The structure of the wood cells found inside of a tree are known as wood anatomy. Once the tree has been cut down and processed into a forest product like lumber or veneer, we can look at that structure and both identify what species of tree the wood came from and what the wood can be used for in our lives.
Different structures in the wood perform different functions inside of the tree. Some cells move water from the ground up to the crown (leaves), others move water from the center of the tree towards the outside edges; still other produce or store materials for the tree. Each of these cells cause the wood to have a different appearance when cut into lumber.
Here are some examples of different woods:
As you can see there are similarities between each wood, but there are definitely more differences. These are part of what makes each wood different and also part of why and how trees of different species grow in different places. Next time we will dig a little deeper into what each structure is and the function.
(To be continued)