Have heard of Pawlonia, but that's all. If you can cut it down to your required sizes, it should be good stuff for what you're aiming to build. I use spruce for the likes of model I mentioned because it's not too hard to buy and offers advantages in strength.
By the time I've scratted through balsa looking for suitably hard, straight and consistent stock, I'd have had spruce delivered from a MO source or found some in a local craft shop - both are usually consistent enough that little gets tossed due to warping, twisting knots or suchlike.
Balsa's big snag, barring the chances of actually finding stock to do the job in strip/stick sizes is there's good chance of finding soft spots in the middle of otherwise hard stock.
Every sheet of balsa I buy is weighed and marked, plus the (in)famous 'quarter grain' stock is pulled aside, marked and stored seperately for making wing ribs. have found that, over the years, remarkably little wood doesn't find a home in some model eventually, so I can't be accused of wasting it
If anyone has doubts as to the strength of a strip-built lightweight fuselage, find a 'Lazy Bee' plan and look carefully at how Andy Clancy designed it. I've done some horrid things to Lazy Bees over the years and, without doubt, Andy's fuselage framework is not only the strongest I've come across, it is also very light in weight.
Okay, most of it is made from large holes with minimal strip wood trimming round the outer edges! But all aircraft are a compromise - between light weight and strength here.