Barn wood that is salvaged from barns and other rural structures comes in a variety of species depending on the locale. Typically in the Midwest the siding is Ash, Elm, Beech, Oak (hardwoods), Pine, Hemlock, and Spruce (softwoods). The wood from tobacco barns, on the other hand, is typically pine, chestnut, cypress, gum, hickory, white and red oak, poplar, and walnut. Often it is hard to tell one species of wood from another after years of aging.
No two boards of antique barn wood siding are the same. What makes every single plank’s coloring and appearance unique depends on its location and the whims of Mother Nature. For example, boards facing South are exposed to more sunlight and will age and weather differently from those facing North or West. Exposure to wind and rain will naturally affect each board’s patina and character. It’s not only which side of the building the boards are retrieved from that affects their one-of-a-kind weathered appearance, but also where the entire structure is located. Was it protected by a grove of trees or other out-buildings; was it covered in ivy; or in a valley or on a hill.