Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Difference between softwood and hardwood

Hardwood firewood in most parts of the world is considered to be the best firewood to burn! but is it really that much better and what is the difference between it and softwood. One of the biggest differences is density. Usually hardwoods are more dense than softwood meaning that there is more solid wood in any given piece compared with the same size piece of softwood, because of this the denser the wood the more heat and energy the wood will give off. This makes hardwood a good choice for burning in your home as it will last longer and give off more heat over a longer period of time.

Softwoods are usually less dense, which makes them burn faster and not give off as much heat over the same amount of time as hardwood. Softwoods are easier to light than hardwoods, which make them good for starting fires and getting a hot fire quickly and for making kindling with. softwoods are usually cheaper to buy than hardwoods

Softwoods come from coniferous trees they are also known as evergreens, or gymnosperms. Rather than losing their leaves all at one time, they tend to shed their leaves which are called "needles" these plants produce and let there seeds fall to the ground with no covering

Hardwoods, on the other hand, come from deciduous trees which lose their leaves throughout the year and produce seeds covered with some kind of covering sometimes a fruit or nut. such an an apple or a hard shell such as an acorn. Hardwoods are angiosperms

Some soft wood trees include cedar, fir, larch, pine. Hardwood trees include oak, ash, beach, sycamore

A common misconception is that hardwoods are denser or harder than softwood but this is not always true. Balsa wood, which is a very light weight wood is considered a hardwood. in the other hand Douglas fir is a softwood and is considered one of the strongest woods