diffuse porous page


DIFFUSE POROUS DOMESTICS

NOTE: unless otherwise specifically stated, all of the images shown on this
page are of 1/4" square end grain cross sections shown at 12X with the top
of the image towards the bark and the bottom towards the pith so that
earlywood is towards the bottom of the growth rings and latewood is towards the top

to see all species with links to their anatomy page go here: species links

NOTE: box elder, which is really a maple, might have been put on this page of diffuse porous domestic woods because it is a domestic wood and it is not normally CALLED maple, even though it is, but I have put it on the maple page because anatomically, that's where it belongs.

There are so many species on this page that I have divided them into the following arbitrary groups to facilitate your finding what you are looking for:



Group 1a: tiny pores very evenly distributed and with weak rays
pores tiny, numerous to uncountable, rays are not present or barely visible
growth ring boundaries visible to the naked eye due to color change from
latewood to earlywood and what appears to be marginal parenchyma
some of the species here have pores in radial multiples


aspen --- pores tiny and numerous, often in radial multiples of 2, growth rings are distinct due to change in tissue color and presence of marginal parenchyma

     

     

   
     

     

     

 


alder --- pores tiny and fairly dense, often in radial multiples of 2 to 4, growth ring boundaries distinct due to change in tissue color, uniseriate rays present but not generally visible even with a 10X loupe. Pores tend to trail off towards the end of the latewood, in some species more than others. Some species (especially red alder) have aggregate rays. Somewhat oddly, my own samples shown here show only very weak aggregate rays in red alder but show very wide ones in a couple of other species.

     
     
     
     

     
     
     


buckeye --- rays tend to be the same color as the surrounding tissue so are almost impossible to see and similarly the grown ring boundaries are harder to see than most of the species in this section.

     

     

     

     

     
   

     

     
wax myrtle / Morella cerifera seems to be a slow growth tree/shrub, thus all of these had to be more than 1/4" high to catch a full growth ring


cottonwood --- tends to be fast growing so many of these cross sections needed to be more than 1/4" high in order to capture a full growth ring, marginal parenchyma always present but sometimes faint. pores very small and dense, growth ring boundaries generally clear due to a slightly stronger starting line of early wood pores and pores thinning out and getting just slightly smaller at the end of the latewood and slightly darker tissue at the end of the latewood

     
     

     
       
       
       
   

     

       

 


sweet gum / red gum --- growth ring boundaries are often quite vague but usually discernible, rays are present but barely visible with a 10X loupe and certainly not to the naked eye, pores are tiny and very numerous with some in radial multiples which can be hard to distinguish at 10X. "Red gum" is the heartwood of the sweet gum tree.

     

     

             



lilac

     

   


viburnum --- rays always present but not always visible even with at 10X and never with the naked eye

     

   

   

   

     

   


blackheart sassafras --- rays clear at 10X, pores small to tiny, clear ring boundaries due to color change (NOT marginal parenchyma)

   



Group 1b: tiny pores very evenly distributed plus rays visible with a 10X loupe
pores numerous, tiny, and in often in radial multiples
growth ring boundaries visible to the naked eye due to color change from
latewood to earlywood, very thin line of marginal parenchyma is often visible
with a 10X loupe, rays present but sometimes not distinct even with
a 10X loupe and never with the naked eye


basswood --- pores in radial multiples (sometimes tangential multiples), rays distinct with 10X loupe, not with the naked eye, growth ring boundaries distinct (sometimes faint to the naked eye) due to color change and the presence of marginal parenchyma

     

   

   

   
     

   

   
     


beech --- pores are tiny down to uncountable, growth ring boundaries clear due to both a thinning of the pores and a darkening of the tissue at the end of the latewood, plentiful rays of various sizes with the largest ones sometimes visible to the naked eye. Beech is noted for having widely varying ray widths, from very thin to quite thick within the same piece.

     
   
   
     
     
   
these two are from nearby areas of the same piece and are shown together to emphasize the extreme variability of ray sizes even within the same piece of beech
     

     
spalted beech --- white rot / punkiness makes the end grain characteristics hard to discern


dogwood --- ranges from diffuse porous to semi diffuse porous, rays always present, range from fairly large to tiny, are sometimes not visible even at 10X and never visible to the naked eye

   

   

     

   
   

     
     

   

   

     


magnolia --- rays often visible with a 10X loupe, not with the naked eye, pores tiny and numerous and in radial multiples, growth rings sometimes weak but always clearly visible due to color change from latewood to early wood and a very thin line of marginal parenchyma. There is also scanty parenchyma but this is generally impossible to see even with a 10X loupe

       
     

   

     

   

   

     
   

   

     
     
   

   



   

     



     


yellow poplar / tulip poplar

     

       
         
     


tupelo

     

   
   

     

     



Group 1c: sparser pores than groups 1a and 1b
pores relatively sparse and somewhat larger than groups 1a and 1b,
growth boundaries are very vague, rays present but barely visible at 10X


