Wood is a soft and porous structural material found in all parts of the tree and other woody plant life. Wood is a biodegradable material that is made of cellulose and protein fiber. Wood is largely affected by temperature, environment, and time. Wood is known as a natural resource and many people choose to use wood for various purposes, from flooring to furniture. Wood is a common material used for making indoor and outdoor furniture.
Wood is an organic material-a natural composite of mineralized cellulose fibers which are sturdy in pressure and embedded in a tough matrix of mineralized lignin which resists expansion. Wood is the most widely used building material throughout the world and its variety and uses makes it a versatile and convenient building component. Wood’s wide usability and adaptability make it the material of choice for homeowners, builders, architects, engineers, contractors and manufacturers. Wood is often preferred over other materials because of its natural beauty, availability, low cost, long life, and Eco-friendliness.
Wood is a renewable, organic material. Wood can be classified into two types: hardwood and softwood. Hardwood refers to trees that have developed a deeper and more distinct grain. Softwood refers to trees with finer, more diffuse grains. Wood grows best in tropical and subtropical climates.
Wood is divided into three subspecies or species depending on their respective habitats. They are: broadleaf, softwoods, and coniferous trees. Broadleaf trees grow in tropical, sub-tropical and cold environments. The main varieties include: pine, cedar, fir, spruce, redwood, Douglas fir, hickory, poplar, oak, maple, beech, tulip, black walnut, hickory, and juniper.
Wood is categorized based on the type of tree and the size of the tree. Wood is classified as softwood, hardwood or coniferous. Wood species are further split into different kinds. Wood that is classified as softwood are those plants and trees which derive their nourishment from the water. Hardwood trees are those trees and plants that derive their nutrients from the soil.
Coniferous woods refer to broadleaf trees and shrubs that do not develop new leaves each year. These woods include pine, cedar, fir, spruce, redwood, Douglas fir, and Oregon redwood. Wood species that fall under coniferous category : white pine, redwood, fir, oak, maple, and birch. Wood that falls under the hardwood category are: larch, Douglas fir, chestnut, white pine, black walnut, honey locust, and juniper.
One of the most popular wood varieties is maple wood. Maple trees produce softwood lumber and maple bark contain silica, which is a valuable mineral. This particular type of wood is used for flooring and furniture. Hardwood is also obtained from pine trees although it takes a longer time to grow and attains maximum condition. The main difference between hardwood and softwood is that hardwood is stronger than softwood.
Wood that is classified as hybrids are rarer than their counterparts and are usually sought after by collectors. Hybrid wood sometimes contains traces of both softwood and hardwood, therefore, it is more likely to contain some characteristics of both the parent trees. Wood classified as rare is generally old and hardy. Examples of this wood are old oak trees, which contain silica; American cherry, which are very rare in the U.S. due to its disease-resistance ability; and Spanish Douglas fir, which are rare in the U.S. but common in Scandinavia. Wood, such as birch and poplar can be considered as hardwoods if they have certain characteristics or have been resistant to a certain disease or insect.
Wood that has been categorized as softwoods include Rosemary, anise, rose, jonquil, and lavender. Wood classified as hardwoods include oak, maple, hickory, black walnut, juniper, birch, poplar, Douglas fir, redwood, and sago palm. Some conifers such as sycamore and boxwood also contain some softwoods in them. Wood like bamboo, cork oak, and redwood are considered as softwoods because they have not had to encounter too much change in their conditions to become a good hardwood.
Wood that is relatively soft can be used to make fine furniture and doors. Softwoods do not require that much pruning, and hence they are suitable for making cabinets, bookcases, and shelves. Some woods classified as relatively soft are pine, cedar, and redwood. Hardwoods like ash, maple, and oak are more durable and harder. Hardwoods have to endure tough weather conditions and are therefore used for doors and windows.
Wood that is relatively soft will take stain very easily. Wood classified as relatively soft should be stained with a stain that has a relatively low permeability. Wood from places with dry climates should always be stained with a water-based stain that dries fast, and that does not require any type of oiling.
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