A category of tree, also classified as hardwood, used in pulping processes for the manufacturing of paper. Familiar types of deciduous trees include aspen, beech, birch, cottonwood, elm, maple, and oak. They are distinguished to a large extent by their yearly loss of leaves, in contrast to conifers, most of which retain their leaves year-round. Hardwood fibers are much shorter than softwood fibers (obtained from conifers), and don't lend themselves well to the production of many types of paper. See also Coniferous.