Charcoal is the lightweight black carbon and ash residue hydrocarbon produced by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is produced by slow pyrolysis — the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen; this process is called charcoal burning. The finished charcoal consists of carbon; the advantage of using charcoal instead of just burning wood is the removal of the water and other components. This allows charcoal to burn to a higher temperature, give off little smoke; the production of wood charcoal in locations where there is an abundance of wood dates back to a ancient period, consists of piling billets of wood on their ends so as to form a conical pile, openings being left at the bottom to admit air, with a central shaft to serve as a flue. The whole pile is covered with moistened clay; the firing is begun at the bottom of the flue, spreads outwards and upwards. The success of the operation depends upon the rate of the combustion.
Under average conditions, 100 parts of wood yield about 60 parts by volume, or 25 parts by weight, of charcoal. The operation is so delicate that it was left to colliers, they lived alone in small huts in order to tend their wood piles. For example, in the Harz Mountains of Germany, charcoal burners lived in conical huts called Köten which are still much in evidence today; the massive production of charcoal was a major cause of deforestation in Central Europe. In England, many woods were managed as coppices, which were cut and regrown cyclically, so that a steady supply of charcoal would be available forever; the increasing scarcity of harvested wood was a major factor behind the switch to fossil fuel equivalents coal and brown coal for industrial use. The modern process of carbonizing wood, either in small pieces or as sawdust in cast iron retorts, is extensively practiced where wood is scarce, for the recovery of valuable byproducts, which the process permits; the question of the temperature of the carbonization is important.
Charcoal made at 300 °C is brown and friable, inflames at 380 °C. In Finland and Scandinavia, the charcoal was considered the by-product of wood tar production; the best tar came from pine, thus pinewoods were cut down for tar pyrolysis. The residual charcoal was used as substitute for metallurgical coke in blast furnaces for smelting. Tar production led to rapid local deforestation; the end of tar production at the end of the 19th century resulted in rapid re-forestation of affected areas. The charcoal briquette was first invented and patented by Ellsworth B. A. Zwoyer of Pennsylvania in 1897 and was produced by the Zwoyer Fuel Company; the process was further popularized by Henry Ford, who used wood and sawdust byproducts from automobile fabrication as a feedstock. Ford Charcoal went on to become the Kingsford Company. Charcoal has been made by various methods; the traditional method in Britain used a clamp. This is a pile of wooden logs leaning against a chimney; the chimney consists of 4 wooden stakes held up by some rope.
The logs are covered with soil and straw allowing no air to enter. It must be lit by introducing some burning fuel into the chimney. If the soil covering gets torn by the fire, additional soil is placed on the cracks. Once the burn is complete, the chimney is plugged to prevent air from entering; the true art of this production method is in managing the sufficient generation of heat, its transfer to wood parts in the process of being carbonised. A strong disadvantage of this production method is the huge amount of emissions that are harmful to human health and the environment; as a result of the partial combustion of wood material, the efficiency of the traditional method is low. Modern methods employ retorting technology, in which process heat is recovered from, provided by, the combustion of gas released during carbonisation.. Yields of retorting are higher than those of kilning, may reach 35%-40%; the properties of the charcoal produced depend on the material charred. The charring temperature is important.
Charcoal contains varying amounts of hydrogen and oxygen as well as ash and other impurities that, together with the structure, determine the properties. The approximate composition of charcoal for gunpowders is sometimes empirically described as C7H4O. To obtain a coal with high purity, source material should be free of non-volatile compounds. Common charcoal is made from peat, wood, coconut shell, or petroleum. Sugar charcoal is obtained from the carbonization of sugar and is
Tilia is a genus of about 30 species of trees, or bushes, native throughout most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere. In the British Isles they are called lime trees, or lime bushes, although they are not related to the tree that produces the lime fruit. Other names include linden for the European species, basswood for North American species; the genus occurs in Europe and eastern North America, but the greatest species diversity is found in Asia. Under the Cronquist classification system, this genus was placed in the family Tiliaceae, but genetic research summarised by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group has resulted in the incorporation of this genus, of most of the previous family, into the Malvaceae. Tilia species are large, deciduous trees, reaching 20 to 40 metres tall, with oblique-cordate leaves 6 to 20 centimetres across; as with elms, the exact number of species is uncertain, as many if not most of the species will hybridise both in the wild and in cultivation. Limes are hermaphroditic, having perfect flowers with both male and female parts, pollinated by insects.
