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Species in Key
Glossary

Baush & Lomb 10x Hastings Triplet Lens

Hand-Lens Key for the Use of Identification of Important Comercial Woods Used in the Unites States
W. R. Adams, revised by R.A. Whitmore, University of Vermont

The descriptive key is based on features visible to the unaided eye and with a small hand lens of approximately 10X magnification.

This key was made with the assistance of the keys of S. J. Record and Filbert Roth together with a wood collection for the personal examination of each species named. The characters are easily visible if directions are followed. Caution must be taken in making cross section cuts so as not to tear the wood elements. Always use a very sharp heavy knife in making the cut for observation. The softer the wood the more certain you must be sure that your knife is sharp. If the features do not show well, moisten the freshly cut surface.

Example from Hough
Larger view. Largest view.

Species have been linked to examples found inThe American Woods: Exhibited by actual specimens and with copious explanatory text , Volumes I-XIV, by Romeyn B. Hough, Loweville, New York. These volumes include radial, tangential, and cross-sections of 350 North American woods from the fourteen-volume rare book The American Woods: exhibited by actual specimens and with copious explanatory text, published 1888-1910 by the author, Romeyn Beck Hough. The images can be accessed by volume number or by the scientific or common name of each tree. Available online from the Special Collections Department of the NCSU Libraries.

Where species' names have changed, the examples found in Hough ate in brackets. These need to be verified to make certain they are the same species, now renamed.


Key

1. Wood porous. Vessels are present, varying in size. Wood composition heterogeneous. Growth rings distinct in ring porous to indistinct in diffused porous. Wood parenchyma presents, often conspicuous. Rays vary from minute to large and conspicuous. 23.

1. Wood non-porous. Vessels absent. Wood homogeneous. Growth rings distinct due to change in color and density of wood. Wood composed largely or entirely of tracheids, fairly uniform in structure and arranged in definite radial rows barely visible under the lens. Resin cells may be present or absent. Rays fine. May or may not have resinous odor or taste. 2.

2. Resin ducts, both vertical and horizontal, present. Vertical resin ducts ducts usually visible on the cross section without a lens; horizontal resin ducts occur in fusiform rays and are not readily visible even with a lens. The vertical ducts appear on the longitudinal surface as fine lines or scratches, light amber or dark brown to black in color. 3.

2. Vertical resin ducts normally absent; may be present as a result of injury in which case they are in a compact peripheral row. 13.

3. Resin ducts plainly visible (large to small) on the cross section. normally occur in the outer portions of the growth rings. 4.

3. Resin ducts small and inconspicuous; appear in late wood as small whitish dots visible with lens. 9.

4. Resin ducts numerous, evenly scattered throughout the late wood. characteristic resinous odor. 5.

4. Resin ducts not numerous nor evenly distributed. Odor usually faint or absent. Color of heart wood dull orange to reddish; sapwood yellowish. Resin ducts frequently combined in tangential groups of 5 to 20, forming lines on the cross section. Wood coarse grained, uneven textured. Early wood weak, late wood dense and hard, being prominent on both cross and radial surfaces.
Douglas Fir Pseudotsuga menziesii [Pseudopsuga taxifolia]

5. Transition from early to late wood gradual. Annual ring distinguished by fine line of dense late wood cells. Color creamy to yellowish red. Wood soft, light, and straight grained.
Soft Pines 6.

5. Transition from early to late wood abrupt. Decided contrast in color between early and late wood which is darker colored. Color from light yellow to deep orange. Woods vary from soft to hard and heavy.
Hard Pines 7.

