How to tell the type of tree

How to Identify Different Types of Trees

Whether you're taking a walk in the park or simply admiring your neighbor's landscape, it's nice to be able to identify different tree species. Who knows? You might want to plant a few of them in your own yard. If you're ready for some fun sleuth work, here's what to look for.

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1: Brzostowska/Shutterstock /2: Peter Turner Photography/Shutterstock /3: Aleoks/Shutterstock

Leaf Identification Type

The starting point for most people when identifying trees species is the leaves. There are three basic leaf types: needles, scales and broadleaf. Most evergreens have needles or scales, while most broadleaf trees are deciduous, meaning they drop their leaves when dormant. However, there are exceptions. Larch has green needles that turn color in fall and drop off the tree. Live oak is an evergreen tree with broad, elliptical leaves.

Try the Arbor Day Foundation’s online tree identification tool.

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Le Do/Shutterstock

How to Identify Trees By Leaf Shape

The shape of a leaf can also give clues when identifying broadleaf tree species. Common leaf identification shapes include ovate (egg shaped), lanceolate (long and narrow), deltoid (triangular), obicular (round) and cordate (heart shaped). There is also the palm-shaped maple leaf and the lobed oak leaf, two of our most recognizable leaf shapes.

Meet 11 trees with great fall foliage.

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Family Handyman, Getty Images (5)

How to Identify Trees By Bark Color

Ask most people to describe a tree’s bark and they’ll say “gray” or “brown” and leave it at that. While many tree species indeed have gray bark, some have bark that is cinnamon (mulberry), pure white (birch), silver (beech), greenish white (aspen) or copper (paperbark maple) in color.

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1: Tooykrub/Shutterstock/ 2: /Dwight Lee/Shutterstock /3: J Need/Shutterstock

How to Identify Trees By Bark Texture

There are many variations in texture between different tree species, as well. Bark can be furrowed (cottonwood), scaly (sycamore), peeling (hickory), smooth (beech), shiny (cherry), papery (birch) or warty (hackberry).

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Luke Miller/Oldsmobile Trees

Bark Variations With Age

Often the color and texture of the bark change as the tree matures. This is most noticeable on the trunk—the oldest part of the tree. Silver maple, for example, will go from smooth and silver to furrowed and gray and black as it grows older, as the photo shows.

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How to Identify Trees By Tree Shape

Some trees have a distinctive shape. Think of the vaselike habit of an American elm tree or the pyramid silhouette of a sweet gum. In some cases, the habit changes as the tree matures—often becoming more rounded or irregular—but shape can help with identifying younger trees that are grown in open space (as opposed to a wooded setting, which encourages taller, narrower growth).

You can train a tree’s shape to your liking. See our tree pruning techniques.

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1: m.bonotto/Shutterstock / 2: Roman Kutsekon/Shutterstock

Tree Size and Location: What tree is this?

If you’re trying to identify trees species in a natural setting, you can study the site. Nature knows what it’s doing, distributing trees where they will thrive. Some species, such as willow, are more likely to grow near water. While others, such as black locust, are more upland tree species. A mature tree’s size can also help you whittle down the possibilities. If it’s 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide, you know it’s more apt to be an oak than a dogwood.

Not sure there’s room for a tree in your yard? Meet some space-saving trees for today’s smaller gardens.

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Photo and Vector/Shutterstock

How to Identify Trees By Flowers

While there’s a whole class known as flowering trees (everything from crabapples to magnolias), other tree species have inconspicuous flowers. Either way, flowers can help with identification. First, consider the color (although this isn’t a fail-safe method, since plant breeders have expanded the color palette in the cultivars they have developed). More helpful is to consider when the flower appears and what it looks like. Flower types include single blooms, clustered blooms or catkins (pictured), which are dense hanging spikes that look like tassels. Many trees bloom in spring, but some flower in summer or even early fall, helping you eliminate certain tree species as you investigate.

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How to Identify Trees By Fruit Type

When you think of fruit, you probably think of larger fleshy fruits with seeds inside (apples, pears). But fruit is just a seed dispersal mechanism, so there are other variations to consider. Think of the papery winged fruits of maple, the nuts of chestnut, the acorns of oak, the catkins of willow, the berries of hawthorn and the cones of alder (pictured). All can help you pinpoint a tree species.

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How to Identify Trees By Seed Comparison

The seeds themselves can help with more specific identification. Say you have an oak tree but you’re not sure what kind. Leaf shape is highly variable on oaks, even on the same specimen. A better indicator may be the acorns. Get your hands on a good guide such as The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees (a mainstay in bookstores for decades). Then compare the acorns to what’s pictured in the guide. You’ll find that acorns can be small (black oak), big (bur oak), oblong (English oak) or barrel shaped (red oak). Some are even striped (pin oak). The cap that partially encases an acorn is also unique in size, shape and texture.

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1: DmitryKomarov/Shutterstock /2: Burakova_Yulia/Shutterstock /3: ANGHI/Shutterstock

How to Identify Trees By Leaf Bud Arrangement

Buds can be helpful in identifying tree species in winter, when deciduous trees are without foliage. Those at the end of a twig are called terminal buds, while those growing along the twig are lateral buds. The arrangement of these lateral buds can help establish a tree’s identity. Alternate buds, found on elms, are arranged in alternating pairs on opposite sides of the stem. The opposite buds of maple are directly facing each other on the stem. And spiral buds whorl alternately around the stem, as seen on oaks.

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Luke Miller/Oldsmobile Trees

How to Identify Trees By Leaf Bud Appearance

Some trees have distinctive buds, such as the sharply pointed buds of beech and the small, clustered buds of oak, which are covered by protective scales. Bitternut hickory is hard to miss—just look for the sulfur-yellow buds when the tree is dormant.

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Originally Published: June 10, 2019

Luke Miller

Luke Miller is an award-winning garden editor with 25 years' experience in horticultural communications, including editing a national magazine and creating print and online gardening content for a national retailer. He grew up across the street from a park arboretum and has a lifelong passion for gardening in general and trees in particular. In addition to his journalism degree, he has studied horticulture and is a Master Gardener.

How to Tell What Type of Tree I Have

23,000 – that’s how many different types of trees there are in the world, according to North Carolina State University.

