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Welcome Glenn!

I'll answer your second question first. Yes the usually dry straight if you adjust them green and board them. I usually just bend them over my knee if they aren't too thick while green then lay them up.

Your first question is kind of loaded as it depends not totally on the species but the condition/coloring/grain pattern of the chosen sticks. All of those can be carved, some easier than others. Burning on darker woods isn't usually too productive since it relies on contrast. And all of those can be finished in a miriad of ways that produce nice sticks. I know that isn't too helpful, but really it boils down to what you want as an end result, then choose the stick. (Photos help too ) :)
 
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