Wood is a strong natural material that humans have been making good use of since the dawn of time. However, there are some very interesting things you might not know about this incredible material. Here are some fascinating facts about wood:
Timber homes are becoming more popular – In the UK, we are more used to seeing homes built from bricks and mortar. However, timber framed structures are becoming increasingly popular, thanks in part to the convenience of off-site manufacturing. Timber house building has risen from a mere 7% in 2000 to 28% by 2016. When you need more information on Oak Roof Trusses, visit a site such as https://www.timberpride.co.uk/oak-trusses
Not much forest – Unfortunately for the UK, it has the lowest woodland and forest cover in Europe, equating to only 14%. Lebanon has a similar coverage and the average for European countries is 37%. Campaigns are ongoing to fight for increased planting to meet future material demands.
Helping us to breathe – Trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen which is literally what we all need to live. This carbon storage makes wood one of the most environmentally friendly building materials available.
Long-lasting – Wood buildings can last for an extremely long time. The oldest wooden structures in the world can be found in the Horyu-ji temple in Japan. The central pillar of the pagoda is estimated to have been felled 1,400 years ago!
Drinking straws – When you look at wood under the microscope, it resembles a bunch of drinking straws bound together. The wood consists of many tubes and vessels which are used to provide the flow of nutrients and water when the tree is growing.
Woods are good for you – Taking a walk in the woods is more than just a pleasant experience, it is actually highly beneficial for a person’s health and well-being. In Japan, doctors have actually been prescribing walks in the woods for several decades! Wood in hospitals has proven to help patients recover quicker, feel less pain and require less medication. Wood in schools has proven to improve pupil’s concentration and test scores!
A library of wood – A collection of wood samples is known as a xylarium. It comes from the Greek word ‘xylem’ meaning wood.
British fleets – It is well known that the historical success of the UK navy was built on English Oak, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. In fact, the British naval anthem is called ‘Hearts of Oak’. However, one of the most famous battleships of the Battle of TRafalgar in 1805 is the HMS Victory and this ship was made from English Elm!
Heated wood – Heating the end of a piece of wood can actually make it stronger. The Ancient Britons knew this and charred the ends of pieces of wood before staking them in the ground as this made the wood stronger and more resistant against rotting.