Peterson Portable Sawmills

Tree Dictionary: C-D

A   B   C-D   E-F   G-I   J-L   M-O   P-Q   R-T   U-Z

CALIFORNIA-LAUREL (Umbellularia californica)

Other Names: Oregon myrtle, myrtle, bay laurel, pepperwood, and spice tree.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in Oregon and California, United States.
Appearance: Straight to wavy grain with a medium texture. Yellowish brown or olive heartwood with pale brown sapwood. Noted for its exquisite figure and color.
Physical Properties: Hard, moderately heavy, high shock resistance, and low stiffness. Very durable heartwood.
Working Properties: Easily worked by machine or hand tools. Excellent turning properties. Polishes to a beautiful sheen.
Uses: Considered one of the best woods for novelties due to its natural beauty. Burls often sliced into cabinet-grade veneer.
Note: One of the most expensive woods in the United States.

CEDAR, TRUE (Cedrus spp.)

Other Names: Includes Lebanon, Atlantic cedar, Atlas cedar, and deodar cedar.
Type: Softwood
Range: Grows in northern Africa, Middle East, and India.
Appearance: Generally straight grained although Atlantic and Lebanon cedars often knotty. Fine textured. Light brown resinous heartwood and pale colored sapwood.
Physical Properties: Medium weight, low shock resistance and stiffness, and generally low strength properties. Stable in service. Decay resistant heartwood.
Working Properties: Works fairly well with hand or machine tools although knots and in-grown bark can be troublesome. Holds screws and nails well and polishes to a nice finish.
Uses: Higher grades used for furniture, cabinetry, doors, and interior joinery. Lesser grades used for house and bridge construction, paving blocks, and outdoor furniture. Other Uses include paneling and decorative veneers.

[b2t]

CEDAR, SOUTH AMERICAN (Cedrela spp.)

Other Names: Includes Brazilian cedar, Peruvian cedar, cedro, Honduras cedar, Mexican cedar, and Tabasco cedar. Not a true cedar.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in Central and South America.
Appearance: Straight grained, or sometimes interlocked grain with a coarse texture and reddish brown heartwood.
Physical Properties: Moderately heavy with low to moderate strength and stiffness depending on species. Stable in service. Heartwood is very decay resistant.
Working Properties: Works, glues, screw, nails and finishes well, although gum exudation may occur.
Uses: Used for fine furniture and cabinetry, chests, decks, ship building, cigar boxes, organ sound boards, construction, plwyood, and decorative veneers.

[b2t]

CHERRY, BLACK (Prunus serotina)

Other Names: Wild cherry, wild black cherry, rum cherry, cabinet cherry, capulin, and New England mahogany.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in Canada, United States, and Central America.
Appearance: Generally straight grained with a fairly uniform texture and a rich luster. Light to dark reddish brown heartwood and narrow, nearly white sapwood.
Physical Properties: Moderately hard and heavy, strong, stiff, and quite stable in service. Heartwood has good decay resistance.
Working Properties: Machines well with both hand and machine tools. Holds screws and nails well, glues and stains easily, and polishes to an excellent finish that naturally darkens with age.
Uses: Cabinetry, interior furniture, paneling, architectural woodwork, caskets, woodenware, toys, novelties, gun stocks, and tool handles.
Note: One of the most highly prized cabinet woods in North America.

[b2t]

CHERRY, EUROPEAN (Prunus avium)

Other Names: Cherry, wild cherry, gean, mazzard, merisier, and kers.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Distributed throughout Europe and southeast Asia.
Appearance: Generally straight grained with a fairly uniform texture and a rich luster. Light to dark reddish brown heartwood and narrow, nearly white sapwood. Often exhibits greater color contrast than American black cherry.
Physical Properties: Moderately hard and heavy, strong, stiff, and moderately stable in service. Heartwood has moderate decay resistance.
Working Properties: Machines well with both hand and machine tools. Holds screws and nails well, glues and stains easily, and polishes to an excellent finish that naturally darkens with age.
Uses: Highly prized for cabinets, furniture, carving, and turnery. Also used for paneling, decorative veneer, architectural woodwork, caskets, woodenware, novelties, musical instruments, gun stocks, handles, and toys.

