Different Kinds Of Pine Wood Species

Types of pine wood

In modern times, Pine is considered one of the most economical options for making stunning furniture. Being a member of the botanical family ‘Pinaceae’, pine is a conifer that produces cones. Their leaves are usually thin and needle-shaped. Based on the atmosphere and location, you can expect pine trees to live a long life typically from 100 to 1,000 years.

You can find several types of pine wood suitable for making beautiful flooring and cabinetry.

Also known as Pinus, this species dominates several locations in Eastern, Northern, and Central Europe. It is highly popular for being evergreen softwood. That said, pine wood is usually softer but stronger than hardwood.
There are many varieties of pine wood like soft pine wood, hard pine wood and the intermediaries. In this blog, you can find a brief description of different varieties of pine wood.


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Types of Pine Wood

1. Hard Pine

Talking about this classification of pinewood, the wood is thick and hard. That said, it is harder than the softwoods. If you observe these trees transitioning from earlywood to latewood, you can notice a changing uneven grain structure in some varieties.


A. Longleaf Pine

Also known as Pinus palustris, these are different kinds of pine wood pine found in the southeastern regions of the United States. It is almost flawless with a glassy and smooth grain structure. There are not many defects in this pinewood.

These pine trees are fast-growing and can reach a height of 115 ft. While the trunks can grow to a diameter of 3 ft. The wood from these trees is very important when it comes to building ships.

It is also popularly used for the construction of interiors as well as exteriors. You can use it for building roof trusses, stringers, subflooring, sheathing and poles.


B. Southern yellow pine

If you are looking for a perfect hardwood pine tree, then Southern yellow pine is the best option. It is also known as Pinus palustris that belongs to the south-eastern regions of North America spreading throughout south Massachusetts to Florida and from east Texas to the Atlantic Ocean.

Different types of pine wood trees have variable spread. These have a spread of 5 ft and a height of about 160 ft. This pinewood has great thickness and you can observe an irregular pattern with straight-grain.

Since this pinewood is at a lower risk of getting rotten and spoiled because of mold or moisture, it is highly used for building exterior furniture, fencing, decks, posts and flooring.


C. Loblolly Pine

Popularly called the Pinus Taeda, this pinewood originates from the Southeastern parts of the United States. These trees can reach a height of 115 ft with a trunk of diameter 5 ft. You can easily identify this pine tree with its unique pine-like scent.

These are different kinds of pine woods most commonly used to construct stringers, roof trusses, beams, piles and joints. This wood is also in demand to make plywood and composite boards, pallets and boxes and furniture.


D. Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii)

Pinus elliottii or say slash pine is another common pine wood variety that can be found in southeastern parts of the United States. These trees can typically reach to a height of 100ft with a trunk having a 3 ft diameter.

It is in great demand when it comes to making bridges, beams, poles and railroad ties. It is also used for making veneered plywood and wood pulp.


E. Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)

Pinus resinosa, commonly known as the Red pine, is located in the northern regions of the United States. Another common name for this pinewood is the Norway pine because people often confuse it as Norway Spruce that is found in the United States.

Red pine has a heartwood with a light brown and reddish hue and nearly white sapwood. With an oily touch the surface of this wood is smooth and straight. The tree has a trunk with a 3 ft diameter and a height of about 100 ft.

You can use the red pinewood tree to make pulpwood, cabin logs, construction lumber, poles, and railway ties.


2. Intermediate Hardness Pine

This is a different pine wood classification with intermediate hardness. It basically covers all  the pine woods with characteristics of softwood and hardwood. It is the best option if you are looking for a fairly light weight wood with a smooth grained texture. The pattern may however transition from earlywood to latewood.


A. Lodgepole Pine Tree

Scientifically known as the Pinus Contorta, this pine tree is located in areas of Western North America. As the name suggests this tree is highly popular to make lodges and tipis.

The size of this category may vary according to the types of pine wood variety. These subspecies include slender trees, tall trees as well as the short and thick trees.

They can, however, grow between 65 to 100 feet. While the trunk can grow to a diameter of 1 to 2 feet. It has a white and yellow sapwood with a yellowish-red and brown tinted heartwood.

There are many purposes for which you can use this pine wood, including sheathing, plywood, interior trim, construction lumber, subflooring, veneer and cabinetry.


