Wood in the olden days was used to provide shelter,to cook and to provide warmth for the body.Wood was also used to construct hunting and war instruments.The roots,barks and leaves of trees also serves as medicine to heal the sick,chewing stick and toothpicks.
Wood has been to other uses,which include the following:
- Furniture making for homes and offices: Beds,tables,chair,cabinets and other pieces of furniture in homes are made of wood.
- Building construction: Wood can as well be used for Windows,doors,door frames,window frame etc.It is also for ceiling and roofing of houses.
- Packaging(wood containers): It can be used as a storage facility which can as well facilitate transportation of goods to geographical areas that are far away.
- Paper and pulp production: One of the major raw materials used in paper and pulp production is wood e.g production of exercise books,news papers,cartons etc.
- Handles of implements: Wood is a poor conductor of heat and is lighter than metal,that is why it is used to make the handles of some tools such as chisels,screwdrivers and hammers etc.It can also be used to make the handles of knives.
- Sports equipment: Sports is essential to our health.Wood is used to make some sports equipments such as parallel bars,hockey sticks,bats,tennis and squash racket frames.
- Heavy construction: Wood is used in construction of framework of lorries and trucks,beams and bridges.
The raw material(wood) are worked upon to make them useful for various purposes.All materials used in engineering are produced from raw material.In processing these materials from their raw materials they go through different stages of production.
PRODUCTION OF WOOD
Wood suitable for engineering work is called Timber.The body of a tree which has not been felled or cut down is called Standing Timber while that of the felled trees or trees that have been cut down is called Rough Timber.
GROWTH OF TIMBER
A tree grows by obtaining its food in the form of sap from the soil by suction through its root.The sap contains moisture and minerals such as phosphate and nitrates.The sap is transported through the stem,to the branches and to the leaves of the tree.The sap loses moisture through the leaves,the leaves absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by the process of photosynthesis,and become heavier.The dense sap later descends and gets deposited under the bark in form of a thin layer known as cambium.
The cambium hardens with time and adds a new annual ring to that section of the tree stem. Annual rings show the number of years growth has occurred in a tree.
TREE GROWTH DIRECTIONS
Trees grow in two directions, Vertical and Horizontal.Vertical growth occurs near the tips of the shoot and root of the plant.Vertical growth starts at germination and continues throughout the life of the plant,it is known as primary growth. While Horizontal growth occurs mostly in the cambium.The cambium divides to form two new layers of cells.They are:
- Wood cells on the inside.
- Bark cells on the outside of the cambium.