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Wood

Wood is the primary content of trees and other plants. Everything in a plant, apart from the leaves, needles and bark is wood. In other words, wood is the inside of the plant's stem.

Wood is made of cellulose fibers, held together with lignin, produced naturally by plants.

When cut down and dried, wood is used for many different, useful purposes. Processed wood turns into paper. Artists shape and join pieces of wood with special tools, which is called woodworking. Wood has been an important construction material since humans began building shelters, and remains in plentiful use today.

In modern times, many of the traditional uses of wood have been taken over by metal and plastics.

Wood is commonly classified as either hardwood or softwood. The wood from conifers (e.g., pine) is called softwood, and the wood from broad- leaved trees (e.g., oak) is called hardwood. This classification is sometimes misleading, as some hardwoods (e.g., balsa) are actually softer than most softwoods.

Additionally, wood from different types of trees have different colors and grain densities. Because of these differences, and the fact that some woods take longer to grow than others, wood from different kinds of trees have different qualities and values. For example, while mahogany is a dark, dense hardwood which is excellent for fine furniture crafting, balsa is light, soft, and almost spongelike, making it useful for model vehicle and structure crafting.

See also: tree, paper, Chinese five elements, botanical names of wood

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