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Construction for Landscape Architecture by Jamie Liversedge, Robert Holden

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Strength

Hardwoods include some of the strongest, most durable lumbers—but not all hardwoods are necessarily hard. For instance balsa, which is extremely soft, is a hardwood. The essential characteristic of hardwood trees is that they are flowering and broadleaved. Softwoods have the essential characteristic of being conifers, the great majority of which are evergreen; larch is the most notable deciduous (or leaf-shedding) conifer.

The weight of solid wood tissue averages about 94 lbs/ft3, but its density varies according to grain, the proportion of denser heartwood and to less dense sapwood, and moisture content, so many tree species are much lighter than this. They can vary from dense lignum vitae, at 78 lbs/ft3, to balsa, which is a mere 10 ...

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