6. Resin ducts appear lighter than the surrounding wood when cross section is moistened. In old dry boards exposed to the air for long periods, the resin ducts will be dark colored. Deep fresh cuts will show the lighter colored resin ducts. Color of wood varying from light straw to creamy-white and reddish brown with a purplish tinge to the late wood. No sugary exudations. Texture fine; luster silky; cleavable into long thin strips.
White Pine Pinus strobus
Western or Idaho White Pine Pinus monticola

6. Resin ducts conspicuous, appearing darker than the surrounding wood. Prominent long, dark streaks of resin ducts are visible on the tangential and radial surfaces. Summer or late wood amber in color. General color of wood yellowish to to very light brown. Texture coarse; luster dull; not cleavable into thin strips. Sugary exudations and sugar pockets common on fresh lumber.
Sugar Pine Pinus lambertiana

7. Wood light and soft. light orange in color. Broad growth of early wood; bands of late wood narrow. 8.

7. Wood heavy and hard. Late wood medium to very dense, narrow to wide and orange to purple-brown in color. Early wood yellowish in color and broader than the late wood. resin ducts conspicuous and lighter than the surrounding wood.
Southern Pine Pinus echinata Pinus elliottii
Pinus palustris Pinus taeda

8. Change from early to late wood appears to be gradual with a slightly darker fine band
band of late wood growth which is fairly even in width and lustrous deep amber colored on cross section. Resin ducts small, widely scattered; not highly resinous.
Red or Norway Pine Pinus resinosa

8. Change from early to late wood abrupt. late wood band narrow or broad; yellowish; not lustrous when cut on the cross section. Heart wood is hard, heavy, highly resinous. Late wood is pale yellow in color.
Ponderosa or Western Yellow Pine Pinus ponderosa

9. Wood variable but mostly hard and heavy with a decided contrast between seasonal growth; sometimes decidedly pitchy. 10.

9. Wood variable from very light and soft to moderately so with from slightly to decided contrast between seasonal growths. Usually the late wood is not pronounced. Non- resinous. Texture fine; luster satiny. 11.

10. Color light yellowish brown; texture medium. Growth rings usually wide but variable in width. Wood not straight grained, not highly resinous.
Tamarack, Eastern Larch Larix laricina [Larix Americana]

10. Color reddish brown. Growth rings generally narrow and uniform in width. Texture coarse and harsh. straight grained. Sometimes extremely dense and pitchy. Slight resinous odor. Resin ducts sometimes in groups, readily visible, light reddish and open. Pitch streaks of resin ducts visible on the tangential surface.
Western Larch Larix occidentalis

11. Color white to very light. Wood uniform and fine textured. Resin ducts scarcely visible without a lens. 12.

11. Color reddish to pinkish or pale brown with purple cast. Becomes silvery on exposure. texture rather wooly. Resin ducts fairly distinct, lighter colored than surrounding wood.
Sitka Spruce Picea sitchensis

12. Grain varying from extremely fine to medium. Late wood has a high luster on the cross and tangential sections sharply contrasting to the early wood. Resin ducts few.
Red Spruce Picea rubens
Black Spruce Picea mariana
[Picea parryana]

12. Grain mostly coarse (radial surface). Medium contrast between early and late wood. Late wood dull on cross and tangential sections. Growth rings narrow.
White Spruce Picea glauca [Picea alba]
Engleman Spruce Picea englemanii

13. Woods with aromatic odor. 14.

13. Woods without aromatic odor. 19.

14. Color light clear yellow or slightly brownish. Late wood inconspicuous but appearing as a fine darker line on the moist cross section. Odor pronounced pungent. Taste unpleasantly spicy-resinous. Texture fine and uniform.
Port Orford Cedar Chamaecyparis lawsoniana

14. Color varying from light brown to red or purplish, never yellow. Late wood distinct. Odor variable, more or less pronounced but not pungent. Taste not unpleasant. 15.

15. Wood firm and compact, cutting smoothly across the grain. Moderate contrast between seasonal growth; transition gradual. Demarcation between heart wood and sapwood usually distinct. 16.

