From Tree to Timber – How and Why are Trees Processed


People have cut trees to use wood for millennia, resulting in an evolution of the process and transformation of the many uses each kind of wood could have. With technological advancements, everything has been modernized and industrialized and the results are different, more polished and in larger amounts.

How Trees are Processed

The first and obvious stage is cutting down the trees, or felling, which is done with a machine called a feller buncher.

This has to be done during winter when they are the driest and the process is easier and then new saplings are put in, to keep the forest alive and make it a sustainable process. This last bit is paramount to keep the industry going.

Then the logs are stored until the water they contain evaporates, because this reduces their weight and results in more affordable costs for transportation and easier handling. Furthermore, the logs are cut into small pieces or timber right there and then before they are taken to the processing sites, such as paper or sawmills, pallet and others.

After it is at the determined site they will be used at, the wood is cut first through a rough saw and then through a finer one, to give it a more precise finish.

Once the timber is nicely shaped in uniform boards, it is time to remove the moisture from it to keep the wood from deforming or warping. The wood that is moisture-free can be prepared for the market, by sawing it into doors, windows, or furniture. The timber also receives some fire or rot resistance treatments at this point.

Why are Trees Processed

The reasons to put the trees through all these processes is that we use the timber for fuel, construction, and for making various types of furniture and woodware. Not only can we build our houses with the timber that is processed, but we can also furnish and decorate them with wooden items.

The cabinets and furniture that we make out of timber are oftentimes made up of mahogany that we can use, while some are oftentimes built with ebony, mahogany or rosewood, which are high quality. However, the most used type of affordable wood in furniture is pine.

Another option that is very popular to make furniture is using thin sheets of the more expensive woods like ebony and gluing them together with plywood. This is commonly used for built-in furniture, doors, cabinets, and many other necessary items.

Even in our kitchens, some utensils can be made with wood such as spoons, bowls, spatulas and cutting boards. Many chefs prefer wooden utensils because they are eco-friendlier than plastic and they also have bonuses like adding a particular taste or having antibiotic properties.

The process trees go through to become timber is long and delicate, from making sure you replace the cut trees with new ones, to treating the wood. It is all worth it, thanks to the many uses wood has in our daily lives and homes and to the fact that it can all be done in more sustainable ways nowadays, but it keeps evolving.

Is timber environmentally friendly?