The diversity of trees is in a word… amazing. From towering pines to tropical palms and teeny-tiny bonsai trees, there’s a tree out there for everyone.

If you’ve found a tree that catches your eye, here’s how to identify your tree. You can use the leaf, bark or an app to discover what type of tree you have.

How To Tell What Type Of Tree I Have Or Saw

To identify what kind of tree you have, begin by grabbing a leaf. If you please, snap a picture of the tree’s bark, canopy and any identifying features, such as its fruit, blooms and size.

Now you’re ready to begin sleuthing. Go forth with confidence, tree detective!

Tree Identification By Leaf

Tree leaves hold the answer to, “What type of tree is this?”

If you’d like to use an app, scroll to find the best one below.

Or, you can take The Arbor Day Foundation’s detailed “What Tree Is That” quiz. By answering questions about where you are and the leaf’s shape, size and characteristics, you’ll know what tree you have in under 5 minutes!

Tree Identification By Bark

Wondering how to identify a tree in winter when there are no leaves present?

Look at their bark! By far the easiest way to identify trees by their bark is to use an app. Scroll on to find out which.

If you’d prefer, you can DIY it. Your best bet is to focus on the bark while zeroing in on the twigs and buds. The Nature Conservancy provides step-by-step instructions and detailed info on how to identify trees by their bark. They also share how to identify different types of evergreen trees.

Tree Identification By App

Ah, the wonders of 21st-century technology!

Now, you can tell what type of tree you have in your front or backyard by snapping a picture or answering a few questions on your phone.

Best Tree Identification App For iPhones

Leafsnap, created by researchers at Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institute, is the best iPhone app for identifying trees.

To use, you simply input your location and snap a picture of the leaf on a white background.

Then, poof! You’ll have the results in a matter of seconds. Now that’s easy!

Best Tree Identification App For Android

VTree helps you identify nearly 1,000 trees and shrubs across North America. This app was created by Virginia Tech’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation.

You don’t need to take a picture of the leaf to use this app. Instead, you enter your location and answer qualifying questions about the leaf and tree. You can skip any non-relevant questions. There are also over 23,000 pictures of leaves, flowers, fruits and twigs to make it easier to identify trees.

If you’ve stumped the app, you can even send in a tree description with pictures, and the Virginia Tech experts will solve the mystery.

Learn more about trees. Contact your local arborist today!



  • Choosing a Tree
  • Benefits of Trees

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How to determine the type of wood - to distinguish one from another type of wood | Do -it -yourself

Content ✓

  • ✓ Search for evidence
  • ✓ How to recognize a tree in its parts
  • ✓ Armed with a magnifying glass
  • ✓ Classification of trees of the most popular rocks
  • ✓ Tests for identifying a fallen/chopped wood -material
  • ✓ wood rocks, wood of wood, ✓ wood rocks, ✓ woods GROWING ON THE TERRITORY OF RUSSIA

In cases where you can't accurately identify the type of hardwood, do like a pro - examine it in detail under a magnifying glass.

Quite often letters from readers come with something like this: “In all controversial issues of identifying a growing tree, the manual “Key to Plants” is excellent help. But how to accurately determine the type of tree if it has long fallen and dried up or even chopped for firewood?

It's really sad to realize how many potentially good hardwoods don't go to work - not for carving, not for turning, not for furniture boards - and just because no one noticed that there was something worthwhile in front of him. Unfortunately, there is no pocket guide by which one could immediately identify a log or log.


All tree guides are aimed at summer nature lovers and travelers. There are beautiful illustrations and photographs of leaves, branches and trunks of growing trees. But if you have one block in front of you, from which you could carve a magnificent bowl, the chances of quickly understanding this are not so great. To correct this omission, we turned to professionals for advice.


Experts believe that hardwood species can be identified through a series of tests (see below). If one test does not give a clue, you need to move on to another - and so on until a solution is found.

Botanists and dendrologists usually quickly determine the type of tree. If they have any doubts, they look under the microscope at the structures of the wood. And even simple nature lovers, looking at a piece of wood through a magnifying glass, can usually say what kind of breed is in front of them (at least in a general approximation - this is oak, for example, or hickory).

Read also: How to properly store a tree


Hard wood has "fingerprints" - differently structured separate parts of annual rings. In some breeds, the annual rings are clearly visible on the end saw cut, even without magnification. However, with a magnifying glass, the size and structure of the pores in the early and late rings is always visible, which makes it possible to classify and define the rock (see examples below). The example of wood of ring-vascular species clearly shows the difference in the size of the pores of the early period, formed during the first stage of the rapid growth of the tree, and later years, when growth slows down. Scattered-vascular rocks have pores of approximately the same size, evenly distributed throughout the ring. The same variant, but with pores of different sizes, is called semicircular vascular.

Eben and Zebrano

Beams can also help identify wood species. Most of all, they look like thin lines of transverse hatching, located at regular intervals perpendicular to the annual rings. On the cut of the oak, they are emphasized in relief.


To clearly see the pores and rays with a magnifying glass, cut off a thin end layer of heartwood with a sharp blade, moisten the surface slightly and examine it.

The photographs on the previous page, taken through a magnifying glass and then enlarged approximately twice for clarity, show what can be seen in cuts of 15 common deciduous trees. Do not be too lazy to study the end sections of other trees in the same way: the knowledge gained can be very useful to you.

Movingu and Karelian birch


Below are some samples for identifying species of deciduous trees. However, it should be borne in mind that the color and texture of wood is influenced by the area where the tree grew, the composition of the soil, climate and many other factors. First you need to determine what structure your wood has, and then correlate it with one of the available options.

Keep in mind that with this approach, it is possible to identify wood in general terms by defining a generic name - for example, "birch". You can analyze all types of wood available in your workshop or growing in your area. A tree guide can also be a good help.


Can it grow in the area? A guide to identifying trees will help you immediately weed out many species. Small notes like "habitat is limited to the northwest coast of Oregon" will greatly help narrow your search if you are in upstate New York.

Use common sense and go by smell. The size of the tree already eliminates many candidates: it is unlikely that a persimmon can grow to the size of an oak. Cut off a small piece of wood core or shavings and rub it with saliva to activate the scent. Many types of wood retain a strong smell even when they are completely dry and have become like bone. Smell the wood with which you work in the workshop more often: you will remember many smells well.

