Name: Aspen (Populus Tremuloides)
Sub Name: Canadian Poplar (in the UK)
Trade Name: The lumber is referred to as Cottonwood by the American timber trade.
Origin: The northern United States and Canada.
Appearance: Grey-brown or light brown with some pleasing figure including rays.
Mechanical: Aspen is light in weight with a density of 450 kg/m³. It is relatively tough and shock resistant.
Availability: The solid material, which is most often called Poplar, is readily available as square-edged boards 25-75mm thick, up to 200mm wide and 3m in length. Veneer is available usually crown cut.
Timber Cuts: Poplar is infrequently used for joinery but can be successfully used for this purpose and is relatively inexpensive. It is softer than conventional joinery hardwoods so will mark easily from impact, though no more so than joinery softwood. The wood is not durable and is resistant to preservative which makes it suitable for interior use only. Poplar in the solid makes a good match to the veneer form.
Veneer Cuts: Aspen veneer is usually produced from selected logs, which will not often exceed a girth of 300mm. For this reason veneer is crown cut. Aspen is usually straight grained and finely textured and without a strong figure. This feature assists in achieving a good general consistency of appearance in veneered work, though due to the small log size some planning is required to get a degree of uniformity within a large scheme.
Relative Costs: 3
Properties: The solid material machines well and cleanly. Both solid wood and veneer take stain and polishes.
Seasoning: No particular difficulties are described.