Historically, some woods have filled
many purposes, while others served
only one or two.
The tough, strong, and durable white
oak, for example, was highly prized for
shipbuilding, bridges, cooperage, barn
timbers, fence posts, and flooring.
On the other hand, woods such as
black walnut and cherry became primarily
cabinet woods. Hickory was made
into tough, resilient tool handles. Black
locust was prized for barn timbers and
Early builders learned by trial and
error which species to use, and that
wood from trees grown in certain locations
under certain conditions was
stronger, more easily worked-or finer
grained-than wood from other locations.
Modern research has substantiated
that location and growth conditions
significantly affect wood properties,
and has given us the tools