For most outdoor projects, naturally rot-resistant wood is a good idea. Use this table to find the right decay-resistant species for your project.
Resistant or very resistant
Slightly or nonresistant
Baldcypress (old growth)1
Oak, Oregon white
Baldcypress (young growth)3
Oak, swamp chestnut
Pine, eastern white1
Oak (red and black species)2
Pines (most other species)2
1 The southern and eastern pines and baldcypress are now largely second-growth, with a large proportion of sapwood. Consequently, it is no longer practicable to obtain substatial quantities of heartwood lumber in these species for general building purposes.
2 These species, or certain species within the groups sown, are indicated to have higher decay resistance than most of the other woods in their respective categories.
3 These woods have exceptionally high decay resistance.
Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Comparative Decay Resistance of Heartwood of Native Species. U.S. Forest Service Research Note, FPL-0153. January 1967. Available at: