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.

R&B Timbers Blog 2

  1. Softwoods don't have vessels like harder woods. Their cells are open, and are used to feed water and bring nutrients to the tree.
  2. Because softwoods take wood finishes so well, they were responsible for the pine furniture boom of the early 80's to late 90's.
  3. Trees trap 50% of all the sun's energy caught by living organisms.
  4. All wood is biodegradable.
  5. Wet wood, unlike dry wood, can conduct electricity.
  6. The world's blackest wood is ebony, the world's whitest wood is holly.
  7. Softwoods are usually a lighter colour than hardwoods.
  8. Pine is denser than some hardwoods so is an affordable alternative.
  9. Softwoods account for about 80% of the world's timber production.
  10. Well-maintained trees can increase a property's value - some say by as much as 27%, others hang their hat on 14%.
  11. Place trees in the right way near a property and they can cut air conditioning by 30%
  12. Hardwood is denser than softwood and burns for longer, with more heat, as long as it's properly seasoned.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Trees get 90% of their nutrition from the atmosphere and only 10% from soil.
  16. 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.
  17. Insects hate the taste of tannin, the tea-coloured chemical trees contain in varying amounts.
  18. 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.
  19. Trees mean rain. Every day, just one acre of maple trees emits as much as 20,000 gallons of water into the air.
  20. Some ironwoods are so dense, with a specific gravity of more than 1, that they sink in water.

Source: Wood Finishes Direct.