Darker Cousin of Aspen

Balm Of Gilead

Part of the Aspen family, Balm Of Gilead goes by many names (Balsam Poplar, Balmy, Bammy, Bam)  We love this tree and use its proper name.   It has a fairly uniform medium to dark color, is light weight, and accepts stain nicely to make it even darker.  MTM sells it mainly for Paneling and accompanying Trim.

A forgotten quality of Balm of Gilead (and thus its name) is the medicinal properties of the the rosin that can be harvested from the buds.  It was used in the early days by pioneers and loggers as a first aid salve.

Balm of Gilead is becoming increasingly important to Rajala Forestry.  Because it can grow in wet areas, it is one of the tree species best suited to replace vast areas of Black Ash that will likely die from Emerald Ash Borer.

Grades of Wood


Elegant selection with consistent grain, minimal small knots, and overall smooth character.  Excellent choice for a more refined look.


Varying amounts of excellent tight characteristics including medium size knots, streaks, bark pockets, and grain variation.  This grade is excellent for a higher character look than Select, but not entirely Rustic either.


This exciting grade provides the highest degree of character, with a wide range of knot sizes, streaks, a few holes and torn knots, and occasional heavy bark deposits.  Rustic grade can appear a bit "loose" when unfinished, but with Prefinish applied the character holds together beautifully and really pops.  This grade continues to grow in popularity, even in high end applications.

MTM is able to mix the grades in any combination to give you the exact look you are after.  Some species (such as Elm) are limited in quantity and are only offered as a full mix of grades.  A few species are unavailable in Select grade due to the natural characteristics of the tree (Tamarack).