Peterson Portable Sawmills

Tree Dictionary: G-I

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HEMLOCK, EASTERN (Tsuga canadensis)

Other Names: Hemlock, Canadian hemlock and hemlock spruce.
Type: Softwood
Range: Grows in eastern United States and Canada.
Appearance: Uneven, frequently spiral grained with medium to coarse texture. Buff to light brown color, heartwood indistinguishable from sapwood.
Physical Properties: Light and soft with low ratings for stiffness and compression strength, shock resistance, and decay resistance.
Working Properties: Works reasonably well with machine or hand tools athough it is brittle. Glues satisfactorily. Pre-drilling recommended to prevent splitting when screwing or nailing. Accepts paint, stains, varnishes, and polishes well.
Uses: Used mainly for building construction, as well as boxes, crates, pallets, casks, shingles, siding, and pulpwood.

HEMLOCK, WESTERN (Tsuga heterophylla)

Other Names: Hemlock and Pacific hemlock.
Type: Softwood
Range: Grows in western United States and Canada.
Appearance: Straight and even grained with a fine to medium texture. Whitish to light yellowish brown color, heartwood not distinct.
Physical Properties: Light and soft with moderate stiffness, bending strength, compression strength, low shock resistance and decay resistance. Good dimensional stability.
Working Properties: Works easily with machine or hand tools (slightly better than eastern hemlock). Accepts paint, stains, varnishes, and polishes well. Glues quite easily. Pre-drilling recommended for screwing and nailing (but less apt to split than eastern hemlock).
Uses: Used mainly for building construction. Also used for interior and exterior joinery, doors, flooring, vehicle bodywork, turnery, broom handles, boxes, crates, pallets, cooperage, furniture, ladders, plwood, paneling, veneer, and pulpwood.

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HICKORY, PECAN (Carya illinoensis)

Other Names: Pecan nut, pecan hickory, sweet pecan, nogal morado, and pecanier.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in United States and Mexico.
Appearance: Tight, generally straight grain with a coarse texture. Pale to reddish brown heartwood and whitish sapwood.
Physical Properties: Very heavy, hard, strong, stiff and shock resistant. Good dimensional stability and low decay resistance.
Working Properties: Turns and otherwise machines well but can be difficult to work with hand tools. Glues, screws, and nails well. Stains satisfactorily and polishes to a nice shiny finish.
Uses: Ideal for applications where strength and elasticity are important. Used for tool handles, farm implements, vehicle parts, baseball bats, flooring, veneers, paneling, long-wearing chair parts (legs, backs, rungs), dowels, poles, ladders, turnery, and interior furniture.

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HICKORY, SHAGBARK (Carya ovata)

Other Names: Shellbark hickory, scalybark hickory, white hickory, and red heart hickory.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in United States and Canada.
Appearance: Generally straight grained and coarse textured. Brown to reddish brown heartwood and wide, nearly white sapwood.
Physical Properties: Excellent elasticity, moderate dimensional stability, and low decay resistance.
Working Properties: Machines well but difficult to work with hand tools due to hardness. Nails and screws require pre-drilling to prevent splitting. Polishes to a naturally smooth finish.
Uses: Mainly used for applications requiring strength and toughness: tool handles, skis, golf clubs, wheels, agricultural implements. Other uses include flooring, furniture, ladders, musical instruments, sounding boards, paneling, veneer, fishing rods, dowels, building materials.
Note: One of the hardest, heaviest and strongest woods in the United States.

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HONEYLOCUST (Gleditsia triacanthos)

Other Names: Locust, sweet locust, and thorny locust.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in United States and Canada.
Appearance: Straight grained with light red to reddish brown heartwood and yellowish sapwood.
Physical Properties: Heavy, hard, and strong with moderately high shock resistance and stiffness. Very decay resistant heartwood. Stable in use.
Working Properties: Can be difficult to machine. Pre-drilling required for screwing or nailing. Stains and finishes well.
Uses: Used for fenceposts and rails, posts, beams, crossties, rough construction, dowels, concealed furniture parts, decks, chests, chairs, tables, and miscellaneous interior construction.

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INCENSE-CEDAR (Libocedrus decurrens)

Other Names: Pencil cedar and California incense-cedar.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in northwestern United States.
Appearance: Straight and even grained with a medium texture. Light brown heartwood, often tinged with red, and nearly white sapwood.
Physical Properties: Light, soft, moderately low in strength, and low in stiffness and shock resistance. Very good decay resistance and stability in service.
Working Properties: Extremely easy to work with machine or hand tools. Turns, cuts, planes, routs, and bores like a champ. Glues, screws, nails, paints and finishes very well.
Uses: Used for pencils, carving, venetian blinds, chests, toys, fenceposts, poles, shingles, railroad ties, woodenware, trim, millwork, novelties, and plywood.