An Introduction and Primer

A Knowledge Base for All Woods and Woody Plants

The original backbone of TAXA to display information on all reported woods has been the botanical tree of wood. You can now enter at any of the 4 levels (Orders, Families, Genera and Species). Readers can proceed down the tree or also travel up the tree from a 'child' listing to the 'parent' of that child entry. All entries are by the botanical names of each wood species, genus, family or order.

A website local search engine is provided. Users choose by what type of search they want(what column in the database) including including common names, botanical names, genus and location. Readers then type in the search string they wish and start the search by pressing on the Start Search or just pressing the Enter key. It is far easier to use to navigate through the vast knowledge base than a manual search through the listings. As an example of how well the search works, click on Botanical names and enter a search for "Eucalyptus". A report of more than 550 Eucalyptus species is provided. On results to a query completing , the botanical names are linked to each data page for each wood.

Most people are familiar with wood by their common names. Few people understand scientific conventions for naming wooods. Additionally, out of all likely inquiries into taxa, most will be from the general public. That was incentive to supply an area that lists all woods that could be found to be used somewhere in the world commercially.

The prime emphasis started as a venture to find and record as many species of woods and woody plants as possible. The range of woods varies from those that are very commonly known and sold commercially in huge quantities world wide through less known exotic woods still sold commercially, a vast number of species that never see commercial woods and might be have uses only locally where they grow and others that rarely are even heard of or used at all. Some are only of academic interest. In fact, there are cases of some species so rare that there is only a handful of trees still existing and the species is under serious threat of becoming extinct.

The interests that people have are, therefore, also very varied. The general public will tend to be interested in woods that are fairly common and easy to procure and work with. Dedicated crafts people likely will extend this circle of woods to many commonly and some less commonly known domestic and foreign exotic woods from around the world. Many in this class will have extended their interests into the academic world on wood in varying amounts. Yet others, such as wood researchers, wood professors, foresters, forestry students, architects and engineers have a thirst for a deep academic knowledge about wood.

Too much information can be confusing for those not specializing in wood while wood related professionals would not go away satisfied if there was not copious detail on species. Therefore, especially at the species levels, The TAXA Tree will be developing user choices on the nature and depth of how much information will show to fit their interests and needs.

In literature, botanical species and genera are mentioned frequently. The botanical families they fall under are occasionally mentioned. The next higher level of organization, botanical orders, rarely seem to get mentioned even though this is the highest level needed to describe how all woods relate to each other in nature. The TAXA Tree is organized very uniquely, perhaps the only one of its kind online because it links all four of these levels to describe a full botanical tree of wood all the way from woody orders through families, genera and woody species. Furthermore, you can travel through the tree starting at any of these four levels from that point down or back up the tree.

Unless you have some academic interest in wood and just wish to learn basics about any wood, enter at the species level. If you care to go just a bit further to understand how species of a genus tend to be similar, enter at the genus level and study woods that are under that genus. If you know what one species under a genus is, you probably will be able to have an appreciation that other species in that genus will be similar.