Black walnut and sapele

Pay attention to the color. The bright yellow wood of the maclura orange immediately gives the desired binding. And who can go wrong with the deep dark color of black walnut wood? Can you recognize the color of the cherry? Learn to remember color on dry, untreated wood. On a fallen tree, it is necessary to cut off the top dirty, weathered layer to see the true color.

What about the bark? Sometimes bark is a good clue, as is the case with white birch. But often the bark can look completely different on different specimens of the same tree species. The bark of the walnut is sometimes similar to the bark of the cherry. One tree at different ages also has a slightly different bark. The place where the tree grows and the speed of its growth directly affect the color and structure of its bark.

Use the knife. With a knife or ax, remove a piece of bark from a fallen tree about the size of a footprint. When you get to hardwood, cut off a flat piece. It may be lighter in color than the heartwood because it is sapwood, but the grain pattern will be the same as the longitudinally split lumber you are working with.

Types of wood

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On the territory of the Russian Federation, 85% of the total forest stock is occupied by conifers. The most common: spruce, pine, larch, fir, cedar.

How to distinguish pine wood - straight grain, fairly strong, moderately light, resinous. The color is light with a reddish tinge, darkens in the open air and turns into a gray color. Easily processed, well dries. Pine lumber is used in many industries: in construction, in the manufacture of furniture. The Angarsk pine is especially appreciated.

How to distinguish spruce wood is an analogue of pine, although its quality is lower (less strength of products and the presence of knots).

Kingwood and cherry

How to distinguish larch wood is used less frequently than spruce and pine. Straight grained, heavier than pine, has higher impact resistance. On the territory of Russia, 14 species of larch grow, of which the Daurian and Siberian larch are the most valuable. It is more difficult to process than pine, resinous, has a high resistance to decay.

How to distinguish fir wood is almost white in color, soft, non-resinous, has lower mechanical properties compared to spruce wood.

How to distinguish cedar wood has a pinkish-white color, is characterized by resistance to decay, is close in strength to spruce and fir, and can be cut well. Cedar wood is used in carpentry and furniture production, in the manufacture of pencils, etc. Yew wood has a beautiful appearance, therefore it is especially valued in furniture production, used in interior decoration, in the manufacture of turning and carved products.

How to distinguish juniper wood is of limited use due to the small size of the trunk, it is used for making small turning and carving products.

Types of wood . TYPE СС

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Variety of properties, beautiful texture and high mechanical characteristics make hardwood indispensable in a number of industries, especially in the furniture industry.

According to the structure of wood, deciduous trolls are subdivided into ring-vascular and diffuse-vascular, as well as into two groups: sound and non-core. In annular vascular hardwoods, large vessels are located in the early zone of dotted layers, which form a continuous ring of holes in the transverse section, which is clearly visible to the naked eye. At the same time, the boundaries of suitable rings are clearly visible. In diffusely vascular rocks, the annual layers are difficult to distinguish, since their small vessels are located along the entire width of the annual layers.

Apple, corrugated birch and elm

How to distinguish oak wood is distinguished by its hardness, high strength, resistance to decay. It is slightly knotted and quite straight-layered. It has a beautiful texture (especially when sawing radially). It is widely used in carpentry and furniture production in solid wood, including in the form of sliced ​​veneer. It lends itself well to finishing with varnishes and oils. The wood has a light brown color of different shades. Oak wood is heavy, but well processed, bent, polished. It is used in carpentry and furniture production for the manufacture of high-quality furniture, parquet, windows and doors, as well as barrels. Bog oak is highly valued (fallen trunks that have lain in water for a long time).

How to distinguish ash wood - is characterized by high strength and toughness, low tendency to crack and beautiful texture. It is applied along with oak wood. High impact strength, ability to bend causes its use for the production of sports equipment, as well as in ship, car, aircraft and automotive industries. Sliced ​​ash veneer is used for making high quality furniture.

How to distinguish elm wood - characterized by heaviness, strength, toughness, easy to bend. It is used in car and machine building, carpentry and furniture production. Elm wood is valued in furniture and plywood production because of its beautiful texture.

Oak and poplar

How to distinguish elm wood - similar to elm wood, therefore it is used in the same areas.

Scattered vascular hardwoods include: beech, hornbeam, maple, birch, walnut, pear, plane tree, boxwood, linden, alder, aspen.

How to distinguish beech wood - is close to oak in strength, but more fragile, has low resistance to decay, bends well after steaming, has an attractive appearance in a radial section. It is used for the production of sliced ​​veneer, parquet, in the furniture and music industries. Beech is well processed, impregnated and finished with transparent varnishes.

How to distinguish hornbeam wood - is heavy and hard, has good resistance to abrasion, warps and cracks when dry. It is used in the manufacture of turning products and carpentry tools, as well as various crafts. Maple wood is dense, hard, heavy and durable, used in the manufacture of furniture and musical instruments, as well as in mechanical engineering. Planer blocks, shoe lasts, and sports equipment are made from maple.

How to distinguish birch wood is an excellent craft material for making solid wood furniture, as it has a beautiful patterned texture with brown veins. Birch, not impregnated with a special composition, has a low resistance to decay at variable humidity. Works well and bends well. It is used for the production of peeled veneer, plywood, skis, ax handles and handles for carpentry tools, gun stocks. Birch is good in ornamental turning and in the manufacture of light furniture from solid wood. It is easy to imitate valuable breeds, it is well painted, impregnated and polished.

Beech and cypress

How to distinguish walnut wood - is quite heavy and hard, well processed, finished, polished, has a beautiful texture. In large quantities, it is processed into sliced ​​veneer for the manufacture of furniture of the highest quality. It is used in solid wood for the most complex carving work, as well as in the manufacture of turning products and stocks of hunting rifles.

How to distinguish pear wood - hard, heavy, homogeneous structure, well processed and polished, lends itself to imitation of ebony (ebony). Used for the manufacture of high-quality furniture, musical instruments, sliced ​​veneer. Pear wood warps a little, and drawing accessories are made from it. For greater wear resistance of wooden planers, an array of pears is glued onto their soles.

