Funnily enough the terms “hardwood” and “softwood” have nothing to do with the density of the wood. Balsa wood is a hardwood, but is one of the softest and least dense woods available. Southern Yellow Pine, on the other hand, is a softwood but is harder than many hardwoods. It all starts far before the wood is made into usable lumber, with the tree.
Hardwood trees are leaf bearing trees, more specifically deciduous trees that shed their leaves every year. Hardwood lumber has much more color variation than softwoods. The color variation starts at one end with light, almost white woods like Maple and Holly, to the medium reddish tones of Cherry and Alder. There are light brown tones of Oak and Beech and the dark brown tones of Walnut, Sapele and Mahogany and the almost black of Ebony, Wenge and Katalox. You can even find purple in Purpleheart and dark red in Bloodwood, Paduak and Bubinga. The variety of color is almost endless.
Hardwoods tend to have tighter grain structures. This means that the woods won’t splinter easily and are easier to work with machine tools. These characteristics make Hardwoods ideal for products like toys, furniture and flooring. The woods used in Little Sapling Toys are the highest grade Maple, Walnut and Cherry. They are selected for their hardness, tight grain structure and beautiful color. In addition, they are responsibly and harvested in a sustainable manner in North America.