Posted: July 2, 2021

This may be a redundant message about a most fascinating book about wood, but since repetition is a form of education, I will proceed.

I am referring to The Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization (2020), by Roland Ennos. The book is part of a trilogy, which includes Trees and Plant Life which I have not read.

To give you an idea of the length and depth of the book, here are some chapter titles:

  • Our Arboreal Inheritance
  • Supporting Our Pretentions
  • Losing Our Hair
  • Replacing Firewood and Charcoal
  • Tooling Up
  • Melting and Smelting
  • Supplying Life’s Luxuries
  • Wood in the 19th Century and Modern World
  • Mending Our Strained Relationships

The book explains how, from ships to furniture and much more, the use of wood changed civilization, covering urban forestry, reducing CO2 impact, the calming effects of both wood and woods, and some remedial solutions for some of our “wooden” mistakes. You just have to read this book.

I close with a special message from The Lorax by Dr. Suess:

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

 

By Paul Shogren, Penn State Forestry, Class of 1951

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802