What is a What is a Hardwood?
A hardwood tree is any tree that is an angiosperm or a monocotyledon, and not a conifer. Hardwood trees generally produce flowers and fruit and are deciduous, or lose their leaves in winter. Hardwood trees produce wood of varying “hardness,” though in general wood from these trees is physically “harder” than the wood derived from softwood, or conifer, trees. Hardwood trees produce wood that is dense and heavy, making not only structurally strong but exceptionally beautiful as well.
Hardwood vs. Softwood
In general, hardwood is heavier and stronger than softwoods. Because of its physical properties, hardwood is more resistant to termites, weathering, rot and decay. Softwoods are used more commonly than hardwoods in everyday projects because they are less expensive and easier to work with. Softwoods are the primary wood used in framing wooden homes and buildings, and make up the majority of the wood found in plywood and less expensive furniture.
In general, hardwood is much stronger than softwood, making it the ideal wood for making furniture that must withstand high levels of use. Hardwood retains its strength and is less likely to split when worked, so it is invaluable in furniture manufacturing. The unique grain patterns found in hardwoods not only make them strong and durable, but also make them aesthetically pleasing. A simple application of wood stain and clear varnish help accent the natural beauty of the wood and protect the surface from premature wear and tear.