How Society Uses Trees
Humans, and therefore society, have come to use trees in many, many different ways according the their properties, abilities, and appearances. Some are strong and sturdy, others are natural remedies, even others are excellent at insulating heat to keep a house warm. Five tree species in particular, the Douglas fir, maple, alder, cedar, and the black walnut have interesting uses. First on the list is the Douglas fir.
The Douglas fir is known for its timber. Saying it supplies the world’s most amount of timber is no overstatement. It also is great lumber, pilings, and plywood. Doug firs have found their way into plantations from Chile all the way to New Zealand, though they are strongly native to the temperate rainforests of Northwest Washington. Another tree found in Washington is the Maple.
Signatured by the five-pointed leaf, the maple tree, strangely enough, is mostly an Asian species. Maples have a habit of grow incredibly fast, therefore are popularly used as ornamental trees. But to set that aside, these trees have dozens of diverse uses. Wood of a maple, or “hard maple” is used in furniture, flooring, and even bowling bins and baseball bats. The sap can be transformed into maple syrup, a delicious compliment to food. An intriguing application is its property of transporting sound waves efficiently, resulting in being made into musical instruments, such as violins. Since the time after World War II, electric guitars were made out of one other kind of wood besides maple, alder.
The alder tree, appearing from the Austrian coat of arms in Europe, was at one time used by the Native Americans in North America as a cure for poison oak. It contained an alcohol known as salicin and turned to salicyclic acid in the stomach, decreasing inflammation, a result from contact with poison oak. Indians also used alder bark in kinnikinnick, a concoction for smoking alongside a bearberry leaf. Like maple wood however, alder is made into cabinets and other furniture. One tree, though, is used solely as outdoor furniture: the cedar tree.
The cedar tree is used vastly for its oil and bark. It’s a remedy for funguses and repellent for moths and other insects, including termites. The oil is used in perfumes, incenses, spices, and for antibacterial, healthy hair, and even arthritis. The wood doesn’t rot as easily as others, and therefore is used for outdoor furniture. The properties have a reasonable sound and heat insulator, keeping homes warm during the winter. Cedars are lightweight, yet are highly durable. Another durable tree is the black walnut.
Heavy, durable, hard, and strong stands the black walnut wood. Black Walnuts grow mainly in the Southeastern United States. It’s quite valuable and on demand, and has been for years upon years. The popularity revolves around its dark beauty and durability. Designs are usually straight grained; yet occasionally curves. The wood has a blackish-purple color. It glues well, bends easily, and is very simple to naturally refinish, creating a fine luster afterwards. The color stain of black walnut wood is so well lusted, people have began to apply the tree husks with ammonia to non-black walnut wood, staining the pigment of a black walnut into the other wood.
In conclusion, the five types of these trees uses diverse among themselves, yet alone one another. The Douglas fir is used for lumber, maple for syrup, alder for the odds and ends; cedar is a cure or repellent for what seems like thousands of sicknesses and insects, and black walnut for furniture.