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What is Softwood?

Softwood refers to lumber that has been cut from a coniferous or an evergreen tree. Softwoods are frequently used as building materials.

Softwoods come from evergreen and conifer trees, such as pine, cedar or spruce. The other class of wood is hardwood, which comes from angiosperms, such as walnut, hickory or maple. Softwood lumber is used for many woodworking projects because it is usually strong and easy to work with. Softwood is used by many woodworking professionals, including carpenters, cabinetmakers, furniture makers and woodcarvers. The classification of the wood is misleading because softwood is not necessarily soft. While there are hardwoods that are denser than softwood, many types of softwood are much harder. Softwoods do not have the same structure as hardwoods because they do not require vessels to transport water. The use of softwoods is considered to be environmentally friendly because the trees grow more quickly than hardwood trees.

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