It all comes down to its physical structure...
The genealogy of the plant will determine what timber to use in your next D.I.Y
Classifying wood as either a hardwood or softwood comes down to its physical structure and make up. Hardwood is not necessarily a harder material and softwood is not necessarily a softer material. For example, balsa wood is one of the lightest and least dense types of wood but is still considered a hardwood.
The distinction between hardwood and softwood actually has to do with plant reproduction. Hardwood trees are angiosperms plants that produce seeds with some sort of covering. This might be a fruit, such as an apple, or a hard shell, such as an acorn. Softwoods, on the other hand, are gymnosperms. These plants let seeds have no covering and fall to the ground. Pine trees, which grow seeds in hard cones, fall into this category.
Sydney Handyman - Comparison Chart
- Uses: Hardwoods are more likely to be found in high-quality furniture, decks, flooring and construction that need to last.
- Examples: Examples of hardwood trees include alder, balsa, beech, hickory, mahogany, maple, oak, teak, and walnut.
- Density: Most hardwoods have a higher density than most softwoods.
- Uses: About 80% of all timber comes from softwood. Softwoods have a wide range of applications and are found in building components (e.g., windows, doors), furniture, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), paper, Christmas trees, and much more.
- Examples: Examples of softwood trees are cedar, Douglas fir, juniper, pine, redwood, spruce, and yew.
- Density: Most softwoods have a lower density than most hardwoods.