Facts About Wood & Trees

Facts About Wood & Trees

Over the years, I have complied some facts on wood and trees. Here are a few that I will share with you. Some are pretty astounding.

The lightest and softest wood in the world is Balsa. It's average specific gravity averages .16.

The heaviest and the hardest wood in the world is Snakewood. It's specific gravity averages 1.30.

Not all species of wood floats in water. In order to sink in water the specific gravity of the wood, has to be 1.00 or more. These 17 sink, African Blackwood, African Ebony, Black Ironwood, Brazilwood, CocoBolo, East Indian Satinwood, Ekki, Greenheart, IPE, Kingwood, Lignum Vitae, Macassar Ebony, Marblewood, Satine {Bloodwood}, Snakewood, Sucupira and White Topped Box.

The whitest wood in the world is Holly.

The blackest wood in the world is Gabon Ebony.

The only species of wood that can be used for holding liquids {other than acids} is White Oak. This is because the pores are filled with tyloses. This substance does not allow liquids to penetrate it.

Up until a few years ago, the world's oldest living tree, a Bristlecone Pine, named the Methuselah was in California. It is approximately 4,600 years old. Now there may be at least two trees that are older.
With John White's refined measurement techniques of today, The Lime tree in the Silkwood at Westonbirt Arboretum (Near Tetbury, Gloucester, U.K.) is probably around 6000 years old.
The Fortingall Yew Tree in Glen Lyon, Perthshire, Scotland, might be as much as much as 9000 years old.
The usual way of calculating a trees age by counting the annual rings in the trunk or by carbon dating, are not accurate when it comes to Yews because a Yews trunk tends to hollow with age, while it continues to grow by rooting its branches and wrapping them around itself. There is even documentation of the formation of aerial roots growing inside the hollow trunk. Another reason are Yews have been known to stop growing for long periods of time, {documented 325 years}, thus having no growth rings for that period.

The trees with the largest leaves are Teak. The leaves can be 10 inches - 20 inches long and 7 inches - 14 inches wide.

The world's tallest standing tree, a Redwood, is in Humboldt State Redwood Park California. It is 368 feet {almost 37 stories} tall.

The world's largest diameter tree, a Redwood is in California. It is over 90 feet in diameter. Its root system is spread out for more than an acre.

The world's slowest growing tree is a White Cedar located in Canada. After 155 years, it grew to a height of 4 inches and weighed only 6/10th of an ounce. The tree can be found on a cliffside in the Canadian Great Lakes area.

The world's fastest growing tree is the Empress tree. This tree can grow up to 20 feet the first year and some have been documented growing 12 inches in 21 days!

The tree with the world's largest root system is the great Banyan tree in the Indian Botanical Garden, Calcutta, India. It covers an area of 3 acres. It has 1,775 supporting roots and dates back to 1787.

The world's largest living tree, and this is because of its volume is the General Sherman Giant Sequoia, located in Sequoia National Park, in California. It weighs a little over 2.7 million pounds. Its largest branch is 6 foot 9 1/2 inches in diameter.

The town of Flagstaff Arizona was named when On July 4th 1876; lumberjacks stripped the limbs from the tallest Ponderosa Pine and then flew the American flag from it.

The Copaiba Langsdorfii, a tree that grows in the Amazon, has sap that is so much like diesel fuel, that it can be used as fuel for diesel engines.

If you burn Ceylon Satinwood, the fumes will put humans to sleep and kill canaries.

A Balsa tree will start rotting after only 7 years, if not cut.

More than 23,000 different species of trees can be found on Earth.

The wood species that has the most offensive odor {like rotten cabbage} after it is worked in any way, is Essia.

Some African Baobab trees can store more than 25,000 gallons of water in their trunks.
Also, some with age have become hollow and have been used as homes. One was even used as a bus stop and could shelter up to 30 people.

Cork trees are stripped of their bark every 10 years or so and will continue to grow for 150 years or more.

The world's sweetest tree is native to West Africa. It is the Serendipity Berry. It is 3000 times sweeter than sucrose.

Rubber trees on the average yield about 4-5 pounds of rubber per year.

The softest American wood is the Corkbark. It's specific gravity averages .28. It is native to Arizona and New Mexico.

The hardest American wood is Black Ironwood. It's specific gravity averages 1.04. It is native to southern Florida.

The world's shortest specie of tree, is the Weeping Mulberry. Their height rarely exceeds 4 feet.

There are 21 names of woods, mentioned in the Bible.

The Longleaf Pine, native to the southern part of the United States, does not have heartwood until it is 18 or so years old.

It is often said, that Pink Ivorywood is rarer than diamonds.

Acknowledgements & References

Know Your Woods, Albert J. Constantine, Jr.
Revised By Harry J. Hobbs

World Woods In Color, William A. Lincoln

Reader's Digest Family Guide To Nature,
Answers To 1001 Questions

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