A number of factors are considered when dealing with the fairly simple categorization of “color.”

  • The color of the heartwood.
  • The color of the sapwood.
  • The width and/or ratio of the sapwood to heartwood.
  • The sharpness (or lack thereof) of the line of demarcation between the sapwood and heartwood.
  • The light-fastness of the heartwood color, and whether the colors tend to darken, lighten, or unexpectedly shift.
  • Unusual grain figuring that is commonly seen for a specific species (curl, birdseye, mottle, etc.).
  • Other notable grain appearances, such as streaked or duo-toned woods (Black Limba, Zebrawood).