Events

Wood Slab Sale

Purchase rare and beautiful wood for your next woodworking or fabrication project.

Content Detail

On Saturday, June 22, 2024, woodworkers and fabricators will have the opportunity to purchase rare and beautiful slabs of wood at The Morton Arboretum.

Turning salvaged wood into long-lasting furniture is a highly effective and beautiful way to sequester carbon.

At the Wood Slab Sale, ticket holders can purchase large, high-quality slabs cut from a variety of deciduous and coniferous tree species. The Wood Slab Inventory includes 413 wood slabs cut from 56 species in a wide range of colors and grain patterns, perfect for furniture and other fine woodworking projects. A limited number of slabs are highly figured, spalted, or contain burls for one-of-a-kind projects.

Arboretum members receive a 10% discount on wood slabs.

Ticket Details

To access the Wood Slab Sale, members and guests must purchase a timed-entry ticket online, in advance of the sale, by selecting an available time slot between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Your ticket price will be automatically applied toward your purchase at the sale. Ticket purchases are non-refundable. Wood Slab Sale tickets include general admission to the Arboretum for the day.

Please note that slabs are available on a first-come-first-serve basis; we cannot guarantee that a slab or species listed here will still be available when you arrive at your selected time.

Your ticket and slab purchases help support the Arboretum’s vision of a greener, healthier, more beautiful world where people and trees thrive together.

Event Details

The Wood Slab Sale will be hosted at the Curatorial and Operations Center on the Arboretum’s East Side. Arboretum staff will direct attendees from the gatehouse to parking for the event.

Staff will be on-site to assist with the loading of slabs for transport.

Please take care to arrive no more than 30 minutes after your selected time slot.

Ticket Details

To access the Wood Slab Sale, members and guests must purchase a timed-entry ticket online, in advance of the sale, by selecting an available time slot for Saturday between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

The ticket price is $100 per person. Your ticket price will be automatically applied toward your purchase at the sale. Admission to the Arboretum on Saturday, June 22 is included with the purchase of a Wood Slab Sale ticket. Ticket purchases are non-refundable.

By purchasing this ticket, you agree not to use the logo or any other marks owned by or associated with The Morton Arboretum or the name of any representative of the Arboretum in any sales promotion work or advertising, or any form of publicity, without the written permission of the Arboretum in advance. The Arboretum does not endorse any individual or organization.

Wood Slab Inventory

Slabs must be purchased in person at the sale. We recommend that you explore the inventory of wood species online prior to the sale and make a list of species you may want to purchase.

Please note that wood slabs are available on a first-come-first-serve basis; we cannot guarantee that a species listed here will still be available when you arrive at the sale.

Arboretum members receive a 10% discount on wood slabs.

Prices range from $10 to $17 per board foot, depending on species and size. (1 board foot = 1” x 12” x 12”). Most slabs have been professionally kiln dried to 6–8% moisture content. A small number of sugar and Amur maple slabs were carefully air dried over three years to prevent splitting and increase workability. Cross cuts will be available for $5 per cut.

Sample photos of slabs are paired with descriptions and images below.

Wood Slabs by Species

  • American elm is durable and tough, yet softer than most other hardwoods. Interlocked grains add to its toughness and make it more resistant to splitting. The color is light to medium reddish brown, sometimes with darker streaks.

  • Amur maple is a moderately hard and dense wood that ranges in color from light cream to golden brown. Occasional interlocking and wavy grain patterns and a fine, uniform texture make it a good choice for turning, musical items, and small decorative objects.

  • Austrian pine is a large conifer with moderately hard and straight-grained timber that is knotty and rich in resin. This wood is rougher and softer than that of Scots pine and red pine, and most often used for rough carpentry, furniture, paneling, window frames, roofing, and floors.

    Preview photo unavailable

  • Black cherry is a durable hardwood of medium density. Its color ranges from pale pink to dark red-brown, and it will darken naturally over time. It is easy to work, bends well, and is highly sought-after for furniture, cabinetry, and woodworking.

  • Black walnut is a durable hardwood with a slightly open grain that is typically straight, but occasionally curly, wavy, or figured. Its deep brown color can have a gray, purple, or reddish cast. The texture of new wood is usually coarse, but the wood develops a lustrous patina over time. It is commonly used to make fine furniture, flooring, oars, and coffins.

