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Word Count: 1,920
Timber has been a building material since man first came out of his cave The reasons for this are due to timber being a plentiful product and the properties it holds being that timber is high in strength light weight and reasonably durable Timber can be cut and shaped easily without the use of machines Prehistoric man found that these properties were ideal for building houses boats and bridges Timber is now has many different uses including paper furniture doors windows decorative objects and structural members etc The uses for timber is endless and as long as the replanting continues and our resources are retained generations to come will enjoy the benefits timber has given us There are two classes of timber Gymnosperms Evergreen softwood conifer These are the most primitive type of tree the leaves are in the form of needles they have one main stem and a conical shape to the crown eg Douglas fir quite quick to grow Angiosperms deciduous hardwood These are flowering plants and are more advanced in evolution than conifers They have broad leaves multiple stems and a globular crown shape Eg Oak Walnut Slow to mature and expensive to purchase compared to softwood In a living tree the sapwood is just under the bark of the tree The sapwood is the trees transportation system for nutrients sugar and water The heartwood in the centre of the trunk provides structural stability for the tree The sapwood next to the heartwood is in the process of being converted to heartwood The sapwood has a higher MC than the heartwoodProperties of timber Tensile strength The tensile strength of wood is not great The molecular structure of the cells of the wood tear apart easily but can be compressed with a high amount of force before the wood disfigures Beams used in extreme tension are commonly made of steel or re-enforced concrete Timber can have extreme
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