When did Poplar become a hardwood

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Forum topic by David Dean posted 01-21-2014 08:19 PM 1129 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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David Dean

554 posts in 1780 days

01-21-2014 08:19 PM

Sorry folks for the stupd guastion but when did poplar become a hardwood.I was just infromed by google that poplar is a hardwood.Im lost all thsos years that I work and was tot that poplar was a softwood can some one help. Thanks David Dean

19 replies so far

View Armandhammer's profile


235 posts in 507 days

#1 posted 01-21-2014 08:24 PM

I always thought it was a medium wood…either a harder softwood or a softer hardwood…however you want to call it.

View lumberjoe's profile


2871 posts in 1130 days

#2 posted 01-21-2014 08:25 PM

It’s always been a “hardwood”. Softwood’s are conifers (needles, not leaves).

-- Unplugged Woodworkers -

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


11378 posts in 1500 days

#3 posted 01-21-2014 08:28 PM

Needles on the tree (conifers) means softwood, leaves means hardwood. Not all hardwood is ‘harder’ than softwood… balsa by definition is a hardwood.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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Gene Howe

6600 posts in 2310 days

#4 posted 01-21-2014 08:41 PM

When it got leaves.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View CharlesNeil's profile


1273 posts in 2752 days

#5 posted 01-21-2014 08:44 PM

Smitty got it right.. its a classification, not a description .

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Carl wade

21 posts in 547 days

#6 posted 01-21-2014 08:51 PM

That’s an easy one .when it lost it leaves , a great web site for wood iD. Is I Teach woodworking classes and this is one of my favorite web sites to get info on wood .

View theoldfart's profile


5404 posts in 1333 days

#7 posted 01-21-2014 08:56 PM

Coniferous vs deciduouse ?

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1851 days

#8 posted 01-21-2014 08:58 PM


View Texcaster's profile


838 posts in 555 days

#9 posted 01-21-2014 09:00 PM

In Australia” hardwood ” is generic for gums or eucalyptus because most of it gives hard a new meaning.

-- Bill....... " was you dryin' your nails or a wavin' me goodbye?" Tom Waits

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

554 posts in 1780 days

#10 posted 01-21-2014 11:00 PM

Thanks everyone I thought I would ask before I put my foot in it. But poplar dosent cut like a hardwood and I always used course thread scerws.Well you learn somthing new every day. Thanks again

View DKV's profile


3317 posts in 1386 days

#11 posted 01-21-2014 11:55 PM


-- Have fun and laugh alot. Life can end at any moment. You old guys out there know what I mean...

View summerfi's profile


2106 posts in 569 days

#12 posted 01-22-2014 12:03 AM

Generally speaking, deciduous trees are referred to as hardwoods and coniferous trees are referred to as softwoods. In reality it’s not quite that simple. Some conifers (e.g western larch) are deciduous, and many broadleaf trees in southern latitudes (i.e. the tropics) keep their leaves year round. Why does life have to be so complicated? ;-)

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works

View bondogaposis's profile


3092 posts in 1233 days

#13 posted 01-22-2014 12:48 AM

Balsa is a hardwood too. It has nothing to do w/ hardness. Deciduous trees are considered hardwoods for marketing purposes and conifers are softwoods.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View basswood's profile


258 posts in 502 days

#14 posted 01-22-2014 12:54 AM

Even worse “Poplar” is not even a true poplar. Aspens and Cottonwoods are poplars (Populus species).

The wood sold as “poplar” is called Yellow Poplar or Tulip Poplar, but it is a Liriodendron species and is actually in the Magnolia family which does not include the true poplars.

Poplars are even softer than members of the Magnolia family.


View comboprof's profile


277 posts in 616 days

#15 posted 01-22-2014 01:00 PM

The wood sold as “poplar” is called Yellow Poplar or Tulip Poplar, but it is a Liriodendron species and is actually in the Magnolia family which does not include the true poplars.

Would’t that depend on where you live?

-- -- Cheers, Don K. (Michgan's Kewenaw peninsula)

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