Wood Characteristics

Simple Definitions of Wood

Color is Influenced By

  • Soil types
  • Minerals
  • Water levels
  • Available sunlight
  • Temperature
  • Genetic composition

Variations in Grain are Caused By

  • Tree size
  • Growth rate
  • Climate changes
  • Site conditions
  • Genetics
  • Bird damage
  • Insect damage
  • Fire Damage

Softwoods vs. Hardwoods

These two botanical classifications are confusing, because there is no direct correlation between the classification and the hardness or softness of the wood.

  • Hardwoods have broad leaves
  • Softwoods have needle–like or scale–like leaves

Sapwood and Sap Lines

  • Contains living cells and performs an active role in the tree’s life processes
  • Located next to cambium
  • Functions in sap conduction and storage of food
  • Ranges from 1 ½” to 2” thick, thicker in maples, hickories, ashes, some southern yellow pine and ponderosa pine, especially in second growth trees