Basic Technology

Hardwood and Softwood - Characteristics and Examples

len Alfred Ajibola - 07th February, 2019 @ 11:58

Topics in Basic Technology

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Academic Questions in Basic Technology

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

The following statements are true concerning wood except _____.

  • A. It is an inorganic material

  • B. It is a structural tissue

  • C. It is composed mainly of cellulose

  • D. Hardwood and Softwood are types of wood

  • E. It constitutes the stems and branches of trees

  • F. It is porous and fibrous

Which of the following is not a characteristic of hardwood?

  • A. They are more fire resistant in comparison to softwood

  • B. Their stem are divided into trunks called dendritic form

  • C. Birch, Teak and Alder are examples of hardwood

  • D. They always have a higher density than softwood of the same mass

  • E. They are suitable for making deckings in buildings

  • F. Most hardwood are expensive than softwood

The outermost covering of a wood is called the _____.

  • A. Wood skin

  • D. Heartwood

  • C. Cortex

  • D. Cambium

  • E. Sclerenchyma

  • F. Bark

The followings are characteristics of ceramics except _____.

  • A. They readily undergo oxidation

  • B. They have high melting point

  • C. They are durable

  • D. Most are insulators but graphite is a conductor of electricity

  • E. Most are non-magnetic

  • F. They have great tensile strength but graphite is soft

Which of the following statement is false of ceramics?

  • A. They are not metals

  • B. They are not plastics

  • C. Ceramics can be absolutely defined by its products characteristics

  • D. Ceramic materials are not organic in nature

  • E. Ceramics are refractory in nature

  • F. Ceramics materials are usually made from clay

Which of the following is not a function of thin continuous line in Technical drawing?

  • A. Used for representing projection lines
  • B. Used as construction lines
  • C. Used for representing visible outline and edges
  • D. Used for representing leader lines
  • E. Used as intersection lines
  • F. Used as measurement lines

The following are Types of Line in Technical Drawing EXCEPT _____.

  • A. thin continuous line
  • B. inverse head line
  • C. thin dash line
  • D. continuous thin straight zigzag line
  • E. free hand line
  • F. chain thin line with thick ends



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What is Wood?

Wood are derived from the stem, trunks and branches of trees.

A wood is an organic material and a structural tissue composed mainly of cellulose; and it constitutes the stem, roots and branches of trees.

You can read on the Trees found in the Tropical Rainforest here.

The outermost skin or covering of the wood is called the bark. On peeling off the bark, next to be seen is the sapwood which contains the plant's transport system called the xylem. Also seen inside the sapwood is the heartwood, but here, the xylem is blocked with gums; making it functionally inactive. The cambium is seen around the edge of the sapwood.

We have two types of wood. They are

  1. Hardwood
  2. Softwood

Note: Woods are porous and fibrous and the terms 'hardwood and softwood' don't always refer to the wood's actual hardness or softness.

You can read on the Roles of Government in Agriculture here.



Hardwood - Len Academy

Hardwoods are derived from angiosperms.

Angiosperms are flowering plants that produce seeds encased in fruits or pods.

Please read on the Reproductive Differences between Gymnosperms and Angiosperms.

Most times, hardwood are stronger than softwood but there are exceptions. For instance, balsa is a hardwood that is actually soft.

Characteristics of Hardwood

  1. They usually have a higher density than softwood. Balsa is an exception.
  2. They are usually more expensive than softwood.
  3. They grow at a slower rate than softwood.
  4. Hardwood trees shed their leaves in certain times of the year.
    You can read on the Differences between Plants and Crops here.
  5. Hardwood are more fire resistant than softwood.
  6. The leaves of hardwood trees are evergreen.
  7. They are used for making quality furniture (in terms of strength). They are also suitable for decking in buildings.
  8. Hardwood trees always have divided trunks which are sometimes referred to as a dendritic form.
  9. In terms of price, hardwood are usually more expensive than softwood.
    You can read on Scale of Preference and Opportunity Cost here.

Examples of hardwood include iroko, ash, beech, alder, teak, birch, mahogany, maple, oak, balsa and walnut.

You can attempt LEN ACADEMY Examination Questions for JSS2 Basic Technology here.



Softwoods are often derived from coniferous trees; that is, trees with needle-like leaves and whose seeds are covered in cones.

Note: Coniferous trees are classified under gymnosperms.

Please read on the Anatomical and Structural Differences between Gymnosperms and Angiosperms here.

Characteristics of Softwood

  1. Most softwood have a lower density than hardwood (weighs lower).
    Please read more on Density here.
  2. In terms of price, they are often less expensive than hardwood.
  3. Their growth rate is faster than hardwood.
  4. Most do not shed their needle-like leaves during the year. The softwood larch and cypress are exceptions.
  5. Please read on the Characteristics of Ceramics here.

  6. They are less fire resistant.
  7. Their leaves are evergreen, just like hardwood.
  8. You can read on Interesting Facts for Students here.

  9. Softwood serve various purposes; For instance many doors, windows and papers are made from softwood.
  10. They normally have a single dominant trunk referred to as excurrent form.
  11. Softwood trees are usually tall and straight.
  12. Most are cheaper than hardwood.

Examples of softwood include cedar, larch, juniper, yew, cypress, fir, pine, spruce, douglas fir and redwood.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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NOTABLE POINTS IN Basic Technology

Ceramics are refractory. They also require a very high amount of heat and subsquent cooling to be formed.

Being refractory means that they are capable of withstanding a variety of abuses like high temperatures and chemical attacks.

Ceramics are generally made by taking clay from the ground and mixing it with water. It is then shaped into any form and fired inside an oven (called kiln) at a very high temperature. They may then be decorated with a waterproof, paint-like substances called glazes.

Please read more on ceramics here

Ceramics may have constrasting physical and chemical properties (or characteristics); but in general,

  1. They have high melting points.

  2. They are heat resistant.

  3. They can be very hard with great strength; although a few are brittle or soft; for example, graphite.

  4. They are durable (last for a long time).

  5. Most are electrical insulators (cannot conduct electricity) but; graphite is an electrical conductor.

  6. They are chemically unreactive or inert.

  7. They are not easily oxidized.

  8. Most are non-magnetic.