Wood Chemistry and Anatomy

Chemistry of wood structural components
Component Approximate
by weight
Cellulose 50% linear chains of glucose (beta-bond)
Hemicellulose 25% branched chains of various sugars
Lignin 25% Molecular structure of lignin

Cell Types in Wood
Softwood (Conifer) Hardwood (Angiosperm) Both
Cell Type Tracheid Vessel Elements Fiber Parenchyma
Function conduction + support conduction support storage, defense
Shape long, narrow short, wide short, narrow various
Arrangement connected with pits connected end to end into long vessels connected with narrow pits Oriented radially in rays and, in hardwoods, longitudinally near vessels

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Last modified 22 Feb, 2015