Hardwood not hard, softwood not soft! (necessarily)

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wrote:

they
Say you, but the original article also included deciduous in the definition. The above are not deciduous.

Again, the original article included evergreen in it's definition of softwood, yet there are gymnosperms that are deciduous.
An ambiguous definition isn't one.
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But, being angiosperms, they're hardwoods.

Being gymnosperms, they're softwoods, whether they're deciduous or not.

The terms "hardwood" and "softwood" are exactly synonymous with "angiosperm" and "gymnosperm" respectively.
The overwhelming majority of gymnosperms are evergreen, and the overwhelming majority of temperate-zone angiosperms are deciduous.
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The Forest Products Laboratory publishes the Wood Handbook, which is usually regarded as the authority on wood and wood-base products. (Not the sole authority, but neither is it contested.)
Under Hardwoods & softwoods:
"Trees are divided into two broad classes, usually referred to as hardwoods and softwoods. These names can be confusing since some softwoods are actually harder than some hard-woods, and conversely some hardwoods are softer than some softwoods. For example, softwoods such as longleaf pine and Douglas-fir are typically harder than the hardwoods basswood and aspen. Botanically, hardwoods are Angiosperms; the seeds are enclosed in the ovary of the flower. Anatomically, hardwoods are porous; that is, they contain vessel elements. A vessel element is a wood cell with open ends; when vessel elements are set one above another, they form a continuous tube (vessel), which serves as a conduit for transporting water or sap in the tree. Typically, hardwoods are plants with broad leaves that, with few exceptions in the temperate re-gion, lose their leaves in autumn or winter. Most imported tropical woods are hardwoods. Botanically, softwoods are Gymnosperms or conifers; the seeds are naked (not enclosed in the ovary of the flower). Anatomically, softwoods are nonporous and do not contain vessels. Softwoods are usually cone-bearing plants with needle- or scale-like evergreen leaves. Some softwoods, such as larches and baldcypress, lose their needles during autumn or winter. Major resources of softwood species are spread across the United States, except for the Great Plains where only small areas are forested. Softwood species are often loosely grouped in three general regions, as shown in Table 1-1. Hardwoods also occur in all parts of the United States, although most grow east of the Great Plains. Hardwood species are shown by region in Table 1-2."
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Live oak, some call them "evergreens" although they don't resemble any conifer, drop their leaves not at the end of the growing season, but, at the beginning of spring. Leaves are soon replaced in less than a week. If one is not paying attention, one might think they never lose their leaves. Just an addendum to the defintion provided by the original post. They're hardwood if anyone is perplexed.
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Lil\' Dave
Beware the rule quoters, the corp mindset, the Borg
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Jim wrote:

If you've ever had one growing in your yard, you'll never think they don't lose their leaves.
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Well, "when I use a word, it means precisely what I want it to mean".
At least one dictionary I found offers a 3rd definition:
[Macquarie] Word: hardwood Pron: ['hadwyd] 1 n. - Bot. any of the generally broadleaved, angiospermous trees with sieve tubes for the conduction of nutrient solutions, most of which have hard wood, as the eucalypts, but some of which have soft wood, as the balsa. 2 - the wood of such a tree. 3 - (in popular use) any wood which is hard.
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I thought this was a post about Lyle! Haven't seen hide nor hair of him in a while. Wonder what he's up to...
R
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(Bill) says...

I have my doubts about this article. One of my favorite flowers is the sugar pine blossom, which is a great big flower about 5" in diameter that blossoms in the early spring. Incense cedar is blossoming now, and the scent of cedar blossoms is filling the air. The dawn redwood is deciduous in cool climates, while madrone (arbutus menziesi) is a broad leaf, flowering evergreen with deciduous bark.
Anyway, conifers definitely have blossoms. In some cases they are even showy. The cone is just a seed case that appears after the blossom fades.
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In an angiosperm the seeds are enclosed. In conifers the seeds are exposed.
http://www.msnucleus.org/membership/html/k-6/lc/plants/2/lcp2_5a.html
I suspect there are borderline cases left over from when one evolved from the other but I don't know that for a fact.
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Anybody heard of IronWood trees? They grow along streams and rivers here in N.C. Hard or soft, botanically? I know their density and weight make them properly named. Hugh
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Houston wrote:

I 'think' I have seen one but not sure. My understanding is that they are deciduous and thus by definition are softwood.
Harry K
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Nearly all deciduous trees are hardwood. And, as noted repeatedly in this thread, that's *not* what defines the difference between hardwoods and softwoods anyway.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Houston wrote:

OOPS! By definition they are HARDWOOD.
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

And I though you were agreeing that angiosperm means hardwood. Now you think deciduous means hardwood, or deciduous means angiosperm? Hint: neither are true, so what do you really think?
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

So in addition to being pedantic for no reason you also are incapable of understanding simple posts?
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

I'm not the one that wrote: My understanding is that they are deciduous and thus by definition are softwood.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

To avoid the pedantry: If they are deciduous they are hardwood by lumber definition. Same error I made in the original post.
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You still don't have it right.
Very, very few deciduous trees are softwoods. Most deciduous trees are hardwoods. Most hardwoods are deciduous. Most softwoods are evergreen. Most [temperate-zone] evergreens are softwood. *All* angiosperms are hardwoods, and vice versa, by definiton. *All* gymnosperms are softwoods, and vice versa, by definition.
Got it now?
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Doug Miller wrote:

I wrote an answer to each one of your statements but then said the hell with it, I'm not being paid to correct your sloppy statements, so I erased them. But I left the comment on two of your statements.

Now you have it backwards, the lumber industry doesn't define evergreens. Kind of obvious, which trees are evergreen huh? However softwoods (if you softwoods as gymnosperms) in the temperate zone are mostly evergreens. But that is just a fact not a lumber industry definition.
I would imagine any well qualified timber or lumber representative would recognize the distinction made above and recognize its importance.

No, the lumber industry defines the term "hardwoods" lumber from an angiosperm. The reverse (defining angiosperms as hardwood) is not true since the lumber industry doesn't define angiosperms, it accepts definitions common to taxonomic botany.
The lumber industry recognizes that its definition of hardwood and softwood (which is based on the cell structure found in angiosperms and gymnosperms) has short comings.
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Still false, despite you having snipped my correction.

Translation: you finally figured out you were wrong about those, but won't admit it.

Translation: you're still confused about those two.

I didn't say that it did. Please read more carefully before you respond, next time. Obviously I'm going to have to spell this out for you very carefully.
The lumber industry defines softwoods and hardwoods. Most temperate-zone evergreen species are regarded by the lumber industry as softwoods.
Got it now? If you still disagree, it's up to you to provide counter-examples: find a significant number (enough to contradict the generalization "most") of temperate-zone evergreens that the lumber industry regards as hardwoods.

You're obviously totally ignorant of lumber industry classifications. Please educate yourself before continuing this debate.

And I, in turn, imagine that any well qualified timber or lumber representative would laugh at your pedantic quibbling and tell you to get a life.

OK, sorry I confused you by not spelling it out every step of the way. See if this is easier to understand:
By the lumber industry's definition of the term "hardwood", all angiosperms are hardwoods, and all hardwoods are angiosperms.
Do you understand now?

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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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