You use products made from trees every day, such as wood and paper in addition to many products you would never guess came from a tree. Wood byproducts and chemicals extracted from trees are used to make thousands of products. Forest product companies are an extremely efficient industry. All parts of the log are used, so there is virtually no waste, and leftover sawdust is used for energy to run the mills. Tree also are responsible for producing the world's oxygen.
There are so many examples of products made from wood: houses, furniture, toothpicks, baseball bats, musical instruments, handles, charcoal, toys, crutches, fences, airplane parts, floors, boats, bridges, cabinets, canes, boxes, coffins, barrels, decks, docks, doors, matches, canoe paddles, poles, pencils, picture frames, Popsicle sticks, railroads, roller coasters, spoons, kegs, dams, athletic equipment, clothespins, ladders and spools.
Wood pulp is used to make all paper products, including books, paper bags, notebooks, packaging material, calendars, cardboard boxes, coffee filters, egg cartons, envelopes, tissues, toilet paper, magazines, newspapers, paper towels, cards and wallpaper. Blankets, building insulation, diapers and sanitary pads, and leather tanning agents also are made with wood pulp.
Natural dyes, scented oils, tar, pitch, turpentine and menthol are chemicals made from trees. Chemicals extracted from trees also are used in the manufacture of cleaning products, deodorants, fungicides, insecticides, shoe polish, perfumes, plastics, toothpaste, nylon, crayons, furniture polish, explosives, cosmetics, tape and hair spray. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a papermaking byproduct used in shampoos and shaving creams as a foaming agent. Drugs made from trees include Taxol for cancer, Aldomet/Aldoril for hypertension, L-Dopa for Parkinson’s disease and quinine for malaria.
Cellulose fibers from trees are used to make rayon clothing, cellophane, adhesives, floor tiles, food additives and thickeners, helmets and hardhats, twine, luggage, sandwich bags, cigarette filters and photographic film.
Some examples of foods that come from trees are almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, bay leaves, cacao (used to make chocolate), cashews, cherries, cinnamon, cloves, coffee, cola nuts (used in soft drinks), grapefruit, hazelnuts, juniper berries (used as gin flavoring), lemons, limes, mangoes, maple syrup, nectarines, nutmeg, olives, oranges, peaches, pears, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, plums, sassafras root (used in root beer), tangerines, tea, vanillin (artificial vanilla flavoring) and walnuts.
About the Author
Charlotte Ellis has received an Master of Science degree in evolutionary biology from the University of California at Riverside and a Bachelor of Science degree in entomology from Texas A&M University. She has published articles on eHow.com on a variety of science topics.