Choosing Wood Species
The four most popular wood species in the U.S. are White Pine, Yellow Pine, Douglas Fir, and Oak. Other species, such as Maple or even Wild Cherry, can be used but tend to be more expensive.
Choice of wood species usually depends on client's desires, engineering needs, and local availability. Each wood species has its particular qualities including color, texture, veining, strength, price,… White Pine is the most stable (comparing green versus dry) while Oak is the strongest.
Sometimes engineers request different species for certain beams. This is usually because strength of species chosen by a client does not allow for long open span or the wood is not suitable for particular application (e.g. Eastern White Pine may not be the right wood to use for a swimming pool roof, red cedar should be chosen instead).