All living things are scientifically classified under the Botanical Tree of Life, from giant to miniature plants and animals, birds, fish, fungus, bacteria or viruses. To accommodate such a huge diversity requires many levels of organization. Our sole interest is in wood only. As such, the initial and central approach to this knowledge base has been to create a complete a Botanical Tree of Wood. The whole central premise of starting the knowledge base (nicknamed for convenience as the TAXA Website) was to find and list as many woods in existence in the world as would be possible.
After at least 9 years of research, it became recognized that the collection of both botanical names and so much attending data that followed along that the system had well surpassed being only a hyperlinked pyramid of wood names. Marvelously it had grown as a receptacle for massive information on as broad a listing of thousands of woods as you are likely to find anywhere. At that point, a decision was made to rightfully name it the TAXA Wood Wood Knowledge Base. "TAXA" is now not only complete as a botanical wood tree but additional functions and features continue to be developed and expand notably the breadth of function and usefulness of TAXA.
Wood comes almost exclusively from trees. New species (types) of wood continue to be found. For every species of tree, there is also a unique wood. For some years it therefore appeared that there were over 100,000 unique woods. In recent years, collaborative work by scientists in three major institutions have reduced listed duplicates, removed invalid names and came up with a list of around 55,000 unique species. So far, TAXA is listing just over 15,100 unique woods and varieties of wood.
Since only woody plants are of interest in a wood knowledge base, the full list of classifiers for all life forms is not needed.
There are only four levels of classification that is needed:
The highest botanical level of categorization we have to be involved with for wood is the Botanical Order. Each woody order has many botanical Families. Each woody Family has woody Genera. Each woody Genus (single of Genus) has woody Species under it. The list of items at each level grows exponentially as you go down this botanical tree of classification. In fact, there are so many entries in the lower levels that alphabetical lists have been added. You can display the whole list of woody orders, families, genera or species at once -- if you don't mind an awful lot of panning and scrolling. To make viewing easier, you can pick an alphabetical letter which then cuts down the amount of data shown to only the woods starting with that alphabet.
There are some areas in the database that have considerable entries. Expect that you will also come acress others that seem very barren. The amount of data that exists and needs to be copied into the database files is, well --- just plain massive! As the months and years go by expect more and more data to be entered. Until funds can be found to hire on others (both for structural programming and for massive data input) there is no team of workers available to assist .... only the one person who started all this development. By chance if you have some skills in basic taxonomy, some hopeful knowledge of wood and/or are proficient in PHP and MySQL and would care to assist, we would love to hear from you. You can be in touch via the Contact Us page.
Over 15,000 wood name entries is a lot of entries for anyone to use! In fact most people will show interest only in the woods that they can somehow buy or procur to use. Unless you are in wood research or deaply into the academics of wood, the complete botanical tree is overkill to use. In planning TAXA, it was long realized that there is a long range of interests in wood. A research professional will want as full a database as can be supplied. A novice or amateur to wood will want only an easy to understand smaller list of woods they are likely to be able to actually be able to procure --- namely commercial woods. Here are a few recommendations for what organizational trees may be best for you to use according to your skill level and interests:
Enjoy your stay --- and do come back once in a while to see what new functions and data have been added.