How to distinguish plane tree wood (plane trees) - used in furniture production as a finishing material, as well as for the manufacture of various artistic products. Boxwood wood is hard, but brittle, used for the manufacture of wind instruments (flutes), weaving shuttles, engraving boards, carvings and turning products.

How to distinguish linden wood - soft and light, well cut, cracks and warps a little. It is used for the manufacture of carvings, wooden utensils, pencils, toys, etc.

How to distinguish alder wood - soft, light, homogeneous structure, used for the manufacture of plywood, joinery and furniture, as well as box containers.

How to distinguish aspen wood is soft and light, but much less durable than birch. Low resistance to decay, homogeneous, well impregnated with finishing agents and easily splits. It sticks together well, dries, warps a little, is easily processed with a cutting tool and bends. Toys, dishes, roofing shingles and carvings are made from aspen wood.

Related link: How to identify a tree by its bark


Wood species for carpentry


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Different types of wood - determination of the main properties.

How the eye can determine the species of a tree

It is quite easy to determine the species of a growing tree by leaves, needles, bark, trunk, branches, buds, flowers and fruits. But most often, wood falls into the hands of the master in the form of debarked logs, bars, boards and other lumber. How, then, in such cases, to determine which species the wood belongs to? The answer to this question can be given after studying the structure of wood visible to the naked eye - the macrostructure.

In ancient times, depending on the availability of a processing tool, the list of harvested material was more limited. With the development of technology and technology, it has expanded significantly.

The main material was:
Roundwood - logs, ridges, tie, knurled, poles (tie - logs with a diameter of 10-15 cm and a length of about 15 m, knurled - logs of the same diameter, but 6-10 m long, poles - logs with a diameter of less than 10 cm. ). Logs were used of various lengths, but given the difficulty of working with long logs, all the more so in the old days for the construction of large buildings they took wood 40 or more cm thick. However, usually it did not much exceed the currently used one (on average 6-10 m) . Currently, logs are divided into three groups according to diameter: small logs with a diameter of 8 to 13 cm, medium - from 14 to 24, large - from 26 cm or more.
Hewn forest - bars, beds.
Plates - initially - logs split in length into two parts, subsequently sawn into two parts of a log.
Boards - "tees", before the widespread use of saws in the "after Peter's" era, boards were obtained by splitting logs and then hewing them with an ax, the work is time-consuming, so the tees were replaced with plates if possible.
Ploughshare - usually made from aspen hew, processed into the desired shape with an ax.

The requirements for choosing a material for restoration must be specified in the materials of the restoration project. Basic requirements - the material must correspond to the original in terms of basic parameters - breed, size, external characteristics, humidity should not be more than 20%, should not have unacceptable defects and destruction.


Density of wood is a physical value indicating the ratio of wood mass to volume, which is measured in g/cm3 or kg/m3.

True density - the ratio of the mass of a material to its volume, excluding pores and voids.

The ratio of the mass of wood to the total volume it occupies is called the average density.
The density of a material is the volumetric mass, not the volumetric weight. To determine the density, it is necessary to set the values ​​​​of the mass and volume of wood. It is important to take into account that the moisture content of wood directly affects its density. An increase in moisture leads to an increase in bulk density. Therefore, in order to measure and compare the density of wood, it is also necessary to establish the moisture content of the sample. As a rule, the determination of density is carried out at the same humidity (11-13%) or in an absolutely dry state of wood.

Bulk weight depends on the structure and porosity of the wood, which change under different climatic conditions, soil composition, lighting, etc.

The density of different types of wood varies significantly, since the number of cavities and vessels in it depends on the type of wood and the position of the sample in the trunk.
According to the density of wood at a moisture content of 12%, all species can be divided into 3 groups:

species of high density (760 and above), medium density (550-760) and low density (550 and less)

Wood with high density values ​​is much more durable and stronger (density and strength of wood are directly related). When constructing support structures, the density of the wood must always be taken into account.

Thermal conductivity

Wood has the physical ability to transfer heat from one surface to another - thermal conductivity. Wood has it to a lesser extent than other building materials. The thermal conductivity of wood depends on its density, moisture content and the direction of the cut. The lower the moisture content of the material, the lower the thermal conductivity. Thermal conductivity across the fibers is especially low. The thermal conductivity coefficient, equal to the amount of heat passing through a sample with an area of ​​1 m2 and a thickness of 1 mm for 1 hour at a temperature difference of 1 °C on opposite surfaces of the sample, is a characteristic of the thermal conductivity of wood.
Sound conductivity

Sound conductivity is the property of wood to conduct sound, which is characterized by the speed of sound propagation in the material itself. The sound conductivity of wood is very high due to its low density compared to other building materials. Sound travels especially fast along the fibers. Healthy wood conducts clear, ringing, not muffled sounds. Therefore, the material is widely used for the manufacture of musical instruments. When using wood in construction, soundproof materials are used.

Elasticity and plasticity

Elasticity is the ability of wood to resist changes in volume and shape when exposed to mechanical loads, as well as the ability to restore them after stress relief. Wood is a fairly resilient material that can withstand heavy loads and is resistant to deformation, capable of retaining these properties for many years.

Under the action of the load, the wood can change shape, and, without signs of destruction, retain the newly acquired shape after the load is removed. This is possible due to the fact that wood is a plastic material. The degree of plasticity depends on the humidity and age of the wood: the younger and more moistened the material, the more plastic it will be.

The appearance of wood is one of the determining factors when choosing a material. The color, gloss and texture of the material are very different from each other, and change depending on a wide variety of factors


The pattern that is visible on any section of wood is called texture. It is formed by a combination of various anatomical elements and depends directly on the structure of wood - the more complex it is, the more interesting the structure will be. The presence of heart-shaped rays visible to the ordinary eye, growth rings, vessels, color changes ensure the uniqueness of the wood texture, which determines the decorative value of the material.


Color is one of the most important criteria when choosing wood. It's not just about external features. The condition of the wood can also be determined by the color. The color of the wood is given by the extractive substances contained in it - tannins, coloring and resinous. Their presence, quantity and variety are determined by the tree species, climatic conditions of growth, illumination, soil composition, etc. For example, tropical trees have a brighter color than others.

