Wood Characteristics

Published on
26 February 2021

The very interesting thing about wood is not only its diversity in grain, color, fragrance & patterns….but as well, it can carry countless traces of its life on the planet.

Traces of those characteristics can be visible in all types of wood. Those typical traces can be for example;

  • Sound knot
  • Unsound knot
  • Burl
  • Bird pecks
  • Worm holes
  • Mineral streaks
  • Gum streaks
  • Heartwood
  • Sapwood

Sound Knot

A knot in a piece of wood that is firmly fixed, undecayed, and as strong as the surrounding wood. Also known as tightknot.

Unsound Knot

An unsound knot is a circular area that was the base of a branch that has a pith center.

Burl

This is a swirl or twist in the grain of the wood that does not contain a knot.

Bird Pecks

These are small marks in the grain pattern caused by pecking birds.

Wormholes

Wormholes are traces of previous wildlife in the wood. They can range in size between 1 mm. up to 4 cm. (0.04 to 1.57 inch.)

Mineral Streaks

They are an olive to blackish-brown color, following a grain pattern.

Gum Streaks

Gum streaks are mineral-like streaks of color naturally occurring only in Cherry wood.

Heartwood

This is the mature, usually darker wood, extending from the sapwood to the pith.

Sapwood

Sapwood is lighter colored wood growing from inside the bark to the heartwood.

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