Common Name(s): Dogwood, Flowering Dogwood
Scientific Name: Cornus florida
Distribution: Eastern North America
Tree Size: 30-40 ft (9-12 m) tall, 1-1.3 ft (.3-.4 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 51 lbs/ft3 (815 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .64, .82
Janka Hardness: 2,150 lbf (9,560 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 16,720 lbf/in2 (115.3 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,922,000 lbf/in2 (13.26 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 8,740 lbf/in2 (60.3 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 7.1%, Tangential: 11.3%, Volumetric: 19.9%, T/R Ratio: 1.6
Color/Appearance: Most boards and blanks and composed primarily of sapwood rather than heartwood. Narrow heartwood is a reddish brown. Wide sapwood is cream to pale pinkish in color.
Grain/Texture: Grain is interlocked, with a fine, uniform texture. Moderate natural luster.
Endgrain: Diffuse-porous (growth rings generally distinct due to gradually decreasing pore density in latewood); small to medium pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous to numerous; exclusively solitary; tyloses occasionally present; parenchyma not visible; medium to wide rays, spacing normal.
Rot Resistance: Since there tends to be very little heartwood, Dogwood is usually composed entirely of sapwood, which is considered non-durable to perishable. Also susceptible to insect attack.
Workability: Despite it’s high density and interlocked grain, Dogwood tends to produce decent results with both hand and machine tools, though it can have a blunting effect on cutters. Glues, turns, and finishes well.
Odor: No characteristic odor.
Allergies/Toxicity: Besides the standard health risks associated with any type of wood dust, no further health reactions have been associated with Dogwood. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Pricing/Availability: Not generally available commercially. Small quantities of Dogwood are occasionally harvested and utilized locally throughout its natural range, with prices high for a domestic hardwood.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Golf club heads, textile shuttles, bows (archery), mallets, pulleys, and turned objects.
Comments: Dogwood has excellent shock resistance, and is one of the hardest domestic woods of the United States or Canada. Its toughness is appreciated in a variety of applications, though its poor dimensional stability means that its use is usually restricted to unglued/unjoined standalone components where it’s expansion and contraction can occur freely.
Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Mike Leigher for providing the wood sample of this wood species.