 
     
myrtle --- growth ring boundaries are fairly clear

   



persimmon --- can be either semi ring porous, semi diffuse porous or diffuse porous and several species are shown on the semi ring porous page. Rays are present but often hard to see even with a 10X loupe, pores are medium sparse to sparse, growth ring boundaries of the diffuse porous species shown on this page are vague to non-existent. Diffuse in aggregate parenchyma bands are present but usually not visible even with at 10X

     

   

   

     


texas ebony --- this first set of 3, from 3 different samples, is a good example of how you can get significant variation within a species. The first two, for example, could easily be mistaken for different species. One thing that is consistent among them is that growth ring boundaries are very vague

     

     

   



Group 1d: sparse pores with vasicentric parenchyma
pores sparse and fairly large and with vasicentric parenchyma
rays that are barely visible with a 10X loupe, not visible to the naked eye


     
tropical walnut --- banded parenchyma that is just barely visible at 10X, growth ring boundaries very faint. NOTE: all other walnuts are semi-diffuse porous and are on that page.


Umbellularia californica --- no banded parenchyma, generally clear growth ring boundaries

     

     

       

   



Group 2a: dendritic pore patterns
pores in radial multiples in dendritic patterns without any accompanying lighter
surrounding tissue, rays are present but not visible even with a 10X loupe
growth ring boundaries generally visible due to color change from latewood to
earlywood and some thickening of the groups of pores at the earlywood


   

     

   

       



Group 2c: dendritic pore patterns (holly)
growth rings very faint, just barely visible to the naked eye, pores small,
numerous, and in radial multiples, generally in dendritic groups,
rays sometimes strong, sometimes barely visible even with a 10X loupe


holly --- end grain characteristics are often hard to make out even at 10X because the dendritic pore groups can be almost exactly the same color as the surrounding tissue

     

         

   

   
             
     
     
     



Group 2d: dendritic pore patterns (chittamwood aka gum bumelia)
growth rings usually bold, sometimes vague, pores tiny and multitudinous but
not evenly distributed; rather, they are grouped in thick dendritic groups,
rays present and plentiful but often not visible even with a 10X loupe


chittamwood as you can see, it is characteristic of chittamwood to have fat dentritic groups so thick that they appear to be a solid mass. The clarity of the growth ring boundaries varies from very obvious to somewhat vague (less vague than it appears from looking at these 1/4" square samples)

     
     

   



Group 2e: dendritic pore patterns (buckthorn)
growth rings usually bold, sometimes vague, pores tiny and multitudinous but
not evenly distributed; rather, they are grouped in thin dendritic groups,
rays present but not visible even with a 10X loupe


buckthorn --- NOTE: the common name buckthorn includes two different genera that look alike at the tree level but have radically different characteristics at the wood anatomy level. Rhamnus is one and Frangula is the other. The Frangula species are semi diffuse porous and so are on the semi ring porous page.

     

   



Group 3: strong rays (see also: live oak in the dendritic groups above have strong rays)
rays clearly visible with a 10X loupe, usually visible to the naked eye
growth ring boundaries weak but visible to the naked eye
pores numerous and tiny


sycamore and European plane --- rays are strong but can be hard to see with the naked eye. Interestingly, they sometimes appear darker than the surrounding tissue and sometimes seem lighter.
NOTE: European plane is technically not a domestic (to the USA) but is pretty much identical to American sycamore so I have put it here.

     
     
     

   

   
       

     

     
     
       


hornbeam NOTE: normal rays in hornbeam are too small to see at 10X --- the rays you can see in these pics are all aggregate rays

     
       
Japanese hornbeam; growth rings visible to the naked eye, aggregate rays can sometimes be seen with the naked eye but often the lack of color contrast makes them nearly invisible.



Group 4a: lozenge shaped aliform parenchyma
lozenge shaped aliform parenchyma
rays strong and numerous but thin so only visible with a 10X loupe
growth rings faint to invisible, even with a 10X loupe
pores fairly sparse and frequently in radial multiples of 2 or 3


   

   

   



Group 4b: lozenge shaped aliform parenchyma with confluent parenchyma bands
lozenge shaped aliform parenchyma with confluent parenchyma bands
rays numerous and clearly visible but only with a 10X loupe
pores fairly dense and occasionally in multiples of 2
growth rings very hard to distinguish even with a 10X loupe


mesquite

     
   

   
     

     



Group 5: confluent parenchyma
strong confluent parenchyma bands
rays numerous and clearly visible but only with a 10X loupe
growth rings often very hard to distinguish


desert ironwood

     
     
     



Group 6: misc
misc characteristics


     
laurel --- "laurel" is a catchall name for MANY species. These 2 are from 2 different genera so not surprisingly, they have little in common other than being diffuse porous and clearly having vasicentric parenchyma

 

     
NOTE: Fig is a fruit so these would logically go on the fruitwood page, but the characteristics are so different than those of other fruitwoods that I though it best to leave it on this page.
fig --- sparse, medium sized pores with vasicentric parenchyma plus confluent parenchyma of varying thickness, rays visible at 10X, some pore doubles and triples.