The cellular structure of wood is responsible for its properties, appearance, and variability - within a single tree, between trees, and between species. Wood anatomy is the study of how the xylem (the woody part of the tree) develops, how cell walls are built, and their role in the tree. An understanding of anatomy helps to further understand the properties of the wood - its strengths and weaknesses.
Wood anatomists might work in Botany Departments, Forestry Departments or Building Research Establishments, focusing on different aspects of wood structure, and come together at International conferences, notably those organised by the International Association of Wood Anatomists and IUFRO.
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