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Boreal (Cottonwood)

Wood Flooring Species

Scientific Name:

Populus balsamifera

Other Names and Species:

Balm
Cottonwood
Hackmatack
Poplar
Tacamahac

Origin:

Northern United States and Canada

Appearance:

The sapwood of boreal is white to faint yellow, while the heartwood is grayish-white to light brown in color. The species has a figured, straight grain and is uniform and somewhat coarse in texture. The wood’s figure becomes more pronounced with staining.

Properties:

Boreal is not overly durable in its exposed form with regards to decay. It is not the best choice in such high risk situations. The wood is reported to have no odor. Boreal can be somewhat difficult to dry properly but does so fairly quickly.

Janka Hardness: 1023

As a flooring option, boreal is a somewhat softer wood. It is slightly harder than black walnut, is roughly eighty percent as hard as red oak, about seventy-five percent as hard as white oak, and about seventy-nine percent as hard as ash.

Workability:

Boreal cuts rather easily and cleanly. Boreal glues easily and nails without splitting being reported. This species is generally difficult to sand.

Principal Uses:

Boreal’s uses include furniture, veneers, and violins.

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