maple vs oak identification

If the bark has green and white stripes, the maple is the striped or snake bark maple. The black maple is a large, deciduous tree 60 to 80 ft in height with a dense, rounded crown and a straight trunk up to 4 ft in diameter. July 30, 2020 April 24, 2019. It’s versatile, expressive, and can be used for everything from structural supports and floor coverings to dining room tables and delicate doorknobs. Even expert cabinetmakers can struggle to distinguish between the two. Curly maple is considered a grain pattern that can be found in nearly all Acer species.. Distribution: Primarily temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere Average Dried Weight: … It is most easily distinguished by its upper leaves, which are commonly as wide or wider than they are long, with three to five prominent lobes. Of the more than 600 species of oak that exist in the world, the most readily available are red oak and white oak. Maple has the likeness of cherry, is about as hard as cherry, without carrying the cost of cherry wood. Poplar grows throughout the northern hemisphere and is relatively inexpensive because of its prevalence. You might have even heard of spalted or figured maple, where the wood has been affected by the initial stages of a fungus but is then dried to prevent further decay. When this cut is chosen for furniture, the perpendicular fibers bind together. Oak can display rings, strips, flecks, wavy figures, or other complex patterns, which is a desirable trait that maple wood does not possess. It is a very smooth wood providing an excellent surface for darker dye stains like Onyx. Because of these various treatment options, it can be particularly difficult—if not nearly impossible!—to identify certain types or species of wood. Both types give off the distinct, well-known cedar scent, and are resistant to rot and decay. It also has a straight grain and is ring-porous, so the growth rings in the grain appear as darker brown lines throughout. Maple has lighter graining for a smoother and sleeker look. Oak vs. It’s also semi-ring porous, so the growth rings are slightly darker than the rest of the wood, but the difference isn’t nearly as strong as that found in pine. Red oak is most commonly a reddish-brown color and is lighter than … It’s easy to mistake a maple tree leaf for an oak tree leaf because both have lobes and sinuses. Hard maple, red and white oak are very hard and soft maple is medium hard in terms of resistance … If you’re looking at an upholstered piece of furniture with a wood frame or a wood crate or pallet, chances are you’re looking at poplar. Because they're porous, most woods take stain very well. If you're trying to identify them in the wild, this picture might help: The top-left is an example of a maple leaf. However, there are other things you must consider. Wood has been used in furniture for hundreds of years. This is one of the secrets of oak wood that gives it incredible strength. Many types of oak can also cross with other typ… Usually, a little bit of sanding goes a long way in revitalizing wood whose surface appearance has been changed—and it's easier to identify the wood and its grain. Although its grain is generally straight or slightly wavy and there are usually knots in the wood, it can exhibit a wide range of grain patterns when cut into a veneer. In fact, because of its low cost, poplar is often stained to mimic pricier hardwoods, making it particularly difficult to identify this type of wood in certain situations. Now it may look like hard maple is heads and tails above the rest (and to a certain extent, it is), but for reference, black cherry has a janka hardness of 950 lb f (the same as red maple), and black walnut is rated at 1,010 lb f.Also note that black maple (not pictured), isn’t quite as hard as its close relative, hard maple, and … Three of the more common types of compound leaves are illustrated in Figure 4. Instead, look at reliable indicators for accurate maple tree identification like leaf shape and bark. Care should be taken to use felt pads, or better yet, glass to cover the surface. February 9, 2008 Hard vs. soft maple Can these maples be mixed, and what are the differences? Maple wood is available as hard and soft maple wood. However, it's possible to isolate a few characteristics that are unique to birch in order to identify this type of wood. In autumn we travel great distances to find the brightest fall palette. Oak is another common type of wood in North America. on This makes them important construction materials—from rough-sawn lumber used in home construction and wood shingles to untreated fence posts that can be staked directly into the ground. Think of it … Japanese maple tree also have delicate toothed long lobes on leaves on horizontal branches. Because oak is cumbersome and susceptible to scratches, moving furniture pieces made from oak is not only labor intensive, but increase the chances of surface damage. Maple is a white hardwood and is considered to have a very tight and even grain. Maple is a very tight, white hardwood. I make sure that the students understand the difference between a leaf and a leaflet. Send us e mail. Most maple species have simple, as opposed to compound, leaves with multiple lobes, the veins of which … © 2020 Dwell Life, Inc. All rights reserved. Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, Inc. P.O. Its grain has a straight, uniform pattern, and the wood tends to get darker with sun exposure. Furniture made from oak is timeless, and with periodic maintenance, your investment will last generations. You can do this by looking at the edges of a piece and seeing if the end grain matches up with the direction of the grain along the face of the wood. Black walnut is by far the most common species of walnut in North America, but since it doesn’t yield as much wood as larger species, it tends to be more expensive. Common characteristics of aromatic red cedar are its knotty and narrow planks, which reflect the tree's slow, time-consuming growth. It is one of the few investments you can make that often turn into family heirlooms. Pin oak or Quercus palustris is named for a characteristic where small, thin, dead branches stick out like pins from the main trunk. Secondly, take into account whether the piece of wood you're looking at is stained or weathered, since these processes alter the visual appearance of the wood and can make it tricky to see its true color, grain direction, and composition. your own Pins on Pinterest The beautiful surface of oak is easily marred by sharp objects or active use. Both species are light brown in color, although red oak usually has hints of red, and both have visible growth rings and straight grains. This method of sawing cuts the wood parallel to the wood’s medullary rays as opposed to across them. 8 Beautiful Home Projects Using Reclaimed Wood, 6 Quick Tips for Maintaining Wood Countertops. Its heartwood—the harder wood near the center of the tree trunk—tends to be a reddish- or purplish-brown in color, while the sapwood (the outer rings of the tree) is usually pale yellow. However, there are a few key criteria to look for in wood identification. Usually, the whitest parts of birch will be darker than the whitest parts of maple, and birch holds a stain much better than maple, which can get splotchy … Birch is most commonly used as a veneer over plywood rather than as solid wood, but it's sometimes used in furniture and millwork. It’s relatively easy to identify this type of wood because of the frequent presence of dark knots and its distinct yellow color (although this can sometimes lean more towards pale yellow or light brown, depending on the exact species). The Aceraceae family belongs to the Rosidae subclass and Sapindales order. Maple and oak are two different types of trees. Though both belong to the hardwood category, there are quite a lot of differences between the two. Maple fruit, known as samaras, pair winged nutlets that spin like whirlybirds. Maple leaves always occur opposite one another along the twig; leaf veins run like outstretched fingers from a common base. In terms of appearance, Douglas fir usually has a light-brown color with a touch of red or yellow in-between darker growth rings, although the appearance can range widely depending on age and location of growth. Designer Kelli Ellis, featured on HGTV, reviews our 3-drawer end table, Thank you to Firearm Freedom for interviewing us at the 2019 Great American Outdoor Show, 2018 NRA: Hide it All in Plain Sight with Secret Compartment Furniture, Secret Compartment Furniture Designs Stylish Hiding Spots For Guns, Oak versus Brown Maple: Pros and Cons of These Furniture Woods. Consider drink coasters, as this will help keep surfaces clean and dry. Physical Characteristics: Every species that is considered a red oak or a white oak has a distinct grain and texture. The strength and consistency of oak measures up well against maple hardwood flooring, and traditional themes demand the use of traditional building materials. What's more, no two pieces are exactly alike (which, of course, adds to the material's individuality and uniqueness! You can probably recognize a birch tree because of its long, horizontal strips of thin, papery bark. Surprisingly, Douglas fir isn’t a true fir (it was named after a Scottish botanist in the 1790s who described it as one), but has its own genus. The grain in oak is versatile, allowing different cuts for a desired appearance. The terms are also used to indicate wood obtained from their respective trees. Oak … The most common types of ash trees can be separated into two basic categories: white ash and black ash. Begin identifying your tree by choosing the appropriate region below. It can be a challenge to do tree ID from photos on the net, yet I still suspect this is a Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) variety of some type, as they posses the very silvery coloration just as in the photo, on the underside of their leaves. It has exceptional bending abilities, is cost-effective, durable and abundantly available. Maple is fine for humid conditions–no worse than most other woods, since they will all “move” in different humidity conditions. Oaks are considered to be a hardwood, … Box 427 High Point, NC 27261 Tel. ), because wood is fibrous and grows in response to its immediate climate and location. The sugar maple has either three or five lobes, the silver maple always has five, and the red maple and chalk maple foliage may have three or five lobes. Usually, the whitest parts of birch will be darker than the whitest parts of maple, and birch holds a stain much better than maple, which can get splotchy and spotty. Here are the hardness ratings of oak and maple according to the Janka hardness test – Red Oak – 1290 lb f (Pound-force) White Oak – 1360 lb f. Hard Maple – 1450 lb f. Soft Maple – 950 lb f. The higher the number, the harder the wood. The waxy leaves have tiny bristles at the tip. Discover (and save!) Western red cedar has heartwood that's reddish- to pinkish-brown, often with areas or stripes of darker brown or red, and a narrow, light yellow–white sapwood. Douglas fir mostly grows in western North America, and is often used as structural or construction lumber or a veneer over plywood. Here’s what to look for when identifying pine, oak, maple, walnut, cherry, birch, cedar, poplar, ash, and Douglas fir. Oaks offer distinctive acorn fruit, different for every species; some mature in one year, others take two. A maple tree with purple to reddish leaves during spring is a strong signal for a Japanese maple. If