In this study, poplar and black pine wood was exposed to short thermal treatments, aiming to improve some crucial properties. Using wet chemical analyses and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), the influence of these treatments on the chemical composition of the modified species was investigated, as well as on the wood structure, using scanning electron microscopy. With the increase of heat treatment intensity, a mass loss of both species was recorded, attributed to the moisture loss and degradation of volatile compounds, as well as thermally less stable components. In the first treatment stages, the extractives presented a decrease, whereas with the duration and temperature increase, new extractives were formed. Lignin increased its network through ramification, especially at 200 ºC, while holocellulose was found lower in all modified wood categories of both species than in unmodified wood due to the intense decomposition of hemicelluloses. The findings of FT-IR analyses were in line with the chemical analysis results. The thermal modification process made wood materials more hydrophobic and dimensionally stable, providing protection against decomposing factors. At the same time, they were not intensively thermo-degraded, which increased their utilization perspectives and application range as solid wood of enhanced properties, or as wood particles/fibers participating as raw materials in wood-based composite products, wood-polymers composites etc., enhancing their materials compatibility, properties and performance.