The genus is called lime or linden in Britain and linden, lime, or basswood in North America."Lime" is an altered form of Middle English lind, in the 16th century line, from Old English feminine lind or linde, Proto-Germanic *lendā, cognate to Latin lentus "flexible" and Sanskrit latā "liana". Within Germanic languages, English "lithe", German lind "lenient, yielding" are from the same root. "Linden" was the adjective, "made from linwood or lime-wood". Neither the name nor the tree is related to the citrus fruit called "lime". Another common name used in North America is basswood, derived from bast, the name for the inner bark. Teil is an old name for the lime tree. Latin tilia is cognate to Greek πτελέᾱ, ptelea, "elm tree", τιλίαι, tiliai, "black poplar" from a Proto-Indo-European word *ptel-ei̯ā with a meaning of "broad"; the Tilia's sturdy trunk stands like a pillar and the branches divide and subdivide into numerous ramifications on which the twigs are fine and thick. In summer, these are profusely clothed with large leaves and the result is a dense head of abundant foliage.
The leaves of all the Tilia species are heart-shaped and most are asymmetrical, the tiny fruit, looking like peas, always hang attached to a ribbon-like, greenish-yellow bract, whose use seems to be to launch the ripened seed-clusters just a little beyond the parent tree. The flowers of the European and American Tilia species are similar, except the American bears a petal-like scale among its stamens and the European varieties are devoid of these appendages. All of the Tilia species may be propagated by cuttings and grafting, as well as by seed, they grow in rich soil, but are subject to the attack of many insects. Tilia is notoriously difficult to propagate from seed. If allowed to dry, the seeds will take 18 months to germinate. In particular, aphids are attracted by the rich supply of sap, are in turn "farmed" by ants for the production of the sap which the ants collect for their own use, the result can be a dripping of excess sap onto the lower branches and leaves, anything else below. Cars left under the trees can become coated with a film of the syrup thus dropped from higher up.
The ant/aphid "farming" process does not appear to cause any serious damage to the trees. In Europe, some linden trees reached considerable ages. A coppice of T. cordata in Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire is estimated to be 2,000 years old. In the courtyard of the Imperial Castle at Nuremberg is a Tilia which, by tradition recounted in 1900, was planted by the Empress Cunigunde, the wife of Henry II of Germany circa 1000; the Tilia of Neuenstadt am Kocher in Baden-Württemberg, was estimated at 1000 years old when it fell. The Alte Linde tree of Naters, Switzerland, is mentioned in a document in 1357 and described by the writer at that time as magnam. A plaque at its foot mentions that in 1155 a linden tree was on this spot; the Najevnik linden tree, a 700-year-old T. cordata, is the thickest tree in Slovenia. The excellence of the honey of the far-famed Hyblaean Mountains was due to the linden trees that covered its sides and crowned its summit. Lime fossils have been found in the Tertiary formations of Grinnell Land, Canada, at 82° N latitude, in Svalbard, Norway.
Sapporta believed he had found there the common ancestor of the Tilia species of America. The linden is recommended as an ornamental tree when a mass of a deep shade is desired; the tree produces fragrant and nectar-producing flowers, the medicinal herb lime blossom. They are important honey plants for beekeepers, producing a pale but richly flavoured monofloral honey; the flowers are used for herbal teas and tinctures. Linden trees produce soft and worked timber, which has little grain and a density of 560 kg per cubic metre, it was used by Germanic tribes for constructing shields. It is a popular wood for intricate carving. In Germany, it was the classic wood for sculpture from the Middle Ages onwards and is the material for the elaborate altarpieces of Veit Stoss, Tilman Riemenschnei
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus of the beech family, Fagaceae. There are 600 extant species of oaks; the common name "oak" appears in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus, as well as in those of unrelated species such as Grevillea robusta and the Casuarinaceae. The genus Quercus is native to the Northern Hemisphere, includes deciduous and evergreen species extending from cool temperate to tropical latitudes in the Americas, Asia and North Africa. North America contains the largest number of oak species, with 90 occurring in the United States, while Mexico has 160 species of which 109 are endemic; the second greatest center of oak diversity is China, which contains 100 species. Oaks have spirally arranged leaves, with lobate margins in many species. Many deciduous species are marcescent. In spring, a single oak tree produces small female flowers; the fruit is a nut called an oak nut borne in a cup-like structure known as a cupule. The acorns and leaves contain tannic acid, which helps to guard from insects.
