Did you know that trees provide us with more than 5,000 products
that people use every day? It's true! From photographic film to paints and
from toothpaste to tires, tree-based chemicals and other wood by-products
are all around us.
Wood resin is one of many tree-based chemicals. In nature, resin is the
goop that forms a protective coating around a plant wound. It creates a
hard coating that microorganisms and insects can't penetrate. People gather
the resin of pine trees and use it in many ways. We've even classified resin
into three categories: hard resins, oleoresins, and gum resins.
Rosin is the most important of the hard resins. It is used in
paint, varnishes, and in soapmaking. Rosin also is used to make the bows
of stringed instruments sticky so they produce more beautiful music. And
rosin is used by ballplayers to give them a better grip on balls and bats.
Turpentine is the most widely used oleoresin. It is a solvent --
meaning that it dissolves other substances -- that is used in paint, varnish,
waterproofing, and shoe polish.
Gum Resins are used to make other chemical products.
Waiter! There's a tree in my Twinkie®!
There are tree-based chemicals in many of our food and beverage products!
Some of these chemicals are used as flavorings, while others keep the ingredients
in food from separating. There's even a tree-based chemical that makes bubble
Cellulose, the material that makes up the walls of tree cells, is
used as a food thickener in such tasty treats as snack food, milk shakes,
ice cream, cake frosting, and pancake syrup!
Cellulose also is an important ingredient in non-edible products such
as eyeglass frames, steering wheels, hairbrush handles, cellophane, and
That's right! You're surrounded by stuff that comes from trees.
How many different tree products can you see from where you're sitting right
now? WOOD You Believe thousands? Click here to find more!
*** Click here to learn even more about forest products