Popular Uses For Poplar

Poplar Hardwood LumberIn the forests of North America, poplar is one of the most commonly found hardwoods.  It grows widely throughout the eastern part of the United States and is regularly one of the top ten produced hardwood lumber products by footage.

Since it is typically readily available, we find poplar is used in many different applications.  Here are five common uses we see our manufacturing customers requesting poplar for.

  • Mouldings & Trim - Poplar is often used for ceiling molding and trim.  It is known to be stable and takes paint and stain very well. It is also regularly found in longer lengths, (12’,14’ & 16’), since its logs can be harvested in longer increments which makes it ideal for this type of application.
  • Cabinets – With today’s design trends leaning towards painted cabinetry we find the use of poplar in cabinets to be growing. Poplar is known to be a durable species and machines well to create cabinets in many shapes and sizes.
  • Furniture – Poplar has always been used as a material for upholstered lumber. It is not usually used in fine furniture because of its color variation but it is great for framing and support.
  • Pallets, boxes and crates – Due to its relatively modest price point, poplar is a great choice for industrial type uses.  We see poplar being used in many utility type applications such as these.
  • Picture Frames – Over the years poplar has grown in popularity in the manufacturing of picture frames and this continues to be a common use.

One aspect of poplar people are sensitive to is the variation in the color of the heartwood.  Poplar’s heartwood can range from a light brown to dark green or black. It does not impact its working properties, but since it ranges so much some manufactures have become accustom to ordering their poplar in a color sort such as SAP/1F for consistency purposes.

Poplar is often referred to as American tulipwood or just tulipwood in many international markets and is regularly one of the top exported species.

It is also known to be a substitute for magnolia, cottonwood and aspen in many manufacturing applications.

The sawmills of the Baillie Group produce poplar at almost all of our locations and we stock inventories in all grades and thicknesses. 

If you are thinking of using poplar in some of your manufacturing practices, let us know. We would be happy to help!

Tony C.
The Baillie Group
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