Despite a vast number of other building materials being developed, tree wood continues to be used in furniture, homes and various other products thanks to the natural look of wood and the various other beneficial characteristics. Though trees were once harvested faster than they were grown, today this cycle has been reversed.
Tree wood is a heavily consumed product. According to Oregon State University, every individual consumes about 74 cubic feet a year. Almost half of industrial products are made of tree wood. Wood consumption tends to parallel population growth. Almost half of the world uses wood as the primary fuel source.
Tree wood is one of the most efficient insulators in the world, according to Oregon State University. Wood is highly flexible, which allows it to be used in a large variety of projects. Wood is durable, though sometimes difficult to repair.
One and a half million Americans work in the production of wood products, according to Oregon State University. The wood industry is one of the top 10 largest manufacturing industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for woodworkers is expected to grow by 6 percent between 2008 and 2018. In 2009, woodworkers had median annual earnings of $23,770.
Wood is used in all sorts of construction projects. Many houses have a large percentage of the body made out of wood. Hardwood floors are used in many homes for stylistic reasons. Wood furniture is very common, and wood is often incorporated into other products for stylistic reasons.
Glued engineered wood products have lead to a reduction in the amount of wood used. Recycling is also effectively reducing the amount of wood that is used. The United States has more trees than in the 1920s, thanks to reforestation efforts. More trees are grown than are harvested, according to Oregon State University.
Wood is a very flammable material, which makes it vulnerable to heat. However, wood also burns in a predictable manner, which makes wood fires easier to manage than other fires. Wood also absorbs water and warps. Wood can rot, which can compromise the structural integrity of a building. However, finishes can be used to treat wood and prevent excessive absorption of water. Some wood can produce splinters, which can cause injuries.
Tree wood comes in all sorts of types, such as acacia, field maple, cork wood, silver birch, common box, carob, iron wood, sycamore, common ash, oak, willow, elm and cypress.