  • Black willow is a lightweight, flexible hardwood, reddish to grayish brown in color. It offers good shock resistance, responds moderately well to steam bending, and is often used for millwork, furniture, doors, cabinetry, boxes, barrels, toys, and pulpwood.

  • Blue ash is a durable hardwood with a medium to coarse texture, similar to oak; the grain is typically straight but may be curly or figured. This wood is easy to work and responds well to steam bending, gluing, staining, and finishing. It is commonly used for flooring, furniture, tool handles, barrels, and baseball bats.

  • Boxelder is a straight-grained hardwood with a fine, even texture. One of the softest and lightest species of maple, it is easy to work, turn, and finish. It is commonly used to make baskets, boxes, musical instruments, and small ornamental objects.

    Boxelder is pictured fourth from the left.

  • Callery pear is a dense hardwood with a straight grain and smooth texture; due to these characteristics, it takes an excellent polish and is well suited to fine detail work. Common applications of Callery pear include musical instruments, turned objects, knife handles, and furniture. Its medium brown color can darken over time.

  • Castor-aralia is a relatively soft wood of medium density and texture, pale yellow to light brown in color. Its grain, which may be straight or slightly interlocked, has a unique appearance that is well-suited to ornamental purposes. This wood is often used for furniture and veneer.

  • Chestnut oak is a coarse-grained and durable hardwood, typically medium brown in color. This wood is commonly used for construction, flooring, posts, wagons, tool handles, and furniture.

    Chestnut oak is pictured fifth from the right

  • Chinese catalpa is a softwood of medium density and texture, tending to be pale gray or light brown in color. It is lightweight and generally straight-grained, with occasional interlocked grain patterns. This wood is well-suited to carving, indoor furniture, and crafts. It is more resistant to rot than most softwoods and has historically been used for fence posts.

  • Chinese chestnut is a remarkably strong and durable hardwood, prized for its rich brown and reddish tones. The grain may be straight or slightly wavy. This wood has excellent natural resistance to rot and is commonly used for fence posts.

  • Although it is classified as a softwood, Chinese juniper is moderately dense and durable. Red, orange, and brown hues in the heartwood make a dramatic contrast to the pale cream color of the sapwood. This aromatic wood is commonly used for decorative items, outdoor furniture, chests, and closet linings.

  • The wood of this small deciduous tree is fine-grained, strong, hard, and heavy. It is often used for tool handles.

  • Corkbark fir is a lightweight, somewhat brittle softwood with a straight grain and a fine texture. Its color ranges from light to reddish brown. It is most often used for rough construction, and occasionally for paper pulp.

  • Crimean linden is a lightweight hardwood that is softer than most hardwoods and well suited to carving. The wood is used to craft furniture, wooden utensils, carvings, models, and puppets.

    Crimean linden is pictured fourth from the right.

  • Eastern larch is a hard, high-density wood with a fine to medium texture. The grain is straight with occasional knots, and the color ranges from yellow to reddish brown. This wood resists rot well and is excellent for outdoor applications that involve water, such as boats and decks.

  • Eastern red-cedar is a durable and aromatic softwood that is highly resistant to decay. The fine, even texture of this wood makes it easy to work, although knots or irregularities tend to be present. It is commonly used for furniture, fencing, cedar chests, and pencils.

  • Eastern white cedar, also known as arborvitae, is a medium-soft, close-grained wood with an even texture. The grain is typically straight. This wood is commonly used for fencing, posts, poles, shingles, log cabin construction, and canoes.

    Preview image is unavailable.

  • European white birch, also known as silver birch, is a pale-colored hardwood with a smooth texture. It is most often used to produce plywood and is also frequently used for joinery timber, firewood, tanning, racecourse jumps, and brooms.

    img src=”https://mortonarb.org/app/uploads/2024/05/Birch-1.jpg” height=”300px” alt=”” />

  • The wood of the ginkgo tree is highly durable, of medium density, and resistant to splitting, warping, and cracking. Commonly used for cabinetry and furniture, this wood is known to finish well and has a striking appearance, with hues of light yellow to golden brown streaked with black.

