Is Apple Wood a Hardwood?

Apple wood light color grain.

Have you ever harvested apples from the Apple tree? I guess you have, and I am sure the apple fruits captivated your eyes more than the apple wood. If you’re not a woodworker, you may not even ask whether an Apple tree is hardwood or softwood. Yet, if you’re a die-hard woodworker, you will know that Applewood is hardwood and comes from a deciduous tree. 

All hardwoods are deciduous; thus, the Apple tree is a deciduous tree. A deciduous tree, of course, sheds its leaves during autumn, and being deciduous is one of the main criteria of a hardwood. Thus, an apple tree is not only helpful in providing us with delicious apple fruits but is also productive of excellent lumber that we can use for many woodworking projects. 

Is Applewood Hard Enough & Suitable for Woodworking Projects?

Applewood is indeed hard, with a Janka Hardness rating of 1,730 Jankas, meaning it is harder than many hardwoods, even harder than Hard Maple, Australian Cypress, White Ash, Black Walnut, and Teak. Because of its remarkable hardness, it gets often used for making furniture and other woodworking projects.

Applewood has a dense fiber structure characterized by remarkable dimensional stability. For this reason, it is an excellent hardwood. Besides, it exhibits incredible resistance to damage. For this reason, it is perfect for use in many woodworking projects. 

Furniture made of Applewood shows excellent durability even if you provide less maintenance. Nevertheless, suppose you want to enhance its longevity and durability further, especially if you will use it outdoors. In that case, it will be best to provide it with proper sealant because without sealing it, it is susceptible to decay and pest attacks. 

Properties and Characteristics of Applewood

If you intend to use Applewood for your projects, it is not enough to know it is hardwood. It will also help if you are familiar with the following properties and characteristics of this hardwood:

Color and Appearance

Applewood’s heartwood comes with a grayish brown or light reddish brown to a deeper brown. You will likewise notice that its grain comes with darker or lighter bands of somewhat olive color. Its sapwood, however, has a pale cream hue. 

Grain and Texture

Applewood’s grain is straight with a uniform and delicate texture, somewhat similar to that of Cherry. Its sapwood is a light reddish-brown to reddish-white color and is thick. Yet, it takes a warmer red color when freshly steamed.

Applewood is also an excellent decorative wood. You would love its appearance because of its superb color and great heartwood appearance.

Its wood also comes with smooth grains and a delicate texture with diffuse-porous end-grain characterized by tiny pores and denser early wood. 


Applewood has diffuse-porous end grains with very small to tiny pores, with increased frequency apparent in the early wood area. If you use a lens, you will notice rays that are invisible without a lens. Besides, you will see distinct and solitary growth rinks. You will also not notice its parenchyma without a lens.  

Rot Resistance

Applewood is unlike teak wood. It is susceptible to decay and rot. As such, it is rated by experts as non-durable, especially its heartwood.

How to Work with Applewood?

Applewood is not easy to work with, but it is also not too difficult to work with. It is challenging to work with because of its high density. Besides, it can burn or overheat if you would machine it. Nevertheless, it stains, glues, and finishes nicely. It is also excellent for turning.

Because of its high density, Applewood is not easy to cut, nail or drill. Thus, if you’re a beginner, Applewood is not the best wood to start with.

  • Finishing Applewood: When finishing hardwood, it will be best to seal this wood to provide it with additional protection against rot and decay. Besides, this wood will be vulnerable to rot and decay when exposed to extreme weather. So, it will help if you seal it properly.
  • Cutting, Sawing, and Nailing Apple Wood: Cutting or nailing Applewood is also challenging. As such, it is advisable to predrill this wood when screwing or nailing. Besides, you should ensure that your cutters and hand tools are always sharp when working with this wood.
  • Treating Applewood: Applewood also tends to shrink or contract due to the vicissitudes of weather. It is susceptible to humidity changes which can occasion dimensional changes in this wood. As such, you must adequately seal this wood to protect it from humidity. This way, you can minimize the movement of this wood. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Using AppleWood in Woodworking Industry

Aside from knowing the properties and level of workability of Applewood, it will also help if you familiarize yourself with the following FAQs about this wood, for they might also be the questions playing on in your mind:

What Are the Applications of Applewood?

You can use Applewood for whatever woodworking projects. It is excellent for many applications because of its remarkable hardness, density, stability, and toughness against impact. You can use it for furniture making, wood turning, and carving. You can also utilize it for making tool handles, flooring, decorative items, butcher blocks, and cutting boards. Thus, gauging the abovementioned applications of Applewood, you can conclude that Applewood has multiple applications and uses. With proper sealing and finishing, you can expect this wood to last for several decades.

Is Applewood Suitable for Woodworking?

Applewood is excellent for woodworking because of its sterling qualities and properties. It is dense, tough, strong, and durable. Nevertheless, it is not advisable for beginners because of its density. As a beginner, you may find it hard to cut and nail. But if you use sharp tools and cutters, you can work out this wood to actualize your woodworking projects. 


Applewood is one of the hardwoods you can use for many woodworking projects. It has remarkable properties that endear it to woodworkers. Hence, as a woodworker, you should not think twice about using this wood for your projects. 

Applewood’s Janka Hardness rating is higher than other hardwoods. It may not be the hardest hardwoods available commercially, but it is hard enough to make working with it difficult for beginners. 

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