Definition of softwood in English:



  • 1The wood from a conifer (such as pine, fir, or spruce) as distinguished from that of broadleaved trees.

    • ‘If you choose to use new stock from the lumber yard, both hardwoods and softwood are good choices.’
    • ‘You take softwood, dose it with industrial vinegar and give it the performance of a typical hardwood.’
    • ‘All bass necks are made from 4 x 2 planed softwood and should be painted black on one side and a sort-of vaguely off-white on the other.’
    • ‘British practice was to use softwood for the sleepers as it was easily obtained; it had to be treated with creosote or a similar preservative, but abroad hardwood was more commonly used, with a longer life and no preservative required.’
    • ‘If the stairs are to be left exposed, select a clear hardwood or rugged softwood for both the treads and the risers - oak, cherry, and clear fir are common choices.’
    • ‘All types of lumber, both hardwood and softwood, are sorted by quality during the milling process.’
    • ‘If made from softwood, vineyard posts must be chemically treated to stop wood-rotting fungi.’
    • ‘The two basic categories of wood used most often in woodworking projects are hardwood and softwood.’
    • ‘The best decking is made of hardwood or pressure-treated softwood.’
    • ‘We import 33 percent of the softwood we consume, much of it from old-growth forests in Canada and Siberia.’
    • ‘Securing enough fibre for an Oriented Strand Board mill that will require over 900 000 cubic metres per year of hardwood and softwood is no easy task.’
    • ‘For floor construction the choice is between solid floors, which are timber through and through, and engineered floors, which have a top layer of hardwood mounted on cross laid softwood or on plywood.’
    • ‘There are a number of products we need to make in both softwood and hardwoods, which complicates things, and makes cost control difficult.’
    • ‘By 2016 the supply of softwood in Scotland will exceed 8.4 million cubic metres - a doubling of the existing harvest.’
    • ‘Thirty feet long, six feet wide in the beam, tapered at both bow and stern, it has a false keel of softwood that can easily be replaced if damaged in rough landings, a frequent occurrence.’
    • ‘The post and timber fence is not constructed in plywood, it is softwood.’
    • ‘But America had abundant oak and softwood for hulls, tall timber for masts and spars - and resins to make critical naval stores like tar to protect standing rigging.’
    • ‘Use seasoned hardwoods (elm, maple, oak) instead of softwoods (cedar, fir, pine) in woodburning stoves and fireplaces.’
    • ‘It's not the best place to look for sawlogs, so we're trying to send the processor in first to make sawlogs where they can from both hardwood and softwood.’
    1. 1.1A tree producing softwood.
      • ‘In the Sikhote Alin, a forested range north of Vladivostok, I found mixed hard and softwood, rather small timber.’
      • ‘Plantations of introduced softwoods, particularly Radiata Pine, were established, often on abandoned agricultural land.’
      • ‘Among the white rot decay fungi, T. versicolor was not very aggressive against any of the softwoods, but produced some weight loss in pine and Metasequoia.’
      • ‘The feller buncher operator makes separate sorts for softwood and the major hardwood species, which are each chipped separately.’
      • ‘Where there are mature softwoods mixed in these patches, they selectively harvest them, while trying to protect the younger regen.’
      • ‘In the areas where, as a result of selecting other more valuable softwoods, fir was encouraged to increase, all practicable efforts should be made to reduce the amount of fir.’
      • ‘Soil and climate were ideally suited for the faster growing softwoods and there was a national demand for more timber.’
      • ‘PCP was widely used in the timber industry for years as a cheap treatment for sapstain, a fungal infection commonly found in softwoods such as pine.’
      • ‘The Kumaun and Garhwal hills of present-day Uttar Pradesh contain the best stands of softwood in the subcontinent.’
      • ‘Two feller buncher teams remain on duty, but these chiefly harvest hardwoods as well as very small diameter softwoods.’
      • ‘We can get large softwoods out in the riparian zones or in mixed stands that you cannot reach with a harvester and a porter.’
      • ‘My home in New Jersey was cleared of all trees in 1965… today it is replete with both hard- and softwoods as well as evergreens, thanks to family endeavors throughout the area.’
      • ‘Mature larvae of the hide beetle, Dermestes maculatus, have the habit of boring into various hard surfaces to pupate, usually preferring softwoods.’
      • ‘And paper needs trees with strong fibres - cold-weather softwoods do best.’
      • ‘In these areas, most of the forest softwood is now dead, creating openings in the once-dense evergreen canopy.’
      • ‘O'Connor wanted the club to purchase another 28 acres of dense forest, thick with softwoods and pines.’
      • ‘Most are tall, nondeciduous softwoods with pale smooth bark and foliage that's light, sparse, and usually blue-green.’
      • ‘Luckily for the forest industry, the country can grow hardwoods and softwoods in equal quantities and on a relatively short rotation basis.’
      • ‘Instead, maintains Grams, we grow softwoods for short-term economic reasons, and import seven out of the eight million tonnes of timber used in construction annually.’
      • ‘‘Our mandate was to leave about 10 per cent of the softwoods and as much hardwood as possible in what was primarily mixed wood stands,’ explains Buckingham.’
  • 2(in gardening) young pliable growth on shrubs and other plants from which cuttings can be taken.

    • ‘Unlike softwood cuttings of deciduous plants, where you only take tip cuttings from the ends of the branches, that rule does not apply to hardwood cuttings of deciduous plants.’
    • ‘Having said that, they are not long-lived plants, lasting perhaps five or six years in cultivation before becoming excessively woody, so a few softwood cuttings taken in late spring or early summer would be a wise precaution.’
    • ‘The best time to take cuttings is during the softwood stage in spring or early summer, when stems are still green and pliable.’
    • ‘Hydrangea, butterfly bush, and many other handsome deciduous shrubs can be propagated easily and quickly from softwood cuttings - pieces of stem that are neither too new nor woody.’
    • ‘While blueberries are propagated commercially by tissue culture, they can be propagated by hardwood or softwood cuttings.’
    • ‘Suitable materials for composting include annual weeds that haven't formed seed, leafy softwood prunings, old bedding plants, autumn leaves and grass clippings.’
    • ‘I am wondering if elms respond to softwood cuttings, as nobody has ever seen a single seed or seedling from this tree, and if such a sprout could be successfully medicated to eliminate the disease.’
    • ‘If you are interested in softwood cuttings, you'll find a very informative article at’
    • ‘The easiest way to propagate lavender is to take softwood cuttings in the Spring.’
    • ‘These cuttings are then treated in the same way as softwood cuttings and can be taken from mid-summer to early autumn.’
    • ‘Or you can root 4-to 6-inch softwood cuttings taken in summer and fall.’