Mankind and wood an ancient connection
Since childhood we have been confronted with wood. It can be used as a building material or a working
material .It is also used for toys and for everyday utensils and musical instruments. It is a material we have
got so used to having, that sometimes we can’t even visualize that something is made of wood. For years
wood has been the cornerstone of our society. Why should n’t we speak of a “Wooden Age” the same as
w e speak of a “Stone Age” and an “Ice Age”.
The tree of life
Woods are of great importance to mankind, they are also a community for plants and animals. In addition
to this, woods fulfil yet another number of important tasks, which are of vital importance to our society,
and environment. All these matters demand a good maintenance of the woods so that we contribute to the
fact that in the very near future woods can function optimally. The most famous wooden builded contraction
well known to every child from history is ”Noah’s arc”, which had the same water displacement as the
“Titanic”. As a building material e.g. for houses it gives protection and security, as a tool it enlightens the
The roof timbers add to secure the cycle .Not only the technical and the everyday things have been assigned
to wood since ancient times, but also the industrial art is unimaginable without wood. Even the first instruments
were made of wood. Wood is and will remain the necessary element in art and in industrial art
in the technique and economy, for better living conditions and for our health, not only in the past, but also in
the present and the future. Wood is a well known “old” raw material, which we shall have to look at with different
eyes, only then one will see the possibilities of wood. In the environment of wood people feel good, as wood stirs
up various feelings such as comfort, safety and warmth.
Types of wood
The spruce (Picea abies)
A conifer with single short needles and downward hanging branches. The brown hanging fir cones contain winged seeds.
The silver spruce (abies alba)
This tree resembles with its 4,6 per cent, a relatively small part in the total of consumer wood in Austria.
This tree will also grow to a height of 1800 metres. The bark is white greyish of colour and the needles are flat and nicked
at the points.
The larch (larix deciolua)
A tree, which needs a lot of light and is therefore found high up in the mountains, the wood is used for stutting.
The grey alder tree (alnus incana)
A versatile shrub with oval shaped sharp double edged leaves. The “apples” are oval-shaped, they dry up fast
and remain for quite a while on the shrub.
The birch tree (betula pendula)
Our birch needs a lot of light but can notwithstanding grow on the poorest of soils. Therefore you will never
see this tree growing in soil rich of calcium. This tree is best for growing on limey soil.
The hazelnut tree (corylus avellana)
This is a big shrub, which may well reach a height of 7 metres and is firmly rooted. This shrub needs a
nutritious loose soil, with ease this shrub can come to an age of approximately 60 years.
The black elderberry (Ssambucus Nigra)
This shade giving shrub is often found near fencings and fences around ground parcels. The tree will grow to a height of about 1200 metres and is to be found at the edges of forests in damp spicy soil.
The mountain ash (sorbus aucuparia)
The ash tree is almost the only deciduous tree which is to be found at a height of 2300 metres mainly in the alps. Regardless the climate or soil conditions the tree is to be found at different heights from the fruits a high quality schnapps is distilled (very expensive).
The pine tree (Pinus cembra)
A truly high mountain tree, which can stand very low winter temperatures as well as high summer temperatures. The tree is of a very slow growing kind. The needles which are with 5 in a ring and the elastic branches work as cowls, and have the strength to carry a lot of snow.
The lime tree (Tilia Ccordata)
The wood of the lime tree offers the woodcutter and furniture maker many possibilities.
It is in particular used for Holy figures, crucifixes altar parts.
The horse chestnut tree (Aaesculus hippocatanum)
The tree comes under the medium sized big trees and is very well supplied with leaves.
The flowering period is from the middle of May until the middle of July. In October the ripe chestnuts fall from the tree.The tree grows very slowly during the first 10 years but after that quite fast.