A hardwood common throughout the eastern United States is American white oak. The name ‘white oak’ includes many species, eight of which are commercially available as timber. The heartwood of American white oak ranges from pale yellow to medium brown, sometimes with a hint of pink. The sapwood is light in colour. American white oak has light-coloured sapwood and a light to dark brown heartwood, which is very similar in appearance and colour to European oak.
Whitewood gives the finest quality lumber. It comes from the tallest hardwood tree, which can grow to 160 feet or more. The creamy white colour of whitewood is what makes it special. The wood has a straight grain and it is also soft. This makes it a great option for various cuts. Whitewood lumber can be easily shaped because of its soft texture.
The heartwood is a light to medium brown colour. Sapwood can be very wide, and tends to be beige or light brown; not always clearly or sharply demarcated from heartwood. Blue Ash tends to be a bit darker in colour than White Ash (Fraxinus Americana).
The sapwood of walnut is creamy white, while the heartwood is light brown to dark chocolate brown, occasionally with a purplish cast and darker streaks. Walnut is usually supplied steamed, which darkens the sapwood, but a very unique look can also be achieved by leaving it natural. The wood is generally straight-grained, but sometimes with a wavy or curly grain that produces an attractive and decorative figure. The dark heartwood will lighten in colour as it ages over time with exposure to UV light.