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Softwood and Hardwood Timber

MH Southern offer a range of speciality timbers to customers looking for higher quality or specialist timber materials for particular projects We also offer full milling, treatment and strength grading facilities for all the timbers we supply. In addition our transport fleet has crane off load facilities.

If you require any further information on any of our specialist timbers, please contact our sales office on 0191 489 8231

Softwood Timbers

Softwood timbers are obtained from conifers & trees with needle type leaves and cones. Softwoods are the most commonly used timber due to the good value, availability and mostly from sustainably managed forests. They are less dense and easier to work with than most hardwoods.  Of the many species of softwoods around 50 are used commercially, with the most common being European Redwood and European Whitewood (pine and spruce).  Most softwood used in the UK comes from Europe and Russia. Please note that the links are for specialist timber stocked by MH Southern



Common Names


Common Uses

Timber Qualities


Scandinavia & Europe

Scandinavian Redwood

Cream white

Flooring, external and interior joinery, furniture, structural



Scandinavia & Europe

German Whitewood, Scandinavian Whitewood, European Whitewood

White - pale yellow

Interior joinery & flooring, furniture, structural build, scaffolding boards


Scots pine



Cream white

External and interior joinery, structural build


Douglas fir

North America, UK & Europe


Red - light brown

Interior and exterior joinery such as timber cladding



Europe, Siberia

Siberian Larch, European

Pale red brown

Cladding and associated trimming


Western red cedar

North America

Pacific Red Cedar

Red brown

Cladding and associated trimming, greenhouse and conservatory manufacturing

very durable timber, contains a natural preservative that prevents decaying


North America & UK


Red brown

Interior joinery, stacking pallets & packing, structural build


Pitch Pine

Central America

American Pitch Pine

Red brown

rough construction, pulp, crating

high resin content preserves it from decay

Quebec Yellow Pine

North America, Canada

Eastern White Pine, Weymouth pine

Pale Straw, Red brown

pattern making and furniture manufacturing

works very easily by hand and with machining tools

Hardwood Timbers

Hardwoods are mainly broadleaf, deciduous trees, shedding their leaves in winter, although some hardwoods are evergreen.The majority of hardwoods are deeper in colour and have a higher density than softwood, due to their cellular structure.



Common Names


Common Uses

Timber Qualities


Europe, UK

European Beech

Cream White, Pale brown

Furniture, interior joinery, flooring, plywood, Solid and laminated furniture such as desks, benches and chairs

very good for turning


Europe, Scandinavia

European birch, Silver birch, White birch

White, Pale brown

Cabinet making, furniture, plywood

Easy to work and finishes excellently


Europe, UK, Scandinavia, Asia, North Africa

American Cherry

Pink brown

Cabinet making furniture, musical instruments including pianos and violin bows

heartwood is very resistant to decay


Europe, UK, Asia, Australia, North Africa

Sweet Chestnut, Spanish Chestnut

Yellow brown

Interior and exterior joinery, fencing, trim, structural

Easy to work and finishes excellently


Europe, Asia, North Africa

English oak, French oak, Slovanian oak, Polish oak, American Red oak, American White oak, Green oak

Yellow brown

Furniture, interior and exterior joinery, flooring, heavy structural

fall into three categories; red oaks, white oaks, and evergreen oaks


Burma, Indonesia, Thailand

Sagwan, Teku, Teka, Kyun

Gold brown

Interior and exterior joinery, sports goods, furniture

the wood is inclined to be brittle


West Africa

Odum, Mvule, Kambala, Moreira

Yellow brown

interior and exterior joinery, bridge construction



West Africa


Red brown

Interior and exterior joinery, furniture, flooring, veneer




West Africa


Red brown

Interior and exterior joinery, furniture, cabinet work



South America

Cogwood, Demerara


marine and heavy civil engineering projects

extremely hard and strong



Western Red Cedar





West Africa


Yellow brown

heavy construction, marine and jetties, railway longitudinal bridge timbers and decking

Extremely strong, durable and resistant to decay


West Africa


Red brown

electric poles and fences 

specialist construction, engineering projects of bridges, piers, Lock gates