With softwood in the strict sense, the wood of conifers is known. On several of expression, especially in the plural form " conifers " but also as a synonym for conifers used.

The wood of conifers has no tracheae, so that the narrow-lumen compared tracheids next to consolidate functions must also take on water transportation. To this end, tracheids are formed with a larger diameter and thin walls than earlywood in the spring. They are connected by numerous bordered pits. In summer, the small diameter and wall thickness are larger. The latewood then formed serves the mechanical strengthening of the tribe. The change between late and early wood makes the annual rings out clearly.

Some conifers form compared to sapwood, a color darker appearing heartwood, such as larch (Larix spp.), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), Douglas fir ( Pseudotsuga menziesii), yew (Taxus spp.). At firs (Abies spp.) And spruce (Picea spp.) Is no color difference exists. In the wood processing for decorative purposes this is taken into account.

The needle wood is about 90 to 95% of longitudinal tracheids and thus is more homogenous than the wood of deciduous trees. The density range is relatively narrow limits of 0.3 to 0.6. Among other things, because it contains resin, Softwood is compared to the same heavy hardwoods resistant to weathering and fungus, as it is korrisionsbeständiger to chemicals. Due to the usually low shrinkage, it is also positive and dimensionally stable. In conjunction with the good workability these properties can be a versatile use in particular as to the construction and lumber.

Among the most important domestic softwoods Europe include spruce, fir, larch and pine while other conifers such as yew have only minor importance.