The bluish tint of the wood indicates its low quality - a sign of incipient decay.

Wood's ability to reflect light gives the material its shine property. Most often it is observed in hardwoods. The brilliance of the material depends on the evenness and smoothness of the surface - the smoother the surface of the wood, the more light it can reflect. Also, the presence of gloss is influenced by the density and color tone of wood, the presence of heart-shaped rays, in the context of which the light is reflected most brightly. The lighter the shade of wood and the higher its density, the stronger the material will shine.


The composition of wood contains tannins, essential oils and resins, which give the material a pleasant smell. As the wood dries, some substances that provide aroma also evaporate. So, in freshly sawn wood, or mechanically processed, the smell is much stronger than in dried wood. Coniferous species are distinguished by more persistent and expressive odors than deciduous ones. By the nature of the aroma, one can also judge the quality of wood - a musty smell indicates the processes of decay and damage to wood that have begun.

Corrosion resistance of wood

Wood has the ability to resist the action of aggressive environmental factors. The material is not affected by weak solutions of salts, alkalis, organic or mineral acids. This property of wood provides the presence of natural resins in the composition. The higher the resin concentration, the more resistant the wood is to corrosion. Therefore, conifers are less susceptible to the influence of an aggressive environment.

Wood properties of different tree species

Wooden houses have been built for many centuries, but wooden houses are still very popular today. And, deciding to build your house from wood, it’s a good idea to decide which one to start with. Different breeds have different characteristics. First of all, different species differ in density and hardness of wood. Most often, wooden houses are built from coniferous wood.

Properties of pine wood
Almost the most common species for the construction of wooden houses is pine. It does not belong to hardwoods, as a result of which it is quite easy to process, but at the same time, after drying, pine wood does not crack, which is undoubtedly a plus. In addition, its wood looks quite aesthetically pleasing, which allows it to be used not only for building a house, but also for finishing walls and making decorative interior elements.

Properties of spruce wood

Spruce is the second most common. Its wood is light and soft, has a white color with a slight golden hue. Of the minuses of this type of wood is the high density of knots, which causes some difficulties during processing.

Properties of larch wood

Larch is also very popular, but it is rare to build whole houses from larch. It has a very dense and hard wood, which makes it very strong but difficult to work with. Therefore, those parts that are most susceptible to external influences and loads are made from it. Another undoubted advantage of larch is its antiseptic properties, in addition, its resin repels pests. Therefore, it does not require additional treatment with an antiseptic. And yet, it tolerates moisture well, and it can be used where other breeds simply rot.

Oak wood properties

Oak wood is even stronger than larch, but it is also very difficult to process. Another disadvantage of oak is its tendency to crack. Oak also has advantages, its wood is very flexible and elastic. In addition, it tolerates staining very well, sometimes it is soaked to black.

Properties of birch wood

Birch wood is characterized by high strength, impact resistance and structural uniformity. It has medium hardness and density, often used for carved elements. Widely used for the manufacture of peeled veneer, plywood, and other wood-based materials. The disadvantage of birch wood is its low resistance to decay. Birch ranks first among industrial hardwood species.

Linden wood properties

Linden has a soft, uniform wood, white with a slight pink tinge and practically does not crack. It keeps heat well, for this reason baths are most often built from it. For the same reason, floors are made of linden. True, linden is very susceptible to infection by parasites, so it is not recommended to use it on the first floors.

Properties of aspen wood

Undeserved oblivion overtook the aspen. It has lighter wood than most other species growing in our country. It is almost as well tolerated by mechanical stress as oak, but at the same time it is much easier to process.

How to determine the type of wood from which the furniture in the house is made.

Almost any type of wood can be used to make furniture, but some woods are preferred for their beauty, strength and workability. Being able to identify the type of wood used to make a piece of furniture can help you assess its true value and decide for yourself whether the item is worth restoring or better off throwing it away. Later in this article, we will explain how to inspect furniture and what you should pay attention to in order to determine the type of wood.

Until the 1900s, precious woods were much more readily available than they are now, so less attractive and durable woods were used exclusively for the invisible, interior parts of furniture, and as a result, furniture dating from before the 1900s is difficult to restore. Most of the furniture was created from the following types of wood: walnut, oak, maple, birch, cherry, rosewood (palisander), mahogany (mahogany). Quite rarely, veneer and inlay were used.
As the most attractive breeds became rarer, less available and more expensive, furniture began to be made from a greater variety of breeds. Today, most furniture is made from ash, pine, eucalyptus and poplar, while pine, spruce and other less expensive woods are used for hidden parts.

So, when examining a piece of furniture, you should pay attention to such characteristics as hardness, structure and color.


It seems that it is not so difficult to determine hard wood or soft wood, you just need a little experience or a reference point. However, there is some confusion in terms. There is a concept of hardwood, most often it means broad-leaved trees, as well as softwood - these are light coniferous trees. And although in most cases hardwood is indeed harder than softwood, and also less accessible and more expensive, there are still exceptions, and therefore structure and color are more practical characteristics.

Wood structure and color:

Each species has its own specific structure and color, which vary from tree to tree, but can still serve as characteristics to identify the type of wood.
The structure of the tree determines the structure of the cells. Deciduous trees have tubular cells visible to the eye, which are also called pores or vessels. If the vessels are large, then the texture of the wood is rough (wide-layered wood). In order to smooth the surface, a special filler can be used. If the vessels are small - the surface is smooth (small-layered, finely porous), these trees do not require filler. Oak, walnut, ash, mahogany, rosewood and teak have a wide grain structure, while beech, birch, maple, cherry, silkwood and poplar have a thin grain structure. Coniferous trees do not contain tubular cells, but for generality they can be considered small-layered.

All trees have age rings formed from cells that have grown during the year. There is wood with muted, barely noticeable rings and with clearly visible ones, there are even rings or rings with striae, stripes, warping, curls, streaming marks, eyes and speckles.

A wood species with an unusual special pattern is valued higher, but if the structure is barely distinguishable, the species is difficult to determine, therefore it is better to clean the old coating from the tree before valuation.

How to determine the type of wood

Wood is a natural material of organic origin, which has a wide range of properties. The quality characteristics of wood vary depending on its species and various growing conditions. In order to determine the type of wood, it is enough just to carefully examine a sample of this material.

