Possibly the most useful service that forests have made to man, since the time when he was able to yield an axe, was to provide wood to build houses, boats, bridges, furniture and other everyday products. But in order to be fit for the purpose of construction, wood needs to possess certain physical and mechanical properties. Not just "strength", but bending strength, tensile strength, compressive strength, resistance to impact. In many applications, density of the material is essential - lightness for aircraft, heavier, denser materials for long term service in buildings.
Due to the variation in properties within and between trees, and within and between species, research and detailed study of those properties is important to ensure optimum performance of wood, depending on how it is to be used.
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