What Are Non-Resinous Wood?

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Beech tree wood is nonresinous.

Some trees, mostly conifers, produce a secretion called resin that protects them from fungal infection and insect infestation. The wood from trees that are do not produce resin, called nonresinous wood, usually comes from deciduous trees. Nonresinous wood is preferred for firewood and barbecues, and by cabinetmakers and woodworkers.

Nonresinous Wood

Oak wood is nonresinous.

Most nonresinous woods are deciduous hardwoods. Nonresinous wood is usually denser with smaller pores than resinous wood. Softwood from conifers is usually resinous. Nonresinous trees include alder, apple, ash, aspen, beech, birch, elm, black walnut, madrone, maple, beech, locust, oak, Osage orange and sycamore among other species. Although cherry and hickory are usually considered nonresinous woods, they sometimes contain resin pockets.

Heating and Barbecue

Non-resinous wood from oak trees is a favorite for barbecuing.

Nonresinous wood burns slower and lasts longer in a fireplace or firebox than does resinous wood. Nonresinous wood is also easier to turn into charcoal. It burns cleaner than resinous wood, producing less soot that collects in venting flues and chimneys. Resinous wood burns hotter and faster, often producing sparks and odors. Slower-burning nonresinous wood is preferred for smokehouses and barbecues. Alder, oak, hickory and mesquite are nonresinous woods valued for their smoke's flavor. Nonresinous wood chips are often sold for barbecues and smoking.

Woodworking

Nonresinous wood from oak trees is a favorite for barbecuing.

Cabinet makers and wood workers prefer to work with non-resinous wood because resin makes it difficult for them to clamp and glue wood parts. Non-resinous wood also accepts varnishes, lacquer, shellac, stains and other finishes better than resinous wood. Non-resinous wood is better for carving eating utensils and bowls because resins often impart unpleasant flavors.

Resinous Wood

Wood from pine trees is resinous

Cabinetmakers and woodworkers prefer working with nonresinous wood because resin makes it difficult for them to clamp and glue wood parts. Nonresinous wood also accepts varnishes, lacquer, shellac, stains and other finishes better than does resinous wood. Nonresinous wood is better for carving eating utensils and bowls because resins often impart unpleasant flavors.

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Richard Hoyt

A one-time farm boy, Richard Hoyt, holder of a PhD in American studies, is a former newspaper reporter, magazine writer and college professor. While writing 27 novels of suspense, he has lived on sugar cane, pepper and papaya plantations and helped keep bees in Belize.