American aspen

Populus tremuloides

General Description

Sapwood is white, blending into the light brown heartwood. The contrast between sap and heartwood is small. The wood has a fine uniform texture and is straight grained.

Other Common names

White poplar, popple

Distribution & Availability

Aspen is a true poplar and is harvested commercially in the North Eastern USA. Limited availability of volume lumber and veneer in a full range of sizes and grades.

View Physical & Mechanical Properties

Physical & Mechanical Properties

The wood is light and soft, with low bending strength and stiffness, and medium shock resistance. It has a very low bending classification.

American aspen - Physical & Mechanical Properties

Specific Gravity (12% M.C.):0.38
Average Weight (12% M.C.):417 kg/m3
Average Volume Shrinkage (Green to 6% M.C.):9.20%
Modulus of Rupture:57.918 MPa
Modulus of Elasticity:8136 MPa
Compressive strength (parallel to grain):
29.304 MPa
Hardness:1557 N
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View Working Properties

Working Properties

Aspen does not split when nailed, it machines easily with a slightly fuzzy surface, and turns, bores, and sands well. It takes paint and stain well to produce a good finish, although care is required where the surface is fuzzy. It has low to moderate shrinkage and good dimensional stability. As a true poplar aspen has similar characteristics and properties to American cottonwood and European poplar.

American aspen - Working Properties

SawingGood
PlaningGood
DrillingGood
BoringGood
TurningGood
Carving
Good
Moulding
Good
Nailing
Good
Screwing
Good
Gluing
Good
Finishing
Good
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View Main Uses

Main Uses

Furniture parts (drawer sides), doors, mouldings, picture frames, interior joinery, toys, kitchen utensils. Matchsticks (USA). Important specialised uses include sauna laths because of lack of taste and odour.

American aspen - Main Uses

Doors
Flooring
Furniture
Joinery
Kitchen cabinets
Mouldings and
turnings
Veneered panels
Sports goods

Tool handles

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Other Information

Regionally referred to as popple and is not to be confused with American tulipwood (Liriodendron tulipifera), which is also known in the USA as yellow poplar. Light brown mineral streaks are naturally occurring and are not considered a defect.

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