Lumber can be grouped into two broad categories - Softwoods and Hardwoods - based on a botanical distinction. Hardwoods are those species that come from leaf-bearing trees that produce flowers, fruits or nuts. Common North American hardwood lumber includes, maple, ash, oak, walnut, cherry, beech, birch and poplar.

There are many less common Western hardwoods as well like butternut, mesquite, holly, pear and sycamore. Other countries have hardwoods and are commonly known as exotic hardwoods and these include teak, mahogany, ebony, rosewood, bubinga, purple-heart and pear. These exotic woods can be purchased through the internet or specialty catalogs, however they are pricey and may only come in limited size

Softwoods come from a large family of cone bearing trees that bear needles rather than leaves. Firs and pines of all sorts, redwood, cedar and cypress are typical of North American softwoods made into board lumber, because these species are well suited for construction purposes, all lumber used from framing and rough construction comes from softwood trees. They are significantly strong for structural applications, yet are easy to work with common hand and power tools, another advantage is the cone-bearing tress grow rapidly and develop straighter trunks and branches than the hardwoods. And finally more softwood trees can be planted per acre than hardwood trees so they produce a higher lumber yield in less time.

Below I have created this PDF that details some species of Hard & Soft woods that currently grown in North America. I created this list based on individual research utilizing internet sources. To the best of my knowledge it is accurate and I think it a useful document , if you require a downloadable format please click the below button and you will receive a PDF.

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