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What Wood Is That?

How to sort out the clues

How to sort out the clues

How to sort out the clues

It's suppose that your unidentified wood has a plainsawn grain pattern that looks much like red oak, and seems just as hard and heavy. It has no scent and lacks aroma as well as the hint of pink normally common to red oak.

With a hand lens, you see that your mystery wood's growth rings have the tell-tale signs of a ring-porous species. Rays aren't evident, though, so you dismiss the notion that it's an oak. It's also not as hard, heavy, or brown enough to be a hickory.

How about elm? Not likely because your sample doesn't have an odor, and its grain still reminds you of red oak. From the list, you've eliminated all candidates except ash. It could be that; but white ash or black? With the hand lens, you look at the end grain again. Your wood has large earlywood pores and wide growth wings. You've read that black ash usually grows slowly in damp, cool conditions. That means its growth rings would be narrower. So white ash is your answer.


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