4 Things You Didn’t Know About Hardwood Timber

Hardwood is a really popular choice when choosing timber. It is well-known for its durability and longevity, making the slightly higher price tag worth it for certain applications. But there are still many things you may not know about hardwood. Read on to discover some of our top fun facts about hardwood timber!

1. Hardwood Is not Always Harder Than Softwood

Hardwood is generally considered to be harder than softwood (it is literally implied in the name!). But this isn’t actually always the case. Some hardwoods are a lot lighter and less tough than softwoods. Balsa, for example, is one of the lightest hardwoods in the world – it is the favourite timber for model aeroplanes. This definitely is the exception to the rule, but it can happen!

2. Hardwood Describes the Seeds, Leaves & Structure 

So, if a hardwood can be soft and light, what makes it a hardwood? It is not to do with the properties of the wood at all, but rather the tree from which the wood is sourced. The two categories of hardwoods and softwoods tell us more about the type of tree: seeds, leaves and the cell structure from which the timber came.

Hardwood timber comes from broadleaved deciduous trees, technically known as angiosperms. These trees usually lose their foliage in winter and their seeds are covered (think of the apple and cherry trees). 

Softwoods are gymnosperms and are usually evergreen, with needle-like leaves. They are one of the oldest living plants on the planet and their seeds are naked – like the pine cone – which is why they are also called conifers. 

3. London’s Most Popular Tree is a Hardwood

If you live in London, you might have spotted that there’s a certain type of tree that crops up everywhere. This is the London Plane, and it’s a hardwood! It is the most prevalent tree in London because of its exceptional pollution-absorbing properties, allowing everyone in the city to breathe more easily and stay more healthy. The next time you visit London, see how many London Plane trees you can spot!

4. Hardwood Trees Don’t Die of Old Age

Okay, this is a sneaky one because it actually applies to both hardwood and softwood trees, but we think it is a very interesting point so it is hard not to include it! Trees don’t die of old age. Instead things like insects and diseases kill them, or they are chopped down. That is why the oldest tree on the earth is more than 5,000 years old, making it truly ancient.

Find Sustainable Hardwood Timber at EcoChoice

If you are on the hunt for hardwood timber, we have a wide variety of species to choose from at EcoChoice. Our timber is sustainably sourced, too, helping the forests of the world to thrive and construction to continue. Browse our range of products to find the wood that you seek!

Image: Starsphinx / Shutterstock.com

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