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Solid wood has a unique appeal in construction and interior decorating. The fact that it was once a living plant is evident in the growth rings and texture of the wood. The appeal of solid wood to designers is based on the visual and tactile qualities of the wood, the material properties and certain environmental credentials. In this and the next few articles we take a look at some of the reasons why wood is so popular.

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Logging and the production of timber poles is an ancient occupation. When one thinks about logging one tends to bring lumberjacks and the mythical Paul Bunyan and Babe to mind. Logging is in actual fact a multi-million dollar industry. One that is very controversial and fraught with environmental issues.

Wood has always been a staple building material. Most early settlers used timber poles as the supports and corner stones for their homes. This meant that from the start of settling in South Africa, logging had its place.

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Timber is a very popular building and decorating material as we have previously noted. It has many aesthetic qualities that make it desirable for interior design and many strength qualities that make it ideal for construction. In the previous article we looked at the aesthetics of timber. Now we look at the material properties of the timber for sale that you will find at any local timber yard.

The main material qualities in timber for sale in every timber yard around the world come from its organic nature. When you look at the basic cellular structure of timber you will find that the cells align themselves into what appears to be a very linear and directional arrangement.

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There are two options to choose from when it comes to harvesting timber. A logging company can either elect to harvest from a natural forest or a plantation. Here we take a look at both of these options.

Natural Forest

Natural forest occurs where trees have been seeded in groups by natural means. This could be through birds or wind carrying and depositing the seeds in close proximity to one another. Trees could also seed themselves and grow close together. Trees found in natural forest tend to grow wherever they please and attract a great deal of animal life. When cutting timber in natural forest one will come across a wide variety of species of tree. This can make it difficult to get the type of timber that you are looking for.

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There are many ways to use and prepare wood. A common usage is in the building of fences. The wood used in building fences is typically either a solid pole or split poles.

Split poles are wood poles which have been sawed in half along their length. They are not generally treated with a planer and so are referred to as "wet of saw" because they still hold the pattern created by the saw used to cut the wood. This untreated, unsmoothed look gives fences build from split poles a very rustic look and feel.

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