1 The main features for determining the type of wood are the width of the sapwood, the presence of the core, different degrees of visibility of the annual layers, the sharpness of the transition from the core itself to the sapwood, the size and presence of heart-shaped rays, the presence of resin passages, their number and size, as well as diameter of wood vessels. Additional features include gloss, color, smell, texture, shape and number of knots.

2 In such mature tree species as fir, spruce, beech and aspen, the central part of the trunk differs markedly from the peripheral part by the lowest moisture content, but it is almost impossible to distinguish by color.

3 The width of the annual rings affects its mechanical properties, and not just the appearance. The best wood among conifers is considered to be the one with the narrowest layers. Pine with reddish wood and narrow annual layers is called among the masters of the ore and is very highly valued. Pine with wide rings is called myandova, but its strength is much lower than the previous one.

4 If you look closely at the end section of deciduous trees, you can distinguish dark or light points, these are the so-called tree vessels. In ash, oak and elm, large vessels are arranged in three rows in the area of ​​early wood, forming dark rings in each annual layer. That is why these types of trees are commonly called ring-vascular. They are strong and heavy wood.

5 In aspen, birch and linden, the vessels are hardly distinguishable, very small. Such types of trees are called diffuse-vascular. Apple, maple and birch have hard wood. And aspen, linden and alder have a soft structure.

When selling a guitar, it is often said that the neck is maple, the body is ash, etc. The question is how to determine which tree is worth. Are there any objective ways to determine, except for advertising words? Does the passport of the branded guitar contain what kind of wood is used?
Miks: I have not seen a list of wood species in the passports, I specially took out two passports, only the equipment is indicated, and even then very briefly. Well, in general, well-known companies make guitars from the same wood as 30-40-50 years ago. If a person has experience in dealing with an electric guitar, then by pulling the string, you can determine the type of wood, unless of course the instrument is traditional (and not with a body of 10 layers of exotic species, the name of which cannot be pronounced without lengthy exercises).

If you pick up a Fender Strat or TV, it will be either alder or ash, if you pull the string and hear a cutting sharp sound, it’s ash, if it’s high and melodious it’s alder, if you hear mostly the middle, then it’s more likely just a Japanese fender made of linden. Usually you can read about the tree on the websites of manufacturers.

1.Gibson LP - neck and body - Honduran mahogany, top - maple, fretboard - rosewood, or ebony.

2. Fender - maple neck, maple + rosewood, ash body, alder (Japanese often come from linden).

3. Ibanez - neck maple, maple + rosewood, basswood body, alder, ash, mahogany.

4.Jackson - maple neck, maple + rosewood, poplar body, alder, mahogany, ash (Japanese can be made of linden).

5.Music Man - neck - maple, maple + rosewood, poplar body, linden, alder, ash.

6.Carvin-often neck-through maple, rarely Honduran mahogany, fretboard almost always ebony, wings-ash, alder, mahogany, body as well, Allan Holdsworth signature model made with alder neck - h3 Allan Holdsworth Signature Model, which is a sensation in the world practice.

7.ESP - maple neck, maple + rosewood, basswood body, alder, ash, mahogany, can also be models with a cabinet neck and often with an ebony fretboard.

8. Rickenbacker - most often made entirely of maple. In semi-acoustic guitars, as a rule, the body is made of plywood-poplar-maple, or the soundboards are cut from solid maple, as in violins, depending on the model, the neck can be made of maple or mahogany.

Useful properties of wood species

Each of us would like to be surrounded at least at home by an environmentally friendly environment. However, unfortunately, according to studies, the air of an average apartment contains about 100 volatile chemicals, which are various chemical compounds. Many of them are highly toxic. The most hazardous to health are benzene, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde.

The main source of toxic substances that enter the atmosphere of a city apartment is not polluted air from the street, but poor quality building and finishing materials.

That is why many people choose wood for building and decorating their houses - an environmentally friendly material.

Wood has unique properties: it sets the optimal balance of moisture and heat in the house, enriches the air with oxygen. The most optimal indicator of humidity, which is necessary for good health and must be maintained constantly - 45-55%. Wood is able to equalize the microclimate in the room. It saturates the air with resins and essential oils, due to which it acquires antiseptic properties. In other words, being in contact with a person, the tree kills pathogenic viruses and bacteria in the air, adsorbs toxic substances and odors, for example, after smoking.

The current environmental situation leaves much to be desired, so a wooden house is a real oasis with clean air and good ecology. The antistatic properties of wood do not allow dust to "circle" in the air and get into the lungs, settle on the skin.

In a wooden house, unlike a stone house, there is no condensation problem. The tree has a positive effect on the psychological and emotional state of a person. Natural shades, natural materials, the wonderful aroma of wood soothe the nervous system, give peace and tranquility.

Despite the fact that wood has its disadvantages (for example, wood is a combustible material that fungi and insects “love”), they are easily eliminated due to special treatment.
Various deciduous and coniferous trees are used for the construction of houses, the manufacture of wooden country furniture. Let's look at different types of wood in terms of safety and positive impact on human health.


This type of wood is highly environmentally friendly. Cedar is actively used for interior decoration of saunas, baths, cottages, houses. This natural material is famous for its truly valuable properties for health. It releases a huge amount of phytoncides that kill all pathogens. Where cedar plantations grow, the air is cleaner and contains less bacteria than in the operating room. The special smell of cedar strengthens health, prolongs life, and has a beneficial effect on all human organs.

Legends about the cedar have come down to us, which tell us that this tree is the most generous, because only good spirits settle in it. Its other name is "tree-pharmacist".

Interior decoration with cedar has a positive effect on physical and psychological well-being. Cedar wood kills putrefactive microbes, so milk dishes have been made from it for a long time.


Aspen has valuable healing properties. These properties are proven by scientific medicine. It has long been known that aspen has magical properties. It was customary to plant this tree near every house "for good luck." It was believed that it was able to protect the house from evil spirits. By contacting the aspen, you can be cured of unreasonable fears, calm your nerves and even get rid of damage and the evil eye.

Wood destroys pathogens and fungi. A simple example. If you put an aspen log in a dish with sauerkraut, then the cabbage stops sour, mold will never appear in it and the process of decay will not occur.

