Aspen (Canadian) Hardwood

Aspen (Canadian)

Canadian Aspen (Populus tremuloides) is a versatile timber with a range of uses. The heartwood of this species is generally creamy-grey to light biscuit-brown in colour, with a straight and fine grain, and an even texture that can often be woolly. Cut surfaces of this wood tend to have a silky gloss, and after substantial exposure, the surface weathers to a light grey with a silvery sheen. Canadian Aspen is relatively light in weight, making it ideal for joinery, vehicle parts, boxes and baskets and many other applications. When sourced sustainably and legally, this species is a great choice for a range of projects.

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Material Type:

Also Called:
Trembling Aspen (Canada), Quaking Aspen (Canada And Usa)

Durability Notes:
Aspen (Canadian) wood has some durability but is considered non durable and not suited for exterior applications

The drying and seasoning of Aspen (Canadian) is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Aspen (Canadian) - it is easy to kiln- or air-dry, but it has to be piled carefully to avoid warping and twisting. There can be problems with honeycombing, water pockets and collapse. There is little movement in service. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Aspen is tough but has a low bending strength and low stiffness, with medium resistance to shock loads. Canadian Aspen works nicely with both hand and powered tools but has a tendency to bind or tear when being sawn. Canadian Aspen can also tear when being planed, so very sharp, thin-edged tools are advisable. The wood can be glued, polished, stained, screwed and nailed well, although there may be some challengingy in obtaining a good finish on woolly surfaces.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Cabinetry, Flooring, Musical Instruments, Crafts, Firewood.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about Canadian Aspen Wood

Is Canadian Aspen a hardwood or a softwood? Canadian Aspen is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Canadian Aspen hardwood or softwood? - Canadian Aspen is a hardwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Aspen family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is Canadian Aspen? Canadian Aspen can be described as brown, light brown

Is Canadian Aspen good for outdoor use? or is Canadian Aspen good for exterior use? Canadian Aspen is most suited for interior/interior use. Canadian Aspen can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

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