UTILITY HARDWOOD THAT SURPASSES MANY SOFTWOODS
Many woodworkers get used to working with hardwoods, but recognize there are times when a hidden carcass or framework can be made from a secondary lumber. That is when tuliptree, with a fine, consistent texture and relatively low price, comes into its own.
Type Temperate hardwood
Other names American whltewood, tulip poplar
Alternatives Kauri (Agathis species), red alder (Alnus rubra), parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia), hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii), paper birch (Betula papyrifera) Sources North America and Europe
Color Creamy white with green, brown, red and even blue streaks that darken with age to honey brown Texture Even and fine
Hardness Soft and fibrous
Weight Medium (31 lb./cu. ft.) (500 kg/cu. m)
Seasoning and stability Sapwood can be very wide. Seasons well and quickly without damage, and continues to be stable in use.
Wastage High if you are looking for lumber that is clear of colored streaks or sapwood, but otherwise low for this utility species.
Range of board widths Good
Range of board thicknesses Good
Durability Poor. Sapwood prone to insect attack. Not durable outside unless treated with preservative (which it takes well). However, do not let it touch the ground as it will decay.
Used for plywood.
A good species to encourage, as it grows rapidly. Unthreatened.
AVAILABILITY AND COST
Tuliptree is an inexpensive hardwood that is relatively easy to find, and which competes favorably in hardness, stability and strength with many softwoods.