Top 5 Southern Ontario Wood species

Having been a woodworker and urban Sawyer for several years now I have been able to come across a wide variety of wood that doesn't usually show up in the conventional commercial lumber yard. This could be due to its lack of knowledge or that it's not widely used. 

I will outline my top 5 wood species based on its application and uniqueness 

1. Black locust

 Black locust slab

If you have ever come to RRlumber you may have had me rave about the uses black locust has. It's rated better than Teak for outdoor use! It's very hard, flexible and grows relatively quickly in our region. This tree was used for docks, decks, handles, fence posts, outdoor furniture, handles, and even bows. Also, it has high btu's for fireplaces, I save it for the coldest of winter days. The downfall of this wood is that its very difficult to stain due to the tannins that prevent it from rotting, but over time the yellow color turns to a reddish brown. It drys incredibly flat and is very stable, so if you want something to last get black locust!!


2. Green ash

Green Ash slab
A subspecies of Ash, but unlike its counterparts, it's incredibly stable, harder, and much more flexible. The downside is that it stains differently from other ash so be careful not to mix them up! I would recommend this wood for anything that requires stability or flexibility over a long period of time. Most lumber yards don't differentiate between the species due to its difficulty to identify, but at RRlumber we are very passionate about identification! 


3. Pignut hickory 

Pignut hickory slab    Pignut hickory blank

This species is renowned for its hardness and flexibility! This is perfect for bows, handle, bats and more! It's considered to be true hickory, which means that it's harder and denser than some other subspecies of hickory. Pignut is the hardest of the species of hickory in this region. I save this for ax handles due to these properties. It has very rich grain, similar to walnut but redder and the sapwood has a yellow tone. We don't get it often but when we do we like to promote it! 



Cotton wood table

This tree is extremely fast-growing and used in the pulp industry, crates, and furniture. I like this wood because it typically has intense figuring, rich red tones and when spalted gets very blue. This wood is very soft which makes it easy to work with but it requires you to sand up to a very high grit in order to get the luster through. 



Heres a wood that you don't see often in lumberyards. This is extremely difficult to dry flat, but the color is out of the ordinary for Canadian hardwoods, its Orange! The workability is much like other fruit trees, where you need sharp tools and good patience. It finishes beautifully and is perfect for charcuterie or cutting boards, come check out our stock, it doesn't last!