Magnolia lumber is used principally in the manufacture of furniture, boxes, pallets, sash, doors, veneer, and millwork.
The sapwood of southern magnolia is yellowish-white, and the heartwood is light to dark brown with a tinge of yellow or green. The wood, which has close uniform texture and is generally straight-grained, closely resembles poplar.
Commercial magnolia comprises three species - southern magnolia, sweetbay, and cucumbertree. The lumber produced by all three is simply called magnolia. The natural range of the sweetbay extends along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Long Island to Texas, and that of southern magnolia from North Carolina to Texas. Cucumbertree grows from the Appalachians to the Ozarks northward to Ohio.
The wood of magnolia is moderately heavy (32lbs./cu.ft.), moderately low in shrinkage, moderately low in bending and compressive strength, moderately hard and stiff, and moderately high in shock resistance.