15. Wood soft and more or less spongy. 17.

16. Color pale reddish brown to roseate. Rays brown but lighter than late wood. Odor pronounced. Taste spicy. Growth rings regular, rather finely uniform. Late wood fairly conspicuous. Texture fine and uniform.
Incense Cedar Libocedrus decurrens

16. Color purple or deep red, often streaked with white. Odor and taste characteristic but mild. Resin cells numerous, deeply colored, mostly zonate in concentric lines visible with the lens. Texture fine and uniform. Growth ring often very irregular in width and outline. Late wood not often conspicuous but appears deep red on moistened cross section; may be double or triple (false rings).
Pencil or red cedar Juniperus virginiana

17. Decided contrast between seasonal growths. late wood thin but hard. Early wood very soft. Transition very abrupt. light dull brown to reddish brown color, often streaked.
Western Red Cedar Thuya plicata [Thuja gigantea]

17. Moderate contrasts between seasonal growths. Late wood rather soft. Transition gradual Pale brown or pinkish color. 18.

18. Color pale brown. Odor very mild. Wood soft and punky, brash very dry. Growth rings mostly narrow. Decided contrast between early and late wood on longitudinal ` surface but contrast moderate on dry cross section; prominent when moistened.
Arborvitae, Northern White Cedar Thuja occidentalis

18. Color light reddish brown or pinkish. Concentrate lines of resin cells visible. Odor more pronounced. Wood firm and less brash than proceeding species, slightly oily. Growth rings mostly moderately wide.
Southern White Cedar Chamaecyparis thyoides

19. Wood oily, greasy or waxy. Your fingers will feel resin coated when rubbed together after rubbing the wood. Fresh cut wood or water soaked wood has rancid odor. Color yellowish or reddish brown or almost dark brown streaked. Texture fine. Tracheids large; on cross section, the openings (lumina) are readily visible in regular radial rows, with or with out the lens. Wood variable from soft and light to hard and heavy. Ring width frequently irregular.
Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum

19. Wood not oily or greasy. No rancid odor. Ring width not irregular. 20.

20. Color of heartwood bright orange, rose red to deep reddish brown. Sap wood white or light yellow in color, thin. Tracheids large, openings (lumina) readily visible with lens. Texture uniform. Wood light and soft with out odor or taste. Decided contrast between early and late wood. Late wood narrow, lustrous and deep reddish brown on cross section and longitudinal section. Early wood dull reddish brown.
Red Wood Sequoia sempervirens

20. Color of wood white, creamy-white to buff yellow. Yellowish brown to brown. It may have a rosate or reddish brown tinge, particularly the late wood of the annual ring. No distinct demarcation between heart wood and sapwood. 21.

21. Color white to pale brown. Late wood darker yellow with rosate to lavender cast. wood often coarse grained, soft and weak.
Balsam Fir Abies balsame
White Fir Abies concolor

21. Color buff to yellowish or light brown. Early wood has reddish tinge with darker late wood reddish brown to to a purplish tinge. 22.

22. Transition from early to late wood frequently abrupt. Wood dry, brittle, harsh to cut. Silvery, inclined to split apart at growth rings. Contrast between seasonal growth pronounced. Color light buff with reddish brown tinge. Moist fresh wood has a disagreeable odor. Traumatic longitudinal resin canals, do not occur.
Eastern Hemlock Tsuga canadensis

22. Transition from early to late wood gradual. wood not very brittle, splintery, nor harsh to cut; quite even grained, uniform textured. Color light, sometimes pinkish or reddish brown. Odorless when dry. Aggregate or resinous tracheids, traumatic resin canals, resembling resin ducts on cross section are sometimes present.
Western Hemlock Tsuga heterophylla

23. Ring porous woods. Largest pores localized in a band in the early wood are distinct without a lens. 24.

23. Diffuse porous woods. Pores fairly uniform in size and distribution throughout growth ring. Occasionally more numerous and very often some what larger in the early wood but without forming a distinct ring or band in the early wood. 39.

24. Late wood with radial lines or patches, frequently branched or fan shaped, composed of small pores and and parenchyma, usually lighter color than the remainder of the wood, visible on the cross section. Parenchyma in fine concentric lines also present.
25.