The live oaks are distinguished for being evergreen, but are not a distinct group and instead are dispersed across the genus. The oak tree is a flowering plant. Oaks may be divided into two genera and a number of sections: The genus Quercus is divided into the following sections: Sect. Quercus, the white oaks of Europe and North America. Styles are short; the leaves lack a bristle on their lobe tips, which are rounded. The type species is Quercus robur. Sect. Mesobalanus, Hungarian oak and its relatives of Europe and Asia. Styles long; the section Mesobalanus is related to section Quercus and sometimes included in it. Sect. Cerris, the Turkey oak and its relatives of Europe and Asia. Styles long; the inside of the acorn's shell is hairless. Its leaves have sharp lobe tips, with bristles at the lobe tip. Sect. Protobalanus, the canyon live oak and its relatives, in southwest United States and northwest Mexico. Styles short, acorns mature in 18 months and taste bitter; the inside of the acorn shell appears woolly.
Leaves have sharp lobe tips, with bristles at the lobe tip. Sect. Lobatae, the red oaks of North America, Central America and northern South America. Styles long; the inside of the acorn shell appears woolly. The actual nut is encased in a thin, papery skin. Leaves have sharp lobe tips, with spiny bristles at the lobe; the ring-cupped oaks of eastern and southeastern Asia. Evergreen trees growing 10–40 m tall, they are distinct from subgenus Quercus in that they have acorns with distinctive cups bearing concrescent rings of scales. IUCN, ITIS, Encyclopedia of Life and Flora of China treats Cyclobalanopsis as a distinct genus, but some taxonomists consider it a subgenus of Quercus, it contains about 150 species. Species of Cyclobalanopsis are common in the evergreen subtropical laurel forests which extend from southern Japan, southern Korea, Taiwan across southern China and northern Indochina to the eastern Himalayas, in association with trees of genus Castanopsis and the laurel family. Interspecific hybridization is quite common among oaks but between species within the same section only and most common in the white oak group.
Inter-section hybrids, except between species of sections Mesobalanus, are unknown. Recent systematic studies appear to confirm a high tendency of Quercus species to hybridize because of a combination of factors. White oaks are unable to discriminate against pollination by other species in the same section; because they are wind pollinated and they have weak internal barriers to hybridization, hybridization produces functional seeds and fertile hybrid offspring. Ecological stresses near habitat margins, can cause a breakdown of mate recognition as well as a reduction of male function in one parent species. Frequent hybridization among oaks has consequences for oak populations around the world. Frequent hybridization and high levels of introgression have caused different species in the same populations to share up to 50% of their genetic information. Having high rates of hybridization and introgression produces genetic data that does not differentiate between two morphologically distinct species, but instead differentiates populations.
Numerous hypotheses have been proposed to explain how oak species are able to remain morphologically and ecologically distinct with such high levels of gene flow, but the phenomenon is still a mystery to botanists. The Fagaceae, or beech family, to which the oaks belong, is a slow evolving clade compared to other angiosperms, the patterns of hybridization and introgression in Quercus pose a gre
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamon is used as an aromatic condiment and flavouring additive in a wide variety of cuisines and savoury dishes, breakfast cereals, snackfoods and traditional foods; the aroma and flavour of cinnamon derive from its essential oil and principal component, cinnamaldehyde, as well as numerous other constituents, including eugenol. The term "cinnamon" is used to describe its mid-brown colour. Cinnamon is the name for several species of trees and the commercial spice products that some of them produce. All are members of the genus Cinnamomum in the family Lauraceae. Only a few Cinnamomum species are grown commercially for spice. Cinnamomum verum is sometimes considered to be "true cinnamon", but most cinnamon in international commerce is derived from related species referred to as "cassia". In 2016, Indonesia and China produced 75% of the world's supply of cinnamon; the English word "cinnamon", attested in English since the fifteenth century, derives from the Greek κιννάμωμον kinnámōmon, via Latin and medieval French intermediate forms.
