Part 2: 40 Weird and Wonderful facts about trees & wood
July 19, 2016
Continuing the 40 weird and wonderful facts about trees and wood. Here's another 20 facts to enjoy.
- Softwoods don't have vessels like harder woods. Their cells are open, and are used to feed water and bring nutrients to the tree.
- Because softwoods take wood finishes so well, they were responsible for the pine furniture boom of the early 80's to late 90's.
- Trees trap 50% of all the sun's energy caught by living organisms.
- All wood is biodegradable.
- Wet wood, unlike dry wood, can conduct electricity.
- The world's blackest wood is ebony, the world's whitest wood is holly.
- Softwoods are usually a lighter colour than hardwoods.
- Pine is denser than some hardwoods so is an affordable alternative.
- Softwoods account for about 80% of the world's timber production.
- Well-maintained trees can increase a property's value - some say by as much as 27%, others hang their hat on 14%.
- Place trees in the right way near a property and they can cut air conditioning by 30%
- Hardwood is denser than softwood and burns for longer, with more heat, as long as it's properly seasoned.
- Softwood is not as dense and doesn't burn for quite as long, but it can still give off as much as 75% of the heat than hardwood.
- As long as forests are properly managed, wood fuel is renewable. Modern appliances can achieve a 90% burning efficiency, and the net carbon emissions from wood tend to be less than for fossil fuels.
- Trees get 90% of their nutrition from the atmosphere and only 10% from soil.
- Trees grow from the top, not the bottom. Watch for 100 years and you'll notice the branches only move a few inches up the trunk as the tree grows.
- Insects hate the taste of tannin, the tea-coloured chemical trees contain in varying amounts.
- Some trees talk to one another. When willows are threatened by insect pests, they emit a chemical warning to nearby trees, who secrete more tannin to put the invaders off.
- Trees mean rain. Every day, just one acre of maple trees emits as much as 20,000 gallons of water into the air.
- Some ironwoods are so dense, with a specific gravity of more than 1, that they sink in water.
Source: Wood Finishes Direct.