24. No radial lines or patches visible in the late wood on the cross section, but has tangential or dotted markings of parenchyma. 27.

25. Rays fine, inconspicuous. Wood light; not hard to cut the cross section. Pores in early wood very numerous, large, mostly oval or elliptical, open and in a broad zone. Color brown. Taste somewhat astringent due to the tannin content. Early wood pores open or partly filled with tyloses.
Chestnut Castanea dentata

25. Rays of two kinds (1) Large and conspicuous, showing as brown flakes or bands on radial surface and as distinct vertically elongated streaks on the tangential surface. (2) Very fine usually inconspicuous without a lens. Both kinds in the same wood. Wood heavy, very hard. 26.

26. Late wood pores individually distinct under lens, arranged in fairly definite radial rows. Pores in early wood large and usually crowed. Pores usually open, sometimes partially or wholly filled with tyloses. Rays showing tangentially as short and very distinct lines. Wood pinkish to pale reddish brown color.
Red Oaks Quercus rubra
Quercus prinus, et al.

26. Late wood pores rarely individually distinct. Arranged in fan shaped patches surrounded by lighter colored parenchyma. Early wood pores large and generally filled with tyloses. Rays showing as long, narrow, straight distinct lines on the tangential surface. Transition of pores abrupt. Wood medium brown in color.
White oaks Quercus alba
Quercus prinus, et al.

27. Pores in late wood numerous. 28.

27. Pores in late wood few, solitary or sub divided radially in twos and fours. 36.

28. Pores in late wood small, numerous and arranged in tangential or concentric bands of parenchyma, appearing lighter than the remainder of wood, especially when moistened. Wavy or zig zag markings on transverse surface. 29.

28. Pores in late wood variable in size, clustered, associated with parenchyma which often is confluent into tangential bands, irregular and broken or more or less continuous in the outer portions of wide rings. 31.

29. Pores in early wood few to several rows. rays obscure but visible with lens. Color dark or chocolate brown. Wood coarsely textured, woolly straight grained.
Slippery or Red Elm Ulmus rubra [Ulmus fulva]

29. Pores in early wood mostly in single rows, rays not always distinct with lens. 30.

30. Pores in early wood large and distinct, mostly open, forming a continuous row, sometimes more than one row. Growth rings very uneven and widely variable in thickness in different portions. Texture coarse and woolly. Color light gray to brown with reddish-brown streaks. Dark brown with grayish brown streaks on the cross section. Tough, difficult to split, hard and heavy.
White or American Elm Ulmus americana

30. Pores in early wood small, scarcely visible without a lens, mostly closed with tyloses. large pores few and rather widely separated in a band of small ones. Growth rings narrow, fairly even and uniform. Late wood pores few. Texture even not woolly. Color light brown to pinkish.
Rock Elm Ulmus thomasii [Ulmus racemosa]

31. Woods hard and heavy. Odorless. Color pronounced. Tyloses present or absent. Rays fine but distinct. 32.

31. Wood light and soft. Odor characteristic. Color not pronounced, mostly light brown. Tyloses present. 35.

32. Tyloses present. Heart wood golden yellow to greenish brown. Gum deposits absent or only occasional. 33.

32. Tyloses absent or rare. Heart wood light red or reddish brown. Dark colored gum deposits present. 34.

33. Color of freshly exposed wood golden yellow, becoming orange brown upon exposure. Usually with rather distinct reddish streaks showing on the longitudinal surface. Lustrous; pin knotty; cross grained.
Osage Orange Maclura pomifera [Toxylon pomiferum]

33. Color varying from greenish yellow to brown, often greenish in young trees; usually uniform, not striped with red. Dull luster; straight grained; Fairly free from knots. Wood hard early wood wide, light colored; late wood deep dark brown containing short light colored tangential patches of parenchyma surrounding the late wood pores.
Black Locust Robinia pseudoacacia