[b2t]

CHESTNUT, AMERICAN (Castanea dentata)

Other Names: Chestnut, chinkapin, and sweet chestnut.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in eastern half of United States.
Appearance: Straight grained and coarse-textured with low to medium luster. Narrow, light-colored sapwood and reddish brown heartwood that darkens with age.
Physical Properties: Light and soft (dents easily) with modest strength and shock resistance. Excellent decay resistance.
Working Properties: Machines very well but splits easily – pre-drilling recommended for screws and nails.
Uses: In scarce supply today, but formerly used for furniture caskets, musical instruments, boxes, woodenware, interior trim, shingles, piling, fenceposts, railroad ties.

[b2t]

CHESTNUT, EUROPEAN (Castanea sativa)

Other Names: Sweet chestnut and Spanish chestnut.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in southwest Europe, North Africa, and western Asia.
Appearance: Straight or sometimes spiral grained with coarse texture, yellowish brown heartwood and narrow, pale-colored sapwood.
Physical Properties: Medium weight with low crushing strength, very low stiffness and shock resistance, moderate decay resistance and poor stability in use.
Working Properties: Works fairly easily with hand or machine tools and has good screw and nail holding properties. Glues well and stains and polishes to an excellent finish. Natural acidity tends to cause blue-black stains when in contact with iron.
Uses: Used for casks, coffins, poles, turned walking sticks, stakes, umbrella handles, furniture, kitchen utensils, bowls, and veneer.

[b2t]

COTTONWOOD, EASTERN (Populus deltoides)

Other Names: Cottonwood, poplar, eastern poplar, and southern cottonwood.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in United States and Canada.
Appearance: Fairly straight grained with a uniform texture. Grayish white sapwood that gradually merges into brownish heartwood.
Physical Properties: Light, soft, weak, and low in stiffness, shock resistance and decay resistance.
Working Properties: Fairly easy to work but fuzzy surfaces can be a problem. Nails and screws without splitting but has poor holding properties. Glues and paints easily (not typically stained or varnished).
Uses: Used for boxes, crates, baskets, pallets, cheaper furniture parts, veneer, pulp, and excelsior.

[b2t]

CYPRESS, EAST AFRICAN (Cupressus spp.)

Other Names: Cypress.
Type: Softwood
Range: Consists of several species mainly concentrated around the Mediterranean as well as Australia, California, and Asia Minor.
Appearance: Straight grained and fine, even texture with oRange to pinkish brown heartwood and pale-colored sapwood.
Physical Properties: Light, low to moderate strength and stiffness, moderate shock resistance, good stability in service, and excellent decay resistance.
Working Properties: Works reasonably well although knots can be troublesome and care needed to prevent chip-out on end-grain. Screws, nails, glues and finishes well, accepting most any finish satisfactorily. Ideal for exterior construction where wood is in contact with ground.
Uses: Used for joinery, ship/boat building, chest and closet lining, and utility furniture.
Note: Tends to be quite knotty.

[b2t]

DOUGLAS-FIR (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

Other Names: Douglas spruce, coast Douglas-fir, Douglas yew, blue Douglas-fir, Oregon pine, red fir, and red spruce.
Type: Softwood
Range: Grows in western United States and Canada; introduced to UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
Appearance: Generally straight, sometimes wavy grained with a medium to fairly coarse texture. Yellowish to oRange-red heartwood and whitish to reddish white sapwood. Typically free of knots.
Physical Properties: Quite variable in terms of color, weight, strength and Working Properties but frequently of average weight with moderate to high strength, moderate shock resistance, and high stiffness. Somewhat brittle and susceptible to splitting.
Working Properties: Works fairly easily by machine but requires sharp hand tools. Good turning properties. Glues, screws, and nails satisfactorily. Stains and varnishes easily but takes paint poorly.
Uses: Plywood, paneling, trim, cooperage, tanks, ship knees, silos, studs, joists, laminated beams and arches, boxes, crates, pallets, and flooring.
Note: One of the most important woods in the world for construction plywood.