B. Ponderosa Pine

The scientific name of this tree is Pinus Ponderosa. You can find these in areas falling in Canada and Western United States. These trees are demarcated in contrast to the other pine wood species like lodgepole pine.

But just like Pinus Contorta, the tree has yellow and white sapwood with yellowish-red brown heartwood. Also, these pine trees have a similar dimpling like that of a lodgepole, however, it’s not that protruding.

You can most commonly use it to build boxes and crates. Additionally, these trees are highly useful for making moldings, subflooring, blinds, doors, sheathing, sashes and cabinetry. The tree can attain a height between 100 ft to 165 ft and a trunk diameter of 2 ft to 4 ft.


3. Soft Pine

This classification consists of pine wood varieties that are softer to work with. But it usually comprises of pine groups with an even grain texture and low density. Here, take a look at some common softwood varieties.


A. Limber Pine

Also known as the Pinus flexilis and Rocky mountain white pine, these types of pine wood are not valued much for their commercial uses. But it is highly useful for fuel and uneven construction.
You can normally find these pine trees in the parts of Canada, Mexico, Western United States. The tree can reach a height of 50 ft with a spread of 3 ft.

B. Western White Pine (Pinus monticola)

These softwood pines are scientifically known as Pinus monticola. You will mostly find them in the North American Coastal Range, Northern Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada.
The trees can climb to a height of 150 ft and trunks can spread about 5 ft. It has a uniform grain with a medium to rough pattern. It is a great option to make packing crates, plywood, wooden matches and veneer.
Apart from this it can be used to make stunning furniture, millwork and construction of lumber.


C. Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana)

You can popularly call them the Pinus Lambertiana. These pinewoods come under the category of majestic pine wood species spread across the American pacific coast mountains. They are also spread through the areas of Oregon to Baja in California. The trunk of these pine trees can spread up to 5 ft while it can climb up to 200 ft tall.

These are mostly useful in interior construction like trim work, sashes and moldings. Most people also like to make various kinds of musical instruments.

Related: Types of Pine Trees | Types of Pine Cones | How Long Do Pine Trees Live| When Do Pine Cones Fall


Q. How to Identify Pine Wood?

A. There are various characteristics that you should be aware about in order to identify the different types of pine wood. But this is not just limited to the basic characteristics like growing habits, barks and leaves.

You should be able to identify the various pines based on its wood. The pinewood are typically categorized as the softwood, moderately hardwood and hardwood. You can check out this comprehensive blog to know the different pine wood varieties and their characteristics.

To identify the wood you can look out for characteristics like grain and color appearance. The sapwood of the soft variety has a light yellow and white color whereas the heartwood for hard varieties has red-brown to pale brown darker hue.

The most common feature for identification is noticing the pine wood for circle knots of dark brown color.


Q. What is the hardest type of pine wood?

A. Of all the different kinds of pine woods, the southern yellow pine is known to be the hardest. Their most tough and dense varieties include the longleaf pines and slash pines. Slash pines are popular as the heaviest and strongest pine wood. Both the species are a little resistant to shock.


Q. What is pine wood used for?

A. There are innumerable uses for which people like pine wood trees. Due to being shock resistant, stiff and dense in nature, the pine wood is highly used for various furniture projects.

The softwood type of pine is considered perfect to make door frames, window frames, cabinet trims, baseboards, picture frames and chair rail. Most people also prefer to use the hardwood for decking and flooring. It is possible because the different types of pine wood are tolerant to rotting and decaying.

The pine wood variety that are short and ornamental can be used for privacy hedging and decoration.


Q. Are there any pine wood disadvantages associated too along with the advantages?

A. There are innumerable advantages of pinewood trees. With good characteristics like being light-weight, pine wood is easy to move and use. Based on its usage, the Pine Wood is highly durable.

But when it comes to exterior uses, make sure to go for pine wood that is treated with pressure. With closed grain and moderate texture, pine wood has a light color. This means that you can easily use any color on it. It works best when you need to conceal a stain on pine wood.

However, being categorised as a softwood, different pine wood varieties under this category have some disadvantages as well. It easily gets dents and scratches. Most pine woods are also prone to easily rot away and become defective.

When you use pinewood, you will need to take care of it regularly. Make sure to wax and oil it regularly as the pinewood can get rotten, cracked and retain moisture easily.