34. Pores in outer portions of late wood usually in groups of five to twenty. Individual pores visible. Sapwood thin. Texture coarse. Color cherry red to reddish brown.
Kentucky Coffee Tree Gymnocladus dioicus [Gymnocladus canadensis]

34. Pores in outer portion of late wood minute and usually in groups of ten to twenty-five. Sapwood thick. Texture moderately coarse. Color cherry red to reddish brown.
Honey Locust Gleditsia triacanthos

35. Pores in late wood solitary or in short radial groups of 2 or 3. Odor aromatic or spicy. Parenchyma extends tangentially from late wood pores which appear thick walled because of encircling parenchyma. Color light orange-brown. Texture coarse.
Sassafras Sassafras albidum

35. Pores in late wood in broken tangential bands or in oblique radial flame-shaped patches of light tissue. Late wood pores appear thin walled. Odor mild. Color light brown appearing bluish on the cross section. Wood fine textured, light and soft.
Catalpa Catalpa speciosa
Catalpa bigonioides

36. Large early wood pores in a scattered, single ring. Wood parenchyma in fine concentric lines somewhat independent of pores. 37.

36. Early wood pores are in a broad zone. Late wood pores smaller, solitary, subdivided radially into twos and fours. Wood parenchyma about pores in summer wood , may connect from pore to pore especially in the late wood. Rays scarcely distinct without lens. 38.

37. Ripple marks present on tangential section (60 to 80 per inch). Lines of wood parenchyma indistinct, finer than rays. Pores open. Color of heart wood of older wood dark brown, often streaked. Sapwood white or gray. Wood hard and heavy.
Persimmon Diospyros virginiana

37. Ripple marks absent. Tangential lines of wood parenchyma in the summer wood as distinct as the rays. Pores partially or wholly closed with tyloses. Color of heart wood light brown to reddish-brown. Sapwood white with pinkish tinge to the late wood particularly noticeable on the tangential surface. A few pores may be divided radially , appearing like the Greek letter theta.
Hickories Carya ovata [Hicoria ovata]
Carya cordiformis, et al.

38. Pores in late wood isolated, surrounded by lighter colored parenchyma but rarely joined. In early wood, pores in broad zone often over half width of growth ring. Yearly growth ring narrow and even. Wood light, comparatively soft. Early wood pores prominent on the tangential surface. wood dull, weak, grayish, brown to dark brown .
Black Ash Fraxinus nigra [Fraxinus sambucifolia]

38. Pores in late wood frequently connected by light colored tangential lines of parenchyma. In fast growing rings, late wood pores appear solitary except at the end of annual ring. Early wood pores fairly large, and in broad zone. Color gray brown with reddish tinge. Sapwood white to creamy white. Yearly growth irregular but tending to be broad. Wood lustrous, Strong.
White Ash Fraxinus americana
Fraxinus pennsylvanica

39. Pores large or variable from large to small within the annual ring although the large pores do not form a distinct band or ring in the early wood. All or at least a portion of the pores readily visible to the naked eye. Comparatively few to numerous. Large pores are very distinct on the longitudinal surface. 40.

39. Pores may be small but visible or minute and scarcely visible, often indistinct without a lens; mostly very numerous and well distributed throughout growth ring. Pores not conspicuous on the longitudinal surface. 43.

40. All rays fine. Pores not in continuous radial lines. 41.

40. Some of rays usually very broad. Pores somewhat variable in size but distinct; arranged in radial lines or bands between broad rays, extending across the growth ring and often continuous from one ring to another. Wood parenchyma commonly in concentric lines as well as about pores, frequently conspicuous. Wood very dense; color light to dark brown, tinged with red.
Live Oak Group
Live or Evergreen Oak Quercus virginiana
[Quercus virens]

41. Pores comparatively large in early wood, diminishing in size toward outer margin of growth ring, somewhat approaching ring porous. Growth rings distinct. rays fine. 42.

