Wide buttressed trunk base grows straight up to 60 feet high before branching out. Trunk diameter averages 3 to 5 feet. Distribution Southeast Asia from the Philippine Islands south and west throughout Indonesia. Although referred to in the industry as "Philippine mahogany," lauan is lauan and is not mahogany; the same as oak is oak and is not maple. Because lauan is a tropical wood and also has the same colors, uses, and many characteristics of genuine mahogany, it is understandable that it has acquired this, sometimes confusing, nick name.

It is difficult to describe lauan without comparing it to genuine mahogany. It is a heavy hardwood. It ranges in color from dark rich red through light pink to pale grayish brown. The dark woods are known as red lauan and the light woods are called white lauan. Although coarser in texture and softer than true mahogany, lauan is actually of the same strength. However, lauan is less stable under moisture changes and less disease resistant, but, once properly seasoned, is dependable, long lived and very stable.

The use of lauan has increased steadily in the United States. The most favorable comparison that can be made between lauan and genuine mahogany is that lauan is much less rare and therefore much less expensive. It is readily available as lumber, veneer and plywood. The workhorse of the tropical woods, it is known as the working man`s plywood. In fact, the word "Lauan" is often used to mean this form of plywood. Because it is coarse, lauan needs more sanding, but it cuts and saws more easily than its more expensive counterpart. Treated properly, it finishes very satisfactorily. The main use of lauan includes: paneling, cabinetry, furniture, siding, interior trim, and doors. It is used as a substrate in paneling manufacture. As plywood, it is used in sub-flooring and for backs, bottoms and drawers in furniture making. Red lauan has excellent waterproof properties making it especially popular for boat construction.

Deciduous Height 60 to 90 feet. Trunk diameter 2 to 3 feet . A fast growing tree, it matures in 20 years and can live for 200 years. The tallest recorded shagbark hickory is in Sumter National Forest, South Carolina. It is 153 feet high with a trunk diameter of 4 1/2 feet. Shagbark hickory is found in mature forests throughout the entire eastern half of the United States. It is found as far north as Maine, as far south as Georgia and as far west as Texas and Minnesota. The greatest commercial production, however, is in the Mid-Atlantic, Central and South Atlantic States.

A narrow, up-right woodland tree, shagbark hickory is a true native American, found nowhere else. The color of this hickory`s wood is pale cream to a light reddish tan with a fine inconspicuous brown line. A very hard wood, hickory is exceptionally tough, strong and resilient. Like its cousin pecan, it shrinks considerably in drying but once stable is a very useful, reliable wood. Shagbark hickory combines strength with flexibility and is a good choice, like ash, where high shock resistance is required. Like ash, also, it is used for baseball bats.

The wood grain of hickory is very attractive, warm and reminiscent of early American (Americana) decor. It is a popular choice in wood-grain panels for interior country design uses. For the same reason it is a good choice for furniture, architectural millwork and decorative details. It is well-suited for steam bending and for highly stressed machine parts. Some woods are heavier than hickory and some woods are more flexible and resilient, but no other wood combines the two as well. In fact, the American sport of harness racing developed with the invention of the light sulky in which hickory is the primary component. Hickory is available as veneer and lumber. It falls in the average price range. Historically, hickory was the ultimate wood of choice for the highest quality barrel hoops, but never for the barrel stays as it has a low tolerance for moisture. Today it is mostly used for decorative paneling veneers and for furniture manufacture. It is a perfect choice for molded and bent plywood needs that require hickory`s level of flexibility. For the same reason it is great for striking tools, such as handles for hammers and pick axes. It is used for agricultural implements and gymnasium apparatus. Hickory is fine for skis, bats, golf clubs, and poles. It is also used for ladder rungs and dowels. Lower grades of hickory are used for pallets and blocking.

american-elmDeciduous. Height 8 to 90 feet tall. Trunk diameter of 2 to 5 feet. Before 1920 it was not unusual to find American elm trees that surpassed 125 feet in height, but due to Dutch Elm Disease (DED) full sized trees are becoming scarce. Today, the National Register Of Big Tree records the tallest American elm as measuring 100 feet with a trunk circumference of 312 inches. It grows in Louisville, Kansas. Distribution of elm trees ranges from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in Canada south to Florida along the entire Eastern Seaboard. Although they are found in East Texas, no native American elm grows west of the Rocky Mountains. Timber production of elm is chiefly in the Great Lake States and in the Central and Southern States.

In the woodlands, American elm grows in low, rich, hilly soil, often by stream banks, A very large hardwood tree, the trunk often divides into two or three large limbs down near ground level giving it a vase-shaped form. Elm`s wood is light greyish brown and occasionally pink-brown. It is smooth and straight grained with a finely waved pattern. It has conspicuous growth rings much like ash. It is moderately hard, heavy, stiff and shock resistant. Though somewhat difficult to season, once it is dried, elm has excellent steam bending qualities and water resistant properties. Elm is difficult to split and work with hand tools. Machine tools are more successful. Elm holds nails and screws well.

The supply of American elm wood is threatened by the devastating Dutch Elm tree disease which has killed hundreds of thousands of trees. But, elm lumber is still available, although at moderately high prices. It is sold as both lumber and veneer. Due to its muddy color, it is used most often as a paint grade hardwood. The wood from American elm is remarkably durable even when constantly wet. It is used for dam and lock construction. Elm logs hollowed out in Roman times for use as water pipes, have been un-earthed in good order. In fine furniture-making, elm is used for chair seats and bent parts. It is used for decorative paneling, stair treads and finish millwork in interiors. Elm is also used in the manufacture o£ agricultural implements, boxes, barrels and crates. It is also used for caskets. Often associated with death in folklore, an old jingle goes: "Elm hateth man and waiteth." This may be because elm is famous for its tendency to drop a big branch without warning on a still summer day!