There are various examples of softwood trees, some of which include the juniper, yew, spruce, pine, Douglas fir, redwood and cedar. Gymnosperm trees, which normally have cones and needles, usually produce softwoods.
In simple terms, timber from coniferous tree is the softwood, and timber from a deciduous tree is the hardwood. In softwoods, the tracheids and medullar rays are responsible for producing sap and transporting water within the wood. Under a microscope, these woods do not seem to have any visible pores because of the presence of the tracheids.
The uses of softwoods in daily life are very wide. Approximately 80 percent of all the timber used for various day-to-day applications comes from softwood trees. These applications include construction of components, such as doors and windows, Christmas trees, paper, medium-density fiberboards and furniture.
When compared with hardwoods, the growth rate of softwoods is faster than that of the hardwoods. They also keep their needles in the course of the year unlike hardwoods, which shed their leaves during specific times of the year. Their resistance to fire is very poor as compared to hardwoods. The density of softwoods is far much lower than that of hardwoods, and they are typically cheaper than the hardwoods.