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Spruce with clearly visible growth rings
Cell types in softwood

With coniferous wood in the real sense the wood of the conifers is called. The expression is sometimes used as a synonym for conifers, especially in the plural form “ conifers ”. It used to be known as black wood or tang wood , as well as resin wood . Blackwood because the leaves (needles) are almost blackish in winter. And Tangelholz because the sharp needles as Tangeln , from Middle High German Tan Feuer; for fir, then English tang thorn, sting were designated. As well as resin wood because it contains resin . It is called softwood because the leaves are thin and pointed like needles.

The wood of the conifers has no trachea , so that the comparatively narrow-lumen tracheids have to take on the transport of water in addition to strengthening functions. For this purpose, tracheids with a larger diameter and thin walls than early wood are formed in spring . They are connected by numerous pits . In summer the diameters get smaller and the wall thicknesses bigger. The latewood then formed is used to mechanically strengthen the trunk. The change between late and early wood makes the annual rings stand out clearly.

Some conifers form a heartwood that appears darker in color compared to sapwood, for example larch ( Larix spec. ), Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris ), Douglas fir ( Pseudotsuga menziesii ) and yew ( Taxus spec. ). There is no color difference between firs ( Abies spec. ) And spruces ( Picea spec. ). This is taken into account when processing wood for decorative purposes.

The coniferous wood consists of 90 to 95% longitudinal tracheids and is therefore overall more homogeneous than the wood of the deciduous trees . The raw density range is relatively narrow with 0.3 to 0.6. Because it contains resin , among other things , coniferous wood is more resistant to weathering and fungal attack than hardwoods of the same weight, and it is also more corrosion-resistant to chemicals. Due to the mostly low shrinkage , it is also more dimensionally and dimensionally stable. In connection with the good machinability, these properties allow versatile use, especially as construction and sawn timber .

The most important domestic softwoods in Europe include spruce , fir , larch and pine , while other softwoods such as yew wood are of little importance.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Friedrich Harder: Theoretical-practical manual for visual instruction. 7th edition, Hammerich, 1877, p. 436.
  2. Johann Christoph Adelung : Grammatical-critical dictionary of the high German dialect. Fourth part: from Seb-Z , 1811, col. 529.
  3. ^ Johann Christian August Heyse : Concise dictionary of the German language. Second part, second section: zipping to Z , Heinrichshofen, 1849, p. 75.
  4. ^ Konrad Schwenck : Dictionary of the German language. Sauerländer, 1834, p. 42.
  5. ^ Hermann Graßmann : German plant names. Graßmann, 1870, p. 212.
  6. Carl Philipp Funke : Complete excerpt from Funke'ns natural history and technology. 1796, p. 505.