Softwood

Distribution:

Baltic region - including Scandinavia, Russia and North America.

General description:

Softwood is the term used to describe timber which comes from conifers. Softwood comes from trees which are evergreen, notable exceptions being bald cypress and the larches. It is the source of about 80% of the world’s production of timber. Softwood is opposed to hardwoods, even though they aren’t necessarily softer than hardwoods. Softwoods vary in different densities, but are much lower. Softwoods can be identified by their cones and needle-like leaves e.g. pine trees and redwood trees. They are light in colour and have distinct annular rings.

Mechanical properties:

Timber such as Douglas fir and Yew are much harder in the mechanical sense than several hardwoods.

Seasoning:

It is far cheaper than any hardwoods as they grow much faster and are easier to obtain. They have less impact on the environment as they season to an excellent standard.

Working properties:

Softwoods tend to be resinous and split easy. They dry fairly well as well.

Durability:

European softwoods such as Cedar are used as it is durable, Douglas fir for its strength and Quebec yellow pine for its good stability. Also, Western Red Cedar is widely used for cladding due to its great durability and workability. Softwoods are generally less dense, durable and have high calorific values.

Uses:

It is used for high class joinery works, construction works, home furniture e.g. stairways, doors, kitchen cabinets, etc. Also, they are used in cabin construction.