  • Hackberry is a grainy hardwood, light brown to gray in color. It has similar properties to more expensive lumbers such as oak and ash, and is often used in their place to craft furniture and frames. It excels specifically in steam bending and is sought by makers of bentwood furniture.

  • Hornbeam is a very dense, yet finely-textured hardwood that ranges in color from off-white to pale gold. Its wavy grain pattern offers unique decorative possibilities, and this wood is often chosen for carving projects and musical instruments.

  • Horse chestnut is a close-grained hardwood, creamy white to light brown in color. Due to its fine and silky texture, this wood is easy to turn, carve, plane, chisel, and polish. It is often used to make veneer, cabinets, trim, plywood, cabinetry, and furniture.

    Horse chestnut is pictured fifth from the left.

  • Also known as American hophornbeam, ironwood is a very durable hardwood with a uniform texture and straight grain, light to reddish brown in color. Historically used to make sleigh runners, it is commonly made into fence posts, handles, plane soles, and other tools.

  • The soft, light-colored wood of Japanese falsecypress, an evergreen shrub native to Japan, is exceptionally resistant to decay. It is suitable for a wide range of applications, but most commonly used for construction and caskets.

  • Japanese red pine is a strong, durable softwood with a tight and straight grain pattern. It is resistant to decay and a popular choice for outdoor applications. This light-colored wood is commonly used for construction, electric poles, and furniture.

    Preview image is unavailable.

  • This is a moderately hard wood, pale yellow to light brown in color. Japanese scholar tree wood has a fine and even texture that is easy to work with, as well as interlocked grain patterns that offer decorative appeal for furniture and cabinetry projects.

  • The density and hardness of Japanese white birch are moderate, similar to other birches. This fine-textured wood is light brown in color, often with a slight reddish hue, and a grain that can be straight or wavy. It is commonly used for plywood, furniture, cabinetry, veneer, and paper production.

  • This heavy hardwood is renowned for its dynamic, wavy grain pattern and golden-brown color. Despite its density, Japanese zelkova is highly elastic and well suited to steam bending. It is often selected for cabinets, inlay work, furniture, and pillars.

    Preview image is unavailable.

  • Jeffrey pine is a straight-grained softwood that is reddish brown in color, similar to ponderosa pine. This wood is easy to work, glue, and finish. It is suitable for a wide range of applications, from construction, window frames, and doors to interior trim and cabinetry.

    Jeffrey pine is pictured third from the right.

  • Korean evodia is a durable hardwood known for showy colors and patterns; it is typically reddish white with elongated patches of dull red or brown. This wood is an excellent choice for tables and other woodworking projects.

    Korean evodia is pictured first on the left.

  • Mahaleb cherry is a fine-grained hardwood with a smooth texture; these properties make it an excellent choice for detail work. This wood ranges in color from light brown to pale reddish brown and it has medium density. It has been used in turnery, carving, and for making smoking pipes and musical instruments.

  • Also known as European spruce, Norway spruce is a premium tonewood commonly used for violin front plates. It is both lightweight and strong, and typically has a straight grain. Its fine and uniform texture is ideal for carving and other decorative projects. For stringed instruments, select wood with thin late wood (dark lines) that are evenly-spaced.

  • Ponderosa pine is a heavy, knotty softwood that is reddish-brown in color. It has a straight grain and medium texture, and it is easy to work, glue, and finish. It is suitable for a wide range of applications, from furniture, doors, and window frames to interior woodwork.

  • This is a medium-density softwood with an even texture and a grain pattern that can be straight or wavy. Its color is typically reddish brown. Red pine is commonly used for construction, light poles, and paper pulp.

  • River birch is a light reddish-brown hardwood with a grain that is generally straight or slightly wavy. It has a fine, even texture and is generally easy to work by hand and machine. It has a wide variety of uses, from plywood and veneer to small decorative objects.

  • Scarlet hawthorn is a dense, fine-grained hardwood that is notable for its exceptional toughness and resistance to rot. This wood is typically pale pink to brown in color, and commonly used for tool handles, fence posts, and other outdoor applications.

    Preview image is unavailable.