Aspen brooms are many times superior to oak and birch brooms in terms of healing effects.


Even our ancestors called the pine a symbol of long life, eternity and immortality. This tree is widely known for its healing properties. The aroma of pine has a beneficial effect on the respiratory system, improves the microclimate. Thanks to phytoncides, the tree has a beneficial effect on human organs. After sawing and processing, wood continues to release phytoncides.

Ecological properties of pine make it the best type of lumber for human health. Pines grow in ecologically safe taiga forests, where there are no industrial enterprises nearby. In the room, the decoration of which is made of pine lumber, the air is perfectly clean, almost sterile.


Today, this type of wood is widely used in industry. And not only because of its practical properties, but also because the ecological characteristics of larch are really high.

Due to the resin, the tree is practically not exposed to rotting processes and various pests. Therefore, larch lumber can be used in its pure natural form, without any processing, wood does not need to be painted. Larch releases substances - antioxidants, due to which the aging process is inhibited. That is why being close to wood is very good for health.


Spruce is a powerful source of bioenergy. Due to phytoncides, wood tends to make the air almost sterile. It is believed that houses made of coniferous lumber have the greatest healing properties, because. the smell of resin heals the respiratory system, creates a feeling of comfort and peace.

Spruce - a tree that does not "fall asleep" in winter. Thanks to its energy, it is green all year round. It is believed that the energy of spruce will replenish the vitality of those people who feel a breakdown in the winter months. In infectious diseases, it is useful to fumigate the house with coniferous smoke.

Each tree carries positive energy, it brings us closer to nature, relieves fatigue, so no synthetic materials can ever compete with them.

Since wood has a fibrous-layered structure, it is studied in three main sections: end or transverse, tangential (or tangential) and radial. By sawing a log across the fibers, a butt cut is obtained, and by splitting along the fibers, longitudinal cuts are obtained: tangential and radial. A radial cut can only be obtained if it passes strictly through the core. The rest of the longitudinal sections running parallel to the core at any distance will be called tangential. All boards produced at the sawmill have tangential cuts, with the exception of two boards sawn from the middle of the log, so in practice tangential cuts are sometimes called board cuts.

A very important cut in determining wood is the end cut. All the main parts of a tree trunk are immediately visible on it: the core, wood and bark. To determine the type of wood in practice, it is enough to study the macrostructure of a small piece of wood, which is sawn off from a bar or ridge board. Focusing on annual rings, tangential and radial sections are made. All sections are carefully polished first with coarse-grained and then with fine-grained sandpaper. It is also necessary to have at hand a magnifying glass with fifty times magnification, a jar of clean water and a brush.

In the middle of the trunk of many trees, the core is clearly visible. It consists of loose tissues formed in the first years of a tree's life. The core penetrates the tree trunk to the very top, each of its branches. And on this occasion, the inhabitants of the Samara province made such a riddle: "In the forest it grows on a par with the forest, but does not see the light." In deciduous trees, the core diameter is often larger than in conifers. Elderberry has a very large core. By removing the core, you can quite easily get a wooden tube. From time immemorial, such tubes have been used by folk musicians for the manufacture of various wind instruments: pity, flutes and pipes. Most trees have a round core in the end section, but there are species with a different shape of the core. The core of alder at the end resembles the shape of a triangle, ash - a square, poplar - a pentagon, and the core of oak resembles a five-pointed star.

At the end around the core, annual, or annual, layers of wood are located in concentric rings. On the radial section, the annual layers are visible in the form of parallel stripes, and on the tangential section - in the form of winding lines. Every year, the tree puts on a new layer of wood like a shirt, and due to this, the trunk and branches become thicker.

Between the wood and the bark is a thin layer of living cells called the cambium. Most of the cells go to the construction of a new annual layer of wood and a very small part - to the formation of bark. The bark consists of two layers - cork and bast. The cork layer located on the outside protects the wood of the trunk from severe frosts, hot sunlight and mechanical damage. The bast layer of the bark conducts water with organic substances produced in the leaves down the trunk. Downward sap flow occurs in oak fibers.

Tree bark is very variable in color (white, grey, brown, green, black, red) and in texture (smooth, lamellar, fissured, etc. ). Its application is manifold. Willow and oak bark contains many tannins used in medicine, as well as in dyeing and leather dressing. Corks for dishes are cut from cork oak bark, and waste serves as a filler for marine life belts. A well-developed linden bast layer is used for weaving various household items.

In spring and early summer, when there is a lot of moisture in the soil, the wood of the annual layer grows very quickly, but closer to autumn its growth slows down and, finally, stops completely in winter. This is reflected in the appearance and mechanical properties of the wood of the annual layer: grown in early spring is usually lighter and looser, and in late autumn - dark and dense.

If the weather is favorable, then a wide annual ring grows, and in a severe cold summer, rings are formed so narrow that they can sometimes hardly be seen with the naked eye. In some trees, annual rings are clearly visible, while in others they are barely noticeable. But, as a rule, in young trees the growth rings are wider than in old ones. Even the same tree trunk in different areas has a different width of annual rings. In the butt part of the tree, the annual layers are narrower than in the middle or in the top part. The width of the annual rings depends on where the tree grows. For example, the annual rings of pine growing in the northern regions are narrower than the annual rings of the southern pine.

The width of the annual rings affects not only the appearance of the wood, but also the mechanical properties. The best wood of coniferous trees is considered to be the one with narrower annual layers. Pine with narrow annual layers and brownish-red wood is called by the craftsmen ore and is highly valued. Pine wood with wide annual rings is called mandova. Its strength is much lower than ore.

The opposite is observed in the wood of trees such as oak and ash. They have more durable wood, which has wide annual layers. And in such trees as linden, aspen, birch, maple and others, the width of annual rings does not affect the mechanical properties of their wood.

In many trees, the growth rings on the butt end are more or less regular circles, but there are species in which the annual rings form wavy closed lines on the end face. Juniper belongs to such species: the waviness of annual rings for him is a regularity. But there are trees whose annual rings have become wavy due to abnormal growth conditions. The waviness of the annual layers in the butt of maple and elm enhances the decorativeness of the wood texture.