41. Pores conspicuous and of approximately the same size and scattered throughout growth rings; no tenancy to become ring porous. Growth rings not always distinct. Wood parenchyma in tangential lines. Frequently a distinct terminal line of parenchyma at end of growth ring. Ripple marks present on tangential surface. Rays fine but distinct. Wood light to hard and heavy with a rich reddish brown color.
Mahogany Swietenia mahogani

42. Wood dense and fairly heavy. Color rich dark chocolate brown to purplish. Wood parenchyma in numerous fine concentric lines independent of the pores. Tyloses present. Rays fine.
Black Walnut Juglans cinera

42. Wood light and soft. Color light chestnut brown with darker zones. Wood parenchyma in numerous fine concentric lines independent of the pores. Tyloses present. Rays fine.
Butternut Juglans cinera

43. Wood dense to moderately so. Rays may be fine and inconspicuous to moderately broad; or both may occur in same wood. 44.

43. Wood mostly light and soft . Rays fine, may be visible without lens to barely visible with lens. 54.

44. Pores in radial lines, not crowded laterally. Lines of tangential wood parenchyma visible with lens on moist cross section. Pores in early wood visible to unaided eye. wood dense difficult to split. Rays fine, indistinct. Growth ring sometimes sinuous. Color light brown or rosate.
Hornbeam, Ironwood, Leverwood Ostrya virginiana

44. Pores not in radial lines, although often in short radial groups, frequently crowded 45.

45. Rays quite distinct without a lens. 46.

45. Rays indistinct without lens. 50.

46. Conspicuously broad rays present; not aggregate. 47.

46. No conspicuously broad rays present. rays of moderate width are visible without a lens. Fine rays visible with a lens. 48.

47. Rays nearly all broad and numerous; fairly regular; conspicuous on tangential surface, having deeper color than the surrounding wood, producing very distinct silver grain on the radial or quartered surface. Pores crowded. Wood cross grained, splitting irregularly. Color light brown, often striped. late wood layer thin and of a lighter color than the early wood.
Sycamore Platanus occidentalis

47. Only some of the rays broad; irregularly distribute, visible on the tangential surface as short distinct darker colored lines, but fairly scattered. Wood straight grained. Color reddish brown to pinkish. With white streaks showing early wood growth. Late wood growth denser and darker than the early wood.
Beech Fagus grandifolia [Fagus ferruginea]

48. Color red to reddish-brown; deep brown color with age. Rays appear lighter color than the surrounding wood on the cross section. Gum ducts common. Wavy tangential grain with more or less homogeneous color.
Black cherry Prunus serotina

48. Color variable from light cream to decidedly reddish. Rays considerably darker on radial surface. Variable in size. Pores not crowded and evenly distributed. Grain may be curly or bird's eye. 49.

49. Part of rays comparatively large, broader than the pores, prominent on the cross section. growth rings distinct due to deeper colored late wood. Wood hard and lustrous, giving a smooth wavy appearance. Color light orange to pinkish. cross section a dull orange color.
Hard Maple, Sugar Maple Acer saccharinum [blister figure; bird's-eye figure]

49. Rays fairly even and not as broad as the pores. Pores visible, rays indistinct. Color pale pinkish to brown, with rays on radial surface showing broad and deep orange color. Pitch fleck common. late wood showing as denser growth. Cross section of the heart wood appears pale reddish-brown colored. Sapwood white.
Soft or Red Maple Acer rubrum
Acer saccharinum

50. Rays normally spaced, not appearing to form half of the area on the cross section. Pores readily visible, oval in shape and scattered. 51.

50. Rays very close together, appearing to form half of the area on the cross section. Growth rings usually indistinct. Pores numerous but very small. 52.

