The timber of broad-leaved, deciduous trees, the slowest growing of which- those with the harshest winters, produce the most dense and therefore sturdiest wood.
Compared with the softwood of conifers, hardwoods are far more resilient, they are least prone to warp so can be riled on for the core of a building, and be left outside in all weathers, even untreated, for doors, roof tiles and cladding. And for garden furniture, especially for the silver grey natural ageing of oak, or cedar as it blend back into the landscape.
Oak, sycamore, chestnut, beech, walnut, etc. and all fruitwoods are hardwoods that can be used for wood panelling, furniture, floors, curtain poles and fittings; softer woods such as lime are more appropriate for intricate carvings, indeed this was Grinling Gibbons’ medium of choice.
For certain uses, Douglas fir, which is technically a soft wood, also behaves as a hardwood. Though it has the density and longevity of a hardwood it is very often used for window frames as, being a softwood, it accepts paint easily.
pic of woodland and oak floor
04 Shutters and floor from homegrown Exmoor oak
15 Fumed oak parquet from middle Europe and reclaimed lye treated oak boards from Belgium.