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Wood Layers

There are many different species of trees and they are either hardwoods or softwoods but the one thing they have in common is the woods layers.

Every different timber has different characteristics such as its ability to take a stain or adhesive, how well abrasives work on it when sanding or even things like if it is suitable for furniture but the one thing that is the same is the woods layers.

Trunk:
A tree is made of five main layers and when it is cut down for timber you are able to see these layers in the trunk. These layers are the pith, growth rings, medullary rays, cambium layer and bark.

As a tree gets older these layers increase in size and become more distinguishable once the tree has been cut down.

Pith:
The first layer of the tree is the pith and the pith is essentially the centre of the tree which is developed in the trees first year, it is also where the impurities and deposits are stored as the tree grows.

Growth Rings:
Growth rings are the rings throughout a trees trunk and one is made per year which shows the trees growth and age. Once a tree is cut down you can count the growth rings to determine a trees age.

A tree does not have to be large to contain a lot of growth rings and large trees don't always have many growth rings and the rings can also vary in size depending on such things as growing conditions, temperature and water consumption.

Medullary Rays:
The medullary rays are the vertical lines in a trees trunk that pass from the pith to the bark. They are cellular tubes used to transport sugars and food throughout the tree and the waste is left behind in the pith.
Cambium Layer:
The cambium layer lies between the outer bark and inner bark of a tree. The cambium wood layer is the part that is used to produce the new cells of a tree and essentially being the cause of its growth and it also helps to make a protective cork under the bark.
Bark:
The bark is the most easily identifiable part of the trunk as it lies on the outside and is the only part you usually see. The bark is the wood layer that offers the most protection from weather, insects and fungus and it also helps to keep things in such as moisture and food.
wood layers
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