In fact, because of its low cost, poplar is often stained to mimic pricier hardwoods, making it particularly difficult to identify this type of wood in certain situations. Common Name(s): Curly maple, fiddleback maple, tiger maple, flamed maple, rippled maple Botanical Designation: Not a distinct species of maple. It’s relatively easy to identify this type of wood because of the frequent presence of dark knots and its distinct yellow color (although this can sometimes lean more towards pale yellow or light brown, depending on the exact species). on This is one of the secrets of oak wood that gives it incredible strength. Among the darker hardwoods, cherry appears with flecks of grain or pockets of black scattered through the pattern. It is most easily distinguished by its upper leaves, which are commonly as wide or wider than they are long, with three to five prominent lobes. Identifying black walnut can be relatively straightforward: The species is known for its rich, dark color and straight grain, and it ranges in color from a dark tan to a deep chocolate brown—sometimes even with streaks of purple or green. What's more, no two pieces are exactly alike (which, of course, adds to the material's individuality and uniqueness! The resulting unique patterns and colors are sought-after by woodworkers and even used to construct instruments. Regards, j The three-flower maple also has exfoliating bark, which is brown to golden brown in color. Oak is a hardwood. Douglas fir mostly grows in western North America, and is often used as structural or construction lumber or a veneer over plywood. It is a sturdy wood categorized into two main varieties; red and white. The most common exfoliating species is the paperbark maple. It is one of the few investments you can make that often turn into family heirlooms. Maple vs. Hickory Flooring. It has exceptional bending abilities, is cost-effective, durable and abundantly available. Send us e mail. They somewhat resemble the leaf shape … Thus, while oaks constitute a single genus, maples constitute a family of plants. White ash grows from the East Coast through the Midwest of the United States and has a lighter heartwood color and wider-spaced growth rings than black ash, which has a slightly darker hardwood. 8 Beautiful Home Projects Using Reclaimed Wood, 6 Quick Tips for Maintaining Wood Countertops. Here's a discussion of some Oak tree varieties and some information on their characteristics. Boxelder or Acer negundo - The most common maple sp. Deciding to install hardwood flooring in your home can be an exciting endeavor, and it can be difficult to find the right type of wood with so many options available. Curly maple is considered a grain pattern that can be found in nearly all Acer species.. Distribution: Primarily temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere Average Dried Weight: … The density of this wood makes it hefty when compared to other woods, but the tradeoff here makes it a very strong and sturdy material. With an appearance that's similar to oak, ash can be a difficult species to identify. Its heartwood—the harder wood near the center of the tree trunk—tends to be a reddish- or purplish-brown in color, while the sapwood (the outer rings of the tree) is usually pale yellow. Maple fruit, known as samaras, pair winged nutlets that spin like whirlybirds. If you are in a position to maintain your maple furniture, the benefits and cost will greatly outweigh the cons. The beautiful surface of oak is easily marred by sharp objects or active use. 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