Uses for Aspen

There's a local market for aspen, for various purposes. August 30, 2005

I'm a new sawyer in northern Wisconsin where we have a lot of aspen. It's too nice for pulp wood. What uses are there for aspen in the lumber trade?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor J:
Poplar is used extensively in paint grade furniture, molding, and cabinets.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
It is very regional. It is splinter-less and paints well. It is too soft for most areas that would subject to getting hit - table tops, legs, cabinets. It can be used for toys, mouse traps, snow fences, etc. Prices are low for most of the wood, as most is No.2 Common or worse. You need to sell all grades to make it.

From contributor M:
I cut aspen in Northern British Columbia and make most of it into T&G V-joint wall panel. The top end, clears (FAS), and selects I pull and make into moldings and other high end uses - kitchen cabinets. Gene is right; you have to sell the whole log to get the full return. My markets are very local. Aspen wall panel seems to be a regional thing. Alberta and the Western US (Colorado, Montana etc.) seem to be a strong market for it too.

From contributor C:
We used Aspen a couple of years ago to make sauna seats and backrests. As Gene said it is splinter-less, so there were no slivers on ones back or behind when sitting. It seems to fuzz rather than splinter. As for the grade, we bought #2 common.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor T:
It is my understanding that poplar (aspen and cottonwood) has been used for construction for generations on farms throughout western Canada with very good results, especially barn floors.