Rosewood vs Redwood: Difference and Comparison

Rosewood and redwood are different varieties of trees and are known widely for their timber as well as the vibrant colors of the tissues.

These have good commercial value and are also a great asset of nature which helps in providing massive canopies in the wild.

Their presence has been acknowledged for a long time for the wood they provide which has been used for many purposes.

Key Takeaways

  1. Rosewood is a dense, dark hardwood with a distinctive grain, while Redwood is a lightweight and reddish-brown softwood.
  2. Rosewood is used for high-quality furniture, musical instruments, and carving, while Redwood is popular for outdoor construction projects and furniture.
  3. Redwood is more resistant to decay and insects than Rosewood, but Rosewood has higher strength and durability.

Rosewood vs Redwood

Rosewood is a dense and hard tropical hardwood, used for high-end furniture and musical instruments, with a reddish-brown color and distinct grain patterns. Redwood is a softer coniferous tree species found in the western US, with a lighter color and less pronounced grained leaves.

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Rosewood provides a huge variation in the shades of the wood and this is a huge benefit to carpenters and interior decor manufacturers as customers might demand various hues for a single piece of furniture.

The fragrance of rosewood is strong but at the same time very mild and this property ensures that the scent stays for a long time.

Redwood belongs to the genus of plants that are known to be one of the tallest species of living beings and also have a very long life.

The width of the trees keeps increasing with the passing years and the older the trees, the greater is the hardwood present inside which gives it the great rigidity to stand upright for long periods. Redwood is not known to give out any fragrance.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonRosewoodRedwood
Available in Many HuesYesNot always
Is Fire ResistantNoYes
Gives Out FragranceYesNo
Tallest Species of PlantsNoYes

What is Rosewood?

Rosewood is a tree variety that belongs to the genus Dalbergia of the kingdom Plantae.

It is commonly known by the name of Brazilian rosewood as most of the rosewood cultivated for human purposes is sourced from Brazil.

Other countries such as India and Pakistan are also famous for rosewood production and each nation has a different species name given to the rosewood depending on the dimensions and the fragrance of the wood.

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Of all the rosewood available, the most exploited and in danger of being extinct is the species from Madagascar called Dalbergia maritima.

The reason behind the overexploitation of the Madagascar variety is that the wood of Dalbergia maritima is one of the most highly colored of all the rosewood available.

The bright red or dark magenta of the Madagascar variety is highly loved and preferred by many for making unique furniture and decor pieces.

The thing about rosewood is that it isn’t always suitable for human use as the bark might not be enough for furniture even if the tree is old.

Such trees are left to survive and provide a canopy and they don’t even have the signature smell of rosewood.

The wood from this tree is highly durable and has no issues when left out in the sun and rain for long as it is resistant to such natural forces up to a limit.

The fragrance of rosewood is much loved by many people and this is an added advantage to rosewood cultivators as they get a better income through the perfume and essential oil industry.

The small powdered wood dust is known to create allergic reactions in hypersensitive people and can also lead to wood poisoning.

It is mainly used to make highly durable musical instruments such as guitars along with all kinds of wooden furniture.


What is Redwood?

Redwood belongs to the genus Sequoia of the Plantae kingdom and is one of the tallest plant species ever recorded.

The unique thing about redwood is that it is the only plant that has not yet gone extinct and is still alive in the genus Sequoia.

All redwood trees can grow up to 5000 years or greater depending upon the climatic conditions and the soil in which it grows.

Because of the height that it reaches, redwood is not known to have great canopies as it would make the tree unbalanced at the root system due to great weight at the top, resulting in the tree plummeting down.

The position of each leaf in a redwood tree is such that they can all absorb the maximum amount of sunlight that would ensure the production of a high amount of sugar for the survival of the tree.

Despite the mass of the tree, after being cut, redwood timber tends to be lightweight and easy to carry.

It is resistant to water penetration after being cut and this is an added advantage as it could be left outside for long without the need to construct a secure cover.

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It is one of the fastest-growing species of trees that are used as timber and for furniture.

Redwood is resin deficient which gives it the property to be water-resistant. This lack of resin also helps it in resisting most fire that is in an optimum degree of burning.

This is what makes redwoods the only trees surviving forest fires and this is also why it has such a long life.

This resistance to most fires makes redwood desirable as the wood for producing furniture and even entire house structures and cabins near the woods prone to fire.

Another use of redwood is in the production of rail tracks because of its ability to repel water.


Main Differences Between Rosewood and Redwood

  1. While rosewood is known for its strong and pleasant smell that lingers for long, redwood does not give out any scent that could be used commercially.
  2. Most redwood cultivated from different places comes in a single shade of color with minor differences but rosewood is famous for all the hues and the differences in shades that it provides.
  3. Redwood is the only known species present in its genus whereas rosewood comes under a genus that has many different varieties of rosewood depending on the region and topography.
  4. Rosewood is not as tall as the redwood species which is the tallest living plant in the world.
  5. While the wood dust of rosewood would cause allergies and poisoning to most people, redwood does not have such characteristics.
Difference Between Rosewood and Redwood

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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