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Wood technology 1, the construction and anatomy of the tree

Published: 30 November 2020

The tree's construction is optimally designed for the tree's needs, but not for us. Good knowledge of the raw material's properties is required to create profitability and avoid costly mistakes in the entire chain from forest raw material to sawn product.

About the course

This course gives you knowledge of, and an explanation of, how the properties of wood affect the production strategy, the manufacturing process and the properties of the sawn product.

You will learn:
How the tree and the wood are built from trunk down to cell which explains the peculiarities of the wood such as:

  • Basic wood anatomy
  • Differences between pine and spruce
  • Origin and properties of different types of wood
  • Strength properties
  • Twigs, value and quality
  • What is a defect and how does that value affect the sawn product?

After the course you can answer questions such as:
Who eats wood?
Can all wood float in water?
Why is it difficult to impregnate spruce?
Can Grape Sugar Really Build a Pine Tree?
Why are there such different patterns in wooden surfaces?
Why is wood easier to split in the winter?
What is it that smells so good in wood?
Why are spruce rules often so crooked?
What is a defect? How big is a twig?

Course structure

The course comprises approximately a work effort of 40 hours. The course content is largely based on self-study and is divided into 4 parts, each of which is based on recorded lectures, literature, simple home labs and exercises as well as web-based examination.


The main teacher is Margot Sehlstedt-Persson, assistant professor of wood physics at Luleå University of Technology. With more than 30 years of experience in research and teaching in wood material theory, durability and wood drying, Margot will guide you through the course.

Margot Sehlstedt-Persson

Margot Sehlstedt-Persson,

Phone: +46 (0)910 585305
Organisation: Wood Science and Engineering, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics