Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is the only true member of the ebony family that grows in North America. But unlike its tropical counterpart and many other trees, the vast majority of persimmon lumber consists of cream-colored sapwood, with only a tiny portion of dark heartwood. Surprisingly, though, its sapwood is more highly prized and utilized.
Woodsense: Black Locust
Give your work a beautiful skin.
Woodsense: Reclaimed Heart Pine
There’s something about the texture, warm hue and distinctive grain of heart pine that just makes you want to run your hand over the wood. Yes, it’s a yellow pine, but don’t confuse it with the yellow pine you’ll find at the lumberyard, often tinged pressure-treatment green. Heart pine is the heartwood of the longleaf pine tree (Pinus palustris), which is no longer harvested for commercial use and is now primarily available only as reclaimed lumber. The lumberyard stuff is slash pine (Pinus elliottii), loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) or less often, shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata).
WoodSense: Spotlight on Catalpa
This ornamental tree is a woodworker’s delight.
WoodSense: Spotlight on Maple
The sugar maple (Acer saccharum) entertains millions of “leaf peepers” every fall with its fiery foliage, and pancakes everywhere drip with syrup made from the tree’s sap.
WoodSense: Spotlight on Rosewood
Sometimes called “true” rosewood, Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) is a beautiful hardwood. Its namesake is inspired by the sweet rose-like scent produced when cut.