Hardwood not hard, softwood not soft! (necessarily)

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Go to your local borg and pick up a piece of poplar from the hardwood section. Repeat with some yellow pine in the softwoods. You'll find the yellow pine much harder.
Re-read the original post.
Jim
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: Go to your local borg and pick up a piece of poplar from the hardwood : section. Repeat with some yellow pine in the softwoods. You'll : find the yellow pine much harder.
: Re-read the original post.
Does anyone know what the hardest softwood is? The softest hardwood?
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wrote:

The softest hardwood has gotta be balsa. Dunno about the hardest softwood... longleaf pine is certainly one of the hardest in North America, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are some tropical gymnosperms that are much harder.
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How about Pacific Yew? I have a friend who has his barn poles made from this wood. I was trying to drive nails into this stuff and every single nail bent. This is the wood which got me interested in this topic to begin with.
Pacific Yew... http://www.thenakedplank.com/Yew-pacific.html
Softwoods of North America... (Yew - acrobat page121, document page 117) http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr102.pdf
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(Bill) says...

That would get my vote. The stuff is not only so hard it is difficult to work, but it is also incredibly tough. Makes good bows. If you shape the bow so there is sapwood on the outside and heartwood on the inside, it will give you a natural compound bow.
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Name one.

Botanically speaking, magnolia is a hardwood.

Botanically speaking, balsa is a hardwood, and southern yellow pine is a softwood.
Methinks you need to go back and read what the OP wrote. *Much* more carefully this time.

You are confusing "softwood" with "soft wood", and "hardwood" with "hard wood". Not the same at all, as the OP's post makes abundantly clear.

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Doug Miller wrote:

Not really. Hardwood and softwood are not botanical classifications.

Same problem, has nothing to do with botanical classifications.
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Picky, picky, picky. "Hardwood" and "softwood" are lumber industry terms that are exactly synonymous with the botanical terms "angiosperm" and "gymnosperm" respectively. Happy now?

Same answer. Were you born this pedantic, or did you train?
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Bzzt! Thanks for playing. Magnolia is harder than yellow poplar.
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Em wrote:

Balsa is a hardwood. Most softwoods are easier to cut tham Balsa.
Bunya Pine is a softwood. It is insanely hard.
As the OP said, it is a taxonomic division (although his source is wrong, many Hardwoods are evergreen)
...Brock.
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Brock Ulfsen wrote:

The confusion is caused by people mixing two different classifications. There are botanical (scientific) classifications as well as commercial and other classifications. The situation is similar to tree names where you need to know the scientific name to be sure of what another person is talking about because, trees also have common names, commercial names, etc.
Most importantly, there is no taxonomic division or classification of hardwoods and softwoods. Those terms are primarily commercial, logging, and building trades terms based on the hardness of the wood. To further complicate, sources try to simplify the definition by equating hardwood and softwoods to some botanical classification. But, they don't fit any botanical classification very well and that is the source of the confusion.
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Not correct.

That is simply false. Longleaf pine, for example, is considerably harder than yellow poplar; however, the former is classified as a softwood by the lumber industry, and the latter as a hardwood.
The lumber industry distinction between hardwood and softwood is based *loosely* on the fact that most hardwood trees are harder than most softwood trees -- but, as noted above, that is not always the case.

The confusion is entirely on your part, sir. "Hardwood" and "softwood" are exactly synonymous with "angiosperm" and "gymnosperm" respectively. If you disagree, it's up to you to provide counterexamples.
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Doug Miller wrote:

Exactly. That is the way I was taught back in a HS science class.
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

Then you had a lousy science teacher! No decent biologist or botanist would say that, and the physics and chemistry teachers probably wouldn't know or care.
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Doug Miller wrote:

Take some botany classes or just take one--taxonomy.

Well at least you agree it is an industry classification. If it isn't generally based on the hardness of the wood, I wonder why the two categories are "softwood" and "hardwood."

You are right, it is loose, so loose than the wheel fell off.

I'm confused? I know exactly what the terms angiosperm and gymnosperm mean. And if I didn't, I could go to any botany book and find the definition.
If the industry equates angiosperm and gymnosperm to hardwood and softwood, why don't they just say angiosperm and gymnosperm and be correct? You already gave examples of gymnosperms that are harder than angiosperms.
My point is that defining hardwood/softwood that way is useless, senseless, irresponsible, and confusing. The fact that this thread is so long confirms that.

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I'm doing just fine in that regard. I think you need to take some classes yourself, though, starting with Intro Logic.

See paragraph below, where this is explained for you.

Whatever....
You may know exactly what the botanical terms mean, but you don't appear to have the slightest idea how they relate to the industry terms.

Because (a) most people wouldn't have any idea what those terms mean, and (b) the terms "hardwood" and "softwood" are much more useful in a practical context.
Are you by any chance a college professor?

You're still missing the point. Noboby ever said that all angiosperms are harder than all gymnosperms.

You're certainly entitled to that opinion, even though you may be the only person on the planet to hold it -- or be confused by the classification.
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The problem,then as now,was not with the "tea",it was with the representatives(or lack of them).
Throw the *representatives* "in the harbor".
Apologies if I boogered the attribs.
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jyanik
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In article

Funny, my dendrology course and books from college support Doug. Of course, 27 years of experience in the lumber business, softwood and hardwood, don't make me right either.
GGG
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leaves
flowers
softwoods
Well, there are evergreen angisperms, azalea, rhododendron, holly, are they hard or soft wood? And there are deciduous gymnosperms, larch? are they hard or soft wood? I'm not sure the Univ of Tenn is the defining authority here.
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Being angiosperms, they're hardwoods.

Being gymnosperms, they're softwoods.

Perhaps not, but they agree completely with the source that *is* the defining authority:
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/fplgtr113.htm

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