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Hardwood

Last updated: April 5, 2017

What Does Hardwood Mean?

Hardwood refers to wood derived from evergreen trees, especially broad-leaf ones, as well as deciduous trees. These trees belong to the widest cluster of land plants, also known as angiosperms. In contrast to softwood, hardwoods tend to have broad leaves, but contrary to popular belief, they are not always harder. According to botanists, there are more than 100 different species of hardwood in the world.

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Maximum Yield Explains Hardwood

Unlike softwoods, hardwoods tend to grow at a slower pace and are far bigger in size. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, black ironwood is one of the hardest woods known to mankind. In fact, these trees are so dense that the barks actually sink in water instead of floating like most other pieces of wood.

Hardwood trees are equipped with xylem vessels, which are used to carry and distribute water through the trees. Their cell walls are lined with lignin, an extremely tough material that is responsible for the tree’s hardness. This stands in stark contrast to softwood, where the vascular structure is not unlike a cluster of drinking straws.

According to botanists, there are different species of hardwood in Europe and USA, including, but not limited to, willow, maple, sassafras, olive tree, walnut, cherry, ash, alder, birch, hackberry, elm and cottonwood, among others.

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