Wood is a Natural Product – each piece of wood is unique

Categories: Advice

Unlike factory-made and artificial materials, each wood board has its own life story.  Over the 60 plus years it takes for a tree to mature, it will develop a one-of-a-kind grain pattern and texture.

Only a man-made product will be as uniform as plastic, laminate or wallpaper.

Solid wood products, like wine and diamonds, are shaped by natural forces and they may display a variety of character markings.

Knots are character marks.  As the tree grows taller and the canopy gets denser many of the lower branches will drop off due to the lack of light leaving knots where the branch formed.

Boards from the same tree will have significant variation in colour.  Typically, wood is darkest at the centre, or heart wood, and lighter the closer it gets to the exterior, or sapwood.  You will see the effects from fire, minerals, the amount of water and light throughout the life of a tree.

The effects of the environment are in constant flux, for example the first 20 years of a tree’s life may be under the shadow of an older and larger tree.  The mature tree is harvested or dies on its own and the amount of sun increases and the competition for water and nutrients decreases.  This change results in a faster growth and the annual rings will be further apart.

Character Markings and Glossary Knots

Hard, cylindrical regions marking locations of branches that have been encased by later growth of the tree. 

Mineral Streaks

Olive or greyish markings caused by such environmental factors as trace elements in water or soil.


The paler coloured wood closer to the bark of the tree


The directions, size, appearance and quality of wood fibres

Growth Ring

Layer of wood added to a tree during a single growing season made up of early wood and

late wood

No two pieces of wood are the same and as a result of this, your project will be unique.  These character markings have no impact on the structural integrity of your project. 

If you require further advice, please contact us via our Contact Us page or drop into our showrooms at Blaydon or Benton for a chat.