If you carefully examine the end section of deciduous trees, you can distinguish countless light or dark points - these are vessels. In oak, ash and elm, large vessels are located in the area of ​​early wood in two or three rows, forming well-defined dark rings in each annual layer. Therefore, these trees are called ring-vascular. As a rule, ring-vascular trees have heavy and durable wood.

In birch, aspen and linden, the vessels are very small, barely visible to the naked eye. Within the annual layer, the vessels are evenly distributed. Such breeds are called disseminated-vascular. In ring-vascular species, wood is of medium hardness and hard, in disseminated-vascular species it can be different. For example, in maple, apple and birch it is hard, while in linden, aspen and alder it is soft.

Water with mineral salts is supplied from the root through the vessels upwards to the buds and leaves, an upward flow of sap occurs. Cutting vessels of wood in early spring, harvesters collect birch sap - apiary. In the same way, sugar maple sap is harvested, which is used to produce sugar. There are trees with bitter sap, such as aspen. Wishing to emphasize the particularly bitter taste of a product, many habitually say: "Bitter as an aspen."

Simultaneously with the growth of a new annual layer inside the trunk, there is a gradual death of earlier annual layers located closer to the core. In some trees, dead wood inside the trunk turns a different color, usually darker than the rest of the wood. Dead wood inside the trunk is called the core, and the rocks in which it is formed are core.

The layer of living wood located around the core is called sapwood. Sapwood is more saturated with moisture and less durable than seasoned heartwood. The wood of the core cracks a little, is more resistant to damage by various fungi. Therefore, heartwood has always been valued more than sapwood. Sapwood saturated with moisture, when dried, cracks heavily, tearing at the same time the core. When harvesting a small amount of wood, some craftsmen prefer to strip a layer of sapwood from the ridge immediately before drying. Without sapwood, heartwood dries more evenly. The core species include: pine, cedar, larch, juniper, oak, ash, apple and others.

In another group of trees, the wood in the central part of the trunk almost completely dies off, but does not differ from sapwood in color. Such wood is called ripe, and the species is called ripe wood. Mature wood contains less moisture than live wood, because upward sap flow occurs only in the layer of live wood. Mature tree species include spruce and aspen.

The third group includes trees whose wood in the center does not die off and does not differ in any way from sapwood. The wood of the entire trunk consists entirely of sapwood living tissues, through which upward sap flow occurs. Such tree species are called sapwood. Sapwood includes birch, linden, maple, pear and others.

Perhaps you have noticed that in a birch woodpile there are sometimes logs with a brown spot in the middle, very similar to a kernel. You now know that birch is a non-core species. Where did her core come from? The fact is that this core is not real, but false. False core in joinery spoils the appearance, its wood has reduced strength. Distinguishing a false core from a real one is not so difficult. If for a real kernel the border between it and the sapwood runs strictly along the annual layer, then for a false one it can cross the annual layers. The very same false core sometimes acquires the most diverse colors and bizarre outlines, reminiscent of either a star or the corolla of an exotic flower. A false core is formed only in deciduous trees, such as birch, maple and alder, while conifers do not have it.

On the end surface of a tree trunk in some tree species, light shiny stripes are clearly visible, running fan-shaped from the core to the bark - these are core rays. They carry water in the trunk horizontally and also store nutrients. The core rays are denser than the surrounding wood, and after wetting with water they become clearly visible. On the radial section, the rays are visible in the form of shiny stripes, dashes and spots, on the tangential section - in the form of dashes and lenticels. In all coniferous trees, as well as in deciduous ones - birch, aspen, pear and others - the core rays are so narrow that they are almost invisible to the naked eye. In oak and beech, on the contrary, the rays are wide and clearly visible in all cuts. In alder and hazel (forest hazel), some of the rays seem to be wide, but if you look at one of them through a magnifying glass, it is easy to find that this is not a wide beam at all, but a bunch of very thin rays gathered together. Such rays are called false wide beams.

On the wood of birch, rowan, maple and alder one can often see brown spots scattered randomly - these are the so-called core repetitions. These are overgrown insect tunnels. On longitudinal sections, core repetitions are visible in the form of strokes and shapeless spots of brown or brown color, which differ sharply from the color of the surrounding wood.

If coniferous wood is moistened with clean water on the butt cut, then some of them will have light spots located in the late part of the growth rings. This is resin passages. On the radial and tangential sections, they are visible as light dashes. Pine, spruce, larch and cedar have resin passages, but juniper and fir do not. In pine, resin ducts are large and numerous, in larch - small, in cedar - large, but rare.

You have probably noticed more than once on the trunks of damaged coniferous trees, influxes of transparent resin - resin. Gum is a valuable raw material that finds various applications in industry and in everyday life. In order to collect resin, harvesters deliberately cut the resin passages of coniferous trees.

The wood of some widely distributed midland deciduous trees lacks the brilliance of color and striking texture pattern found in exotic trees imported from southern countries. It matches the Central Russian nature - its colors are muted, unpretentious and restrained textural pattern. But the more you peer into the wood of our trees, the more subtle color shades you begin to distinguish in it. At a cursory glance at the wood of birch, aspen and linden, it may seem that all these trees have the same white wood. But, looking closely, it is not difficult to find that the birch wood has a slight pinkish tint, the aspen has a yellowish green, and the linden has a yellowish orange. And of course, not only for its excellent mechanical properties, linden has become a favorite and traditional material for Russian carvers. The warm and soft color of its wood gives figurines and other carvings an extraordinary liveliness. Apparently, this is why Bogorodsk carvers so rarely and reluctantly painted linden. For the same reason, it never occurred to sculptors to paint marble.

But still, in the middle lane there are trees whose wood has a rather definite bright color. Red-yellow wood has alder, brown-brown - oak and ash, pinkish-brown - pear and apple, reddish-brown - larch and pinkish-ocher - cedar.

In practice, birch, linden and aspen wood is sometimes referred to as textureless wood. This is not true, textureless wood does not exist at all. Only in some trees it is more clearly expressed, while in others it is less. Sand the aspen bar carefully, and the annual layers will become clearly visible. With the help of special chemicals, the texture pattern can be strengthened, made more expressive, and, therefore, the decorativeness of wood can be increased.

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