  • Like other oak species, scarlet oak is hard and dense, with a coarse texture. Scarlet oak has a straight grain pattern and is medium brown with a reddish pink tint. Common uses include furniture, flooring, interior trim, and cabinetry.

  • Scots pine is a softwood with a straight, even grain and relatively fine texture, usually light reddish brown in color. It is easy to work, glue, and finish. This durable wood is a top choice for furniture and construction; it is also suitable for exterior applications when treated.

  • Sassafras is a durable, yet lightweight and flexible hardwood. It has a straight grain pattern and a coarse texture, much like oak or ash. The color ranges from light to medium brown with an olive or orange hue and tends to darken with age. Sassafras is easy to work and often used for barrels, boats, furniture, utility poles, and fence posts.

    Sassafras is pictured sixth from the right.

  • Siberian elm is a resilient, relatively hard wood of moderate density. The reddish brown heartwood often has a distinctive olive tint. Due to its dramatic colors and interlocked grain patterns, this wood is excellent for turned objects, veneers, and other decorative applications.

    Preview image is unavailable.

     

  • Slippery elm is a durable hardwood of moderate density, with a coarse texture typical of elm species. The grain of this reddish brown wood is often interlocked, resulting in interesting and attractive patterns for furniture, paneling, and turned objects.

    Preview image is unavailable.

  • Sugarberry is a hardwood of moderate density, with a medium to coarse texture. The grain is most often straight, but slabs may have interlocking grain patterns. Pale yellow in color, Sugarberry is often streaked with darker browns. This wood is a good choice for fine furniture and cabinetry.

  • This hardwood is prized for its durability and attractive grain, which can be straight, rippled, or figured. Sugar maple has a fine texture and is heavy and dense, often weighing more than other species of maple and about the same as red oak. It is typically used for furniture, flooring, and woodworking.

  • Swamp chestnut oak is very hard and durable, with a medium-coarse grain, and is among the highest quality of all white oaks. This wood is resistant to rot and light to medium brown in color, sometimes with reddish hues. It is used for construction, flooring, posts, wagons, tool handles, basket weaving, and furniture.

    Swamp chestnut oak is pictured second from the left.

  • With its rich reddish brown color and close-knit grain, sweet cherry is a premium choice for high-end woodworking. Due to its straight grain pattern and smooth texture, it is easy to work. The color tends to darken with age. This wood is commonly used for furniture, cabinetry, and musical instruments.

  • Three-flowered maple is hard and dense, with the fine and even texture typical of maple species. The grain of this reddish brown wood is slightly wavy. Three-flowered maple is popular for decorative veneers and turned objects, and often selected for musical instruments and high-quality furniture.

  • The wood of the tuliptree is light yellow to brown with occasional streaks of purple and green. It has a straight grain and moderate density, and it is suitable for outdoor applications as well as fine woodworking projects. Tuliptree withstands rot even better than white oak and is excellent for boat building.

    Preview image is unavailable.

  • Black tupelo is a pale yellow to brown hardwood with a fine-textured, interlocked grain. The wood is heavy, hard, and difficult to split; qualities that led to its use making mauls, pulleys, wheel hubs, agricultural rollers, bowls, and paving blocks.

  • Upright tuliptree is a tall and narrow form of the tuliptree. Its moderately dense wood is yellow to brown with occasional streaks of purple and green; the grain is typically straight. Upright tuliptree is commonly used for furniture, plywood, boat building, paper pulp, and general lumber.

  • Willow wood is very strong, yet lightweight and flexible. The color of this medium-density hardwood ranges from creamy white to light brown; the texture is fine and uniform, with a grain that can be straight, irregular, or interlocked. It is easy to bend and carve, and it is commonly used to make woven baskets and cricket bats.

  • Yellow birch is a reddish brown hardwood with a fine, even texture; its grain pattern can be curly or wavy. This wood is commonly used for furniture, flooring, cabinetry, and other woodworking purposes.

    Preview image is unavailable.

  • White spruce is a white to light yellow softwood with a straight and even grain pattern, white to light yellow in color. It is often selected for the tops (soundboards) of guitars and other musical instruments. Other common uses for white spruce include millwork and interior finish.

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