Softwoods are generally light, open-grained woods which are used for a wide range of applications inside the home. The next time you visit George Hill Timber, take a look around and you’ll notice a wide variety of softwood, all of which are suitable for building furniture, home renovations and much more.

“Cedars, pines and firs, all of which grow extensively across the Northern Hemisphere

Softwood is a collective term for the wood which is produced by coniferous trees, almost all of which are evergreen. Conifers are cone-bearing trees, as opposed to the more leafy deciduous trees like oak and maple, both of which produce hardwoods. Some of the most common trees for producing softwood are cedars, pines and firs, all of which grow extensively across the Northern Hemisphere.

Softwood Boards[/caption] Although their name would suggest that softwoods are particularly soft varieties of wood, this is not necessarily the case. Certain softwoods – like yew – are stronger and more durable than others, just as certain hardwoods – like poplar or balsa – are comparatively soft. In fact, the names softwood and hardwood are references to the seeds of the tree, with softwood seeds uncovered by usually protected by cones, and hardwood seeds usually dropping inside the protective casing of a nut or piece of fruit.

“Softwoods are less expensive”

One of the main distinctions between softwoods and hardwoods is their speed of growth. Softwood trees reach maturity at a far quicker rate than hardwoods, making them an ideal choice for many DIY applications. The quicker rate of growth means that softwoods are less expensive than hardwoods, but this is also a result of their straighter trunks – which can be more easily cut into straight planks or sheets.