Timber, a porous and fibrous hard-structured plant stem that is the secondary xylem of the vascular tissue consisting of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, can be defined as timber. It’s a supportive organ of woody plants forming the branches and stems, giving them a firm structure.
Uses of Timber in Different Sectors
Timber is a plant part with multipurpose uses that are impossible to deny and difficult to overlook in our daily lives. From ancient times, timber has been used by humans, and this tradition continues in modern civilization. A few of the many uses of timber are mentioned below:
1. Construction and Fencing
- Home Construction:
During early periods, the use of timber in domestic construction was a common practice, and this tradition continues in the twenty-first century. Timber is used commonly in different parts of the world for making houses, flooring, frames of doors, and windows due to its strength and durability. For example, timber from species like Deodar (Cedrus deodaraJuglans sp) in Pakistan, teak (Tectona grandisPinus roxburghii
- Fencing and Decorating Gardens:
In modern decoration systems, timber is used for building fencing and simple decoration for artificial gardening inside a home or on roofs. For example, species like Cedar (Cedrus libaniSequoia semipervirensShorea sp, Acacia sp.
2. Household Timber Uses
Wooden utensils, as opposed to plastic or steel, are symbols of elegance that enhance the beauty of home interiors. Black walnut (Juglans nigra) wood is a preferred choice for home utensils in Western regions.
- Hand Tools:
Wooden handles for various hand tools serve as heat-resistant options, especially in kitchenware that might be used in ovens. These handles also reduce the risk of electric shock during use.
3. Timber in the Art Industry
Wood is a favored material for crafting artworks, including statues, sculptures, carvings, and decorative objects. Additionally, wooden frames for artboards and color plates are common in framing work. Pine (Pinus sp), maple (Acer sp), and cherry (Prunus sp) are frequently used for these artistic endeavors.
- Musical Instruments:
A wide range of musical instruments, such as pianos, violins, cellos, drums, flutes, guitars, and double basses, rely on wood to produce the perfect sound. Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), maple, and ash wood (Fraxinus sp) are among the preferred woods for crafting guitars.
4. Timber in Sports Equipment
- Wooden Toys:
Wooden toys are preferred over plastic, particularly by health-conscious consumers, as they avoid the potential hazards of chemical-laden plastics. Timber has been a traditional choice for handles and main components in sports equipment such as cricket bats, hockey sticks, billiard cues, and table tennis paddles. Examples include willow (Salix sp) wood for cricket and tennis bats and mulberry (Morus sp) wood for hockey sticks.
5. Commercial Uses of Timber
The wooden furniture market is highly profitable, and it continues to symbolize aristocracy. Teak (Tectona grandis) wood is renowned for crafting furniture, while mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), Shimul (Bombax ceiba), Sundari, Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), and mango trees are popular choices in South Asia for making various types of furniture.
Wood has been an essential construction material for ships and rural fishing boats. In the past, hardwood and softwood were commonly used in shipbuilding. Nowadays, water-resistant woods like cypress (Cupressaceae sp), redwood (Sequoioideae sp), and white oak (Quercus alba) are preferred materials for ship and boat construction. Examples of used woods include teak, shal (Shorea robusta), mango, and Arjun (Terminalia arjuna).
Wood has served as a source of energy worldwide for generations. Before the advent of gas and electricity, wood was the primary energy source. Sticks, pellets, sawdust, and charcoal are still used for energy, often utilizing wood from readily available plants.
Wood pulp from trees is used to make paper, and wood is also employed in crafting pencils. In the past, trees like Cyper papyrus were used for paper production. In Bangladesh, Keora (Sonneratia apetala), Bine (Avicennia alba), Sundari (Heritiera fomes), Kakra (Bruguiera gymnorhyza), and Geoa (Excoecaria agallocha) are used for making paper pulp. Dhundal wood (Xylocarpus granatum) is utilized in pencil production.
Timber, with its incredible versatility, continues to be a valuable resource that enhances various aspects of our lives, from construction and art to leisure and sustainability. Its timeless appeal and wide range of applications make it