5 types of hardwood and their uses
Alder, Ash, Beech, Cherry and Elm are often used hardwood for carpentry and joiner work.
Also known as the Western Alder, this wood comes in a pale yellow to red-brown colour. It's one of the softer hardwoods and has a straight grained, even texture. It's great for making furniture and Fender and Jackson use alder to make their electric guitars.
Ash has a creamy light colour but the heart of the wood can go to a darker olive-brown colour. This versatile wood can be used in many ways; it has good elasticity so is used to make walking sticks and was traditionally used to make cartwheels because of its pliability.
Beech is another versatile wood used to make all sorts of different things like parquet flooring and railway sleepers. It's rarely used decoratively but used widely in furniture framing and construction.
Cherry wood's main use is for furniture and traditionally it was used for smoking pipes. The Royal Forestry Society supports a programme called the British Hardwood Improvement Programme (BHIP) which endeavours top drive out disease and improve the quality of UK hardwoods including cherry.
Elm wood was traditionally valued for its interlocking grain which meant that it was more resistant to splitting when used in wheel making and ship building. During the 20th century European elm stocks were devastated by Dutch elm disease and the trees are now a protected species.