Tree species are known by a variety of regional, trade, and scientific names, which can cause confusion. Using the correct names, in an unambiguous way, is essential to specify the correct species and ensure it is supplied.
Thanks to the variety of different tree species globally, timber can vary in colour, density, and performance depending on its source. These variations in timber due to species determine the suitability for different construction uses.
Many tree species can be identified by their differing anatomies. Softwoods, hardwoods, and wood-producing monocots show different physical features, enabling the wood of individual tree species to be distinguished based on anatomy.
Some organisms use wood as a food source, including insects and fungi. Protecting timber requires an understanding of insect and fungi species, their respective life cycles, and the conditions these organisms need to thrive.