51. Pores distinct although small, oval in shape on cross section. Pores readily visible on tangential section. Color of wood from creamy white with a pinkish tinge in the narrow sapwood to light reddish brown to dark brown on cross section in the heart wood. Wood heavy, hard and strong. Yearly growth ring narrow, distinguished by denser dark brown ring of late wood.
Yellow Birch Betula alleghaniensis [Betula lutea]

51. Pores very small, scattered, but oval in shape on the cross section. Color of wood creamy white in sapwood, to very light pinkish brown in the heartwood on cross section. Longitudinal surface creamy white. Wood of moderate density, fine textured and straight grained. Yearly growth ring moderate. Annual ring distinguished by lighter fine line of dense late wood visible on cross section. Radially the late wood is darker than the early wood. Pith flick common.
White Birch Betula papyrifera

52. Color reddish to dull chocolate brown, often with irregular dark streaks producing "watered" effect on smooth longitudinal surface. Sapwood white but often variegated with blush or brownish streaks. Luster dull. Pores minute, abundant, uniformly distributed. Tyloses present. Gum ducts occasionally present in peripheral rows. Wood moderately hard.
Red Gum Liquidambar styraciflua

52. Color brown to nearly white. Luster high. Pores variable in size and abundance. Tyloses absent. Gum ducts absent.

53. Wood usually dense, tough and strong. Pores minute, numerous but not crowed, readily visible under the lens. Wood a flat creamy color with a tinge of greenish brown. Cross section same as tangential surface. Appears quite homogeneous; fairly smooth. Rays very fine and close together, barely visible under the lens. Growth rings frequently narrow.
Black Gum Nyssa sylvatica

53. Wood light and soft; tough but not strong. Pores small and crowded, not readily visible under the lens. Color pale greenish brown, cross section darker. Rays inconspicuous. Growth rings frequently broad.
Tupelo Nyssa aquatica

54. Rays distinct to the eye. 55.

54. Rays not distinct with a lens. 57.

55. Wood light brown with a greenish cast to greenish or light coffee brown. Cross section greenish brown colored. Growth rings terminated by a distinct light line of parenchyma. No parenchyma lines within growth ring. Tyloses few, thin walled and inconspicuous. Wood soft but firm, occasionally hard. Straight grained. rays fairly uniform. 56.

55. Wood creamy white to grayish brown in color. Pores distinct with lens. Wood light, soft, compact and moderately weak, quite homogeneous i appearance. Wood easily indented with thumb nail. Cuts smoothly.
Basswood Tilia americana

56. Pores rarely in radial groups, evenly distributed. Color variable depending on age, locality; clear yellow to green, brown or purplish. Curly and mottled grain not uncommon.
Tulip Liriodendron tulipifera

56. Pores often in radial groups of 3 to 8. Color mostly yellow or greenish. Distinct darker brown or grayish band of late wood in each annual ring. Wood fine grained, medium heavy.
Cucumber Tree Magnolia acuminata

57. Rays distinct with lens. Ripple marls distinct on tangential surface; fairly regular. All elements storied. Whitish in color with darker bluish streaks. Wood fine textured, light, soft. Pores minute, uniformly distributed. Growth ring terminated by fine line of wood parenchyma.
Buckeye Aesculus glabra
Aesculus octandra

57. Rays indistinct even under lens.

58. Color of wood reddish brown, somewhat variable. Luster dull. Texture coarse. Pores very abundant, readily visible, smaller pores in late wood. Wide growth rings. Wood light and soft.
Black Willow Salix nigra

58. Color pale brown, grayish or white. wood very light and soft. Growth ring terminated by fine light colored line of parenchyma, more or less distinct.

59. Texture coarse and woolly. Luster dull. Pores abundant and visible without lens, smaller in late wood portions of ring. Color light gray brown. Cross section light brown colored.
Cotton wood Populus deltoides

59. Texture very fine and silky. Luster high. Pores abundant, small, usually invisible without a lens, uniform in size and arrangement. Wood streaked. Color creamy white. Cross section yellowish.
Aspen, Trembling Populus tremuloides
Aspen, BigToothed Populus grandidentata