Wood properties and their implications for wood use

John Turner – Forest Research Institute Ltd, Rotorua

General characteristics of wood

Wood is:

1. cellular

2. Anisotropic

3. Hygroscopic

4. Variable

Physical nature of wood

All of woods physical properties are derived from its basic structural organisation:

1. The amount of cell wall material per unit volume (density)

2. The amount of water present ( moisture content)

3. The kinds, types, sizes of cells (anatomy)

4. The arrangement of wall components within the cells (microstructure)

5. The presence of growth features ie. knots, reaction wood, spiral grain

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