Aspen

Scientific Name: Populus tremuloides

General Description
Sapwood is white, blending into the light brown heartwood.  The contrast between sap and heartwood is small.  The wood has a fine uniform texture and is straight-grained.

Working Properties
Aspen does not split when nailed, it machines easily with a slightly fuzzy surface, and turns, bores, and sands well.  It takes paint and stain well to produce a good finish although care is required where the surface is fuzzy.  It has low to moderate shrinkage and good dimensional stability.  Aspen is a true poplar, and therefore has similar characteristics and properties to Cottonwood.

Physical Properties
The wood is light and soft, with low bending strength and stiffness, and medium shock resistance.  It has a very low bending classification.

Specific Gravity: 0.38 (12% M.C.)
Average Weight: 417 kg/m3 (12% M.C.)
Average Volumetric Shrinkage: 9.2% (Green to 6% M.C.)
Modulus of Elasticity: 8136 MPa
Hardness: 1557 N

Availability
Somewhat limited, and rarely available in thick stock.

Main Uses
Furniture parts (drawer sides), doors, mouldings, picture frames, millwork, toys, kitchen utensils, food containers, baskets and matchsticks.  Important specialized uses include sauna laths because of its low conductivity of heat, and chopsticks.