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Some woods that may be carved
Most of these I have carved and found acceptable.
Which is best depends on its intended use.

Alder  (Carves best while still wet)

Aspen  (My favorite for carving walking sticks)

Basswood (Probably the most popular carving wood)

Black Walnut  (About the hardest wood I carve)

Buckeye  (Close to basswood, but not as consistant)

Butternut  (A good choice for unpainted wood carvings)

Catalpa  (Fairly easy to carve, but may have wild grain)

Cottonwood  (Usually free if you pick it up; a little stringy)

Ginko  (I have never carved this wood, but I am told it is a very nice)

Gum  (I have only carved one walking stick from gum)

Jelutong  (Easy to carve but often contains sap pockets)

Lodgepole pine  (A friend carves this wood all the time)

Red Cedar  (Best wood for totem poles)

Sassafras  (Good for walking sticks)

Sugar Pine  (Easy to carve; has a pronounced grain and pitch smell)

Tupelo  (A favorite with bird/power carvers)

White Pine (northeastern) (Popular carving wood) 

Weeping Willow  (Easy to carve)

Yellow Cedar  (Nice wood, but may smell like the south end of a northbound moose)

Yellow Poplar (I first carved Tulip (yellow) poplar in the Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina)

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