Broadly wood is being characterized as Hard Wood or Soft Wood. This basic characteristic of wood drives its usage decisions. Hardwoods are generally being recommended/used to build a long-lasting day to day used products whereas softwood is being used to build architectural supporting products. For example –
- Hardwoods are being used to manufacturing Solid wood doors, Dining Tables, Garden tables.
- Softwood is being used to design and build solid wood picture frames, wooden blocked plywood.
The characteristics of wood get built into it through the way it is been grown throughout its life. The botanical characteristics are the base which needs to be supported by the upbringing of the tree in specified soils. On the broader level, soft wood trees are found where we have a good flow of water, which in turn supported by nature of wood where softwood contains more water than oil. On contrary, hardwood is been grown on the solid soils which require less water. This is being supported by a fact that – solid wood contains more oil than water.
This this is an interesting fact which talks about the sensitivity in growing these different species of wood. I call soft wood tree growth as highly conditional, where it will grow if and only if the conditions are supportive for its growth. That may not be a case with Hard Wood, the conditions are less restrictive for the growth of Hard Wood. Well, I am specifying here the generic wood growth but not about the conditional plantation done for commercial purposes. The commercial plantation is being done in the monitored environment where the objective in growing tree is to convert those in specified well defined finished products in defined period.
These characteristics of wood are very much inclusive part of the growth cycle of specified tree. Softwood contains more water, where water is being pulled from the soil and environment hence the growth cycle is much faster. On contrary, Hard Wood contains more oil than water, the oil is being produced internally within wood which is been supported by internal and external conditions. As producing oil internally takes much more time than getting water from external sources, the growth of Hard Wood is comparatively slower than the growth of soft wood. In the same duration, we can see softwood completing multiple rounds of growth in comparison with Hard Wood. Having said that longer the duration of both the wood, better is the quality of wood.
The full growth of wood is very important and drives as basic pre-requite in building a final solid wood product. The full-grown wood provides more stability in the finished product in comparison with pre-grown wood. This statement is fully supported by the grain structure in wood. The common factor to measure the age of wood is to reflect on its grain layers which are built with the growth of wood. Higher growth justifies the multiple numbers of wood grains in the wooden circumference. Higher growth helps to build good density of grains in the body of wood. Good density of grains builds a good stability in wood in comparison of fewer grains with less density. The Higher density of full grown wood, have less room to compress or expand in responding external temperature and climatic changes. To conclude, the solid wood products manufactured from fully grown wood brings lot more stability in the product than products manufactured from non-grown wood. We at WoodArtGuru ensure to recommend/source our products only with high-quality wood.
At the very center is the Pith – In some wood, this pith is much softer and possibly of a different color than the main heart of the wood. Heartwood – These are the dead cells where they help the tree to support. Other than support these heartwood cells no longer serves any other purposes. The heartwood is being covered with sapwood which is used to transmit water, minerals and plant sugars between the roots and the leaves. Sapwood is often lighter in color than heartwood. Sapwood also loses the strength and density to sapwood, hence for manufacturing solid wood end products the portion of sapwood needs to be eliminated to build a stronger product.
Outside the sapwood, close to the surface, is the cambium, a thin layer of living cells. These cells manufacture the wood as they grow. A protective layer of bark covers the cambium. The cambium grows rapidly at the beginning of each growing season, creating light-colored spring wood. As the climate warms, it slows down and produces darker summerwood.
This later growth is somewhat denser and harder than the early springwood. As the weather turns cold, the cambium becomes dormant until the next spring. This cycle produces distinctive growth rings.