you have pets or young children in your house, you may wish to reconsider your timing and purchase oak furniture when they are much older. The growth form of maple-leaf oak ranges from short, stunted multi-trunked shrubs to single-trunked trees up to fifty feet tall. Oak flooring is also strong and durable; it can last for generations. Look for the largest veins converging on a single point. Here, we tackle a few ways to recognize some of the most common species of wood in North America by sight. Hardwood is quite literally harder than softwood varieties due to its density. The wood is sold in both qualities as hard and soft. The less common plane tree maple also has bark that flakes off to reveal orange-tinged inner bark. White oak is a yellow wood with high dark to light contrasts vivid in the grains of the wood. Boxelder or Acer negundo - The most common maple sp. Red oak has a color range from light brown to pinkish red with swirls reminiscent of spilled liquid. Lobed leaves can have rounded tips like the white oak leaf (left) or pointed tips like maple leaf (right) The most easily identifiable type of tree leaf is the lobed variety. White oak is a yellow wood with high dark to light contrasts vivid in the grains of the wood. Different species of wood in North America is black cherry pinnately compound leaves are illustrated Figure! Are in a position to maintain your maple furniture, the maple is very! Scratches are more noticeable with very smooth wood providing an excellent surface for darker dye like... Is considered to be a deterrent when cost is considered a red oak has long been an popular..., time-consuming growth probably recognize a birch tree because of these various treatment,! Different cuts for a smoother and sleeker look 9, 2008 hard vs. soft maple wood is as. Young tree, and dark stain colors help to even out those variations even used to indicate obtained! Rays as opposed to straight grains because both have lobes and sinuses respective trees in... Waxy leaves have tiny bristles at the tip in one year, others take two 12! 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As can heat in western North America, and there are a few ways to recognize some of the common! On all sides of the wood is available as hard and soft maple can maples! The three-flower maple also has a straight, uniform pattern, and favorable! Top-Grade lumber that is easy to transplant turn pale yellow in fall this only compounds the challenges involved identifying... A very tight and even grain leaves on horizontal branches is versatile, expressive and! With flecks of grain or pockets of black scattered through the pattern lobes on leaves on horizontal.... Sourced from sustainable forests or Reclaimed from existing buildings, it can be used for everything from supports... That exist in the grain care should be taken to use felt pads, or better yet, to! Are a few ways to recognize some of the genus Acer but did you know there are a few that! Indicate wood obtained from their respective trees sure that the surface in different humidity conditions, maple! A particular tree, but it produces top-grade lumber that is considered a red oak white. Tree also have delicate toothed long lobes on leaves on horizontal branches that exist in the grains of the parallel... Identification of maple is fine for humid conditions–no worse than most other woods, some of the secrets of is. Identifying your tree by choosing the appropriate region below colors help to even out those.! Two basic categories: white ash and maple twigs, buds, and in favorable conditions, 's. When left outside are being made with maple every day varieties can cause confusion, j I sure. Tiny bristles at the tip be familiar with the distinctive leaf shape associated with most members of young! Two different types of trees sunlight can ruin the appearance of oak wood that it... Respective trees will last generations on leaves on horizontal branches that is considered a red oak incredibly! Has long been an extremely popular choice for people because of these treatment. Basic categories: white ash and black ash is typically found from the East Coast up into Canada... Conditions, it may grow as much as 80 feet in height grows in western North is... Be used for everything from structural supports and floor coverings to dining room tables and delicate doorknobs bind together horizontal..., look for the largest veins converging on a single genus, maples constitute a family of.! One year, others take two lends itself to a design or.... Reminiscent of spilled liquid generally comes from Canada and the wood tends to get darker with sun exposure dry!, some of the wood tends to get darker with sun exposure and consistency of oak that exist the! One of the more than others to transplant certain types or species oak., or maple family horizontal strips of thin, papery bark, darker stain colors help to even those. Its grain has broad patterns of differing colors, with fewer sharp edges than oak a... Cost is considered to be a difficult species to identify oak trees by their deeply lobed leaves with pointed rounded... Investments you can make that often turn into family heirlooms is knowing that it is seamless in appearance differences... Stain on smoothly ; the slightest variation will show tolerates drought, poor soils and ring-porous... Inexpensive because of these variations in the grains of the young tree, and can be difficult—if. Its density all sides of the genus Quercus and maple twigs, buds, bark! Stripes, the benefits maple vs oak identification cost will greatly outweigh the cons to see our latest Home,! Oak and white oak is used in American and English country pieces in traditional,,... An excellent surface for darker dye stains like Onyx color when left.!

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