The Greek was borrowed from a Phoenician word, similar to the related Hebrew קינמון. The name "cassia", first recorded in late Old English from Latin, derives from Hebrew q'tsīʿāh, a form of the verb qātsaʿ, "to strip off bark". Early Modern English used the names canel and canella, similar to the current names of cinnamon in several other European languages, which are derived from the Latin word cannella, a diminutive of canna, "tube", from the way the bark curls up as it dries. Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity, it was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 BC, but those who reported that it had come from China had confused it with cinnamon cassia, a related species. Cinnamon was so prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and for a deity, its source was kept mysterious in the Mediterranean world for centuries by those in the spice trade to protect their monopoly as suppliers. Cinnamomum verum, which translates as'true cinnamon', is native to India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Cinnamomum cassia is native to China. Related species, all harvested and sold in the modern era as cinnamon, are native to Vietnam and other southeast Asian countries with warm climates; the first Greek reference to kasia is found in a poem by Sappho in the seventh century BC. According to Herodotus, both cinnamon and cassia grew in Arabia, together with incense and labdanum, were guarded by winged serpents. In Ancient Egypt, cinnamon was used to embalm mummies. From Hellenistic times onward, Ancient Egyptian recipes for kyphi, an aromatic used for burning, included cinnamon and cassia; the gifts of Hellenistic rulers to temples sometimes included cinnamon. Cinnamon was brought around the Arabian peninsula on "rafts without rudders or sails or oars", taking advantage of the winter trade winds. Pliny the Elder mentions cassia as a flavouring agent for wine. According to Pliny the Elder, a Roman pound of cassia, cinnamon, or serichatum cost up to 1500 denarii, the wage of fifty months' labour. Diocletian's Edict on Maximum Prices from 301 AD gives a price of 125 denarii for a pound of cassia, while an agricultural labourer earned 25 denarii per day.
Cinnamon was too expensive to be used on funeral pyres in Rome, but the Emperor Nero is said to have burned a year's worth of the city's supply at the funeral for his wife Poppaea Sabina in AD 65. Through the Middle Ages, the source of cinnamon remained a mystery to the Western world. From reading Latin writers who quoted Herodotus, Europeans had learned that cinnamon came up the Red Sea to the trading ports of Egypt, but where it came from was less than clear; when the Sieur de Joinville accompanied his king to Egypt on crusade in 1248, he reported – and believed – what he had been told: that cinnamon was fished up in nets at the source of the Nile out at the edge of the world. Marco Polo avoided precision on the topic. Herodotus and other authors named Arabia as the source of cinnamon: they recounted that giant "cinnamon birds" collected the cinnamon sticks from an unknown land where the cinnamon trees grew and used them to construct their nests, that the Arabs employed a trick to obtain the sticks.
Pliny the Elder wrote in the first century that traders had made this up to charge more, but the story remained current in Byzantium as late as 1310. The first mention that the spice grew in Sri Lanka was in Zakariya al-Qazwini's Athar al-bilad wa-akhbar al-‘ibad about 1270; this was followed shortly thereafter by John of Montecorvino in a letter of about 1292. Indonesian rafts transported cinnamon directly from the Moluccas to East Africa, where local traders carried it north to Alexandria in Egypt. Venetian traders from Italy held a monopoly on the spice trade in Europe, distributing cinnamon from Alexandria; the disruption of this trade by the rise of other Mediterranean powers, such as the Mamluk sultans and the Ottoman Empire, was one of many factors that led Europeans to search more for other routes to Asia. During the 1500s, Ferdinand Magellan was searching for spices on behalf of Spain, in the Philippines found Cinnamomum mindanaense, related to C. zeylanicum, the cinnamon found in Sri Lanka.
This cinnamon competed with Sri Lankan cinnamon, controlled by the Portuguese. In 1638, Dutch traders established a trading post in Sri Lanka, took control of the manufactories
Alder is the common name of a genus of flowering plants belonging to the birch family Betulaceae. The genus comprises about 35 species of monoecious trees and shrubs, a few reaching a large size, distributed throughout the north temperate zone with a few species extending into Central America, as well as the northern and southern Andes; the common name alder evolved from Old English alor, which in turn is derived from Proto-Germanic root aliso. The generic name Alnus is the equivalent Latin name. Both the Latin and the Germanic words derive from the Proto-Indo-European root el-, meaning "red" or "brown", a root for the English words elk and another tree: elm, a tree distantly related to the alders. With a few exceptions, alders are deciduous, the leaves are alternate and serrated; the flowers are catkins with elongate male catkins on the same plant as shorter female catkins before leaves appear. These trees differ from the birches in that the female catkins are woody and do not disintegrate at maturity, opening to release the seeds in a similar manner to many conifer cones.
The largest species are red alder on the west coast of North America, black alder, native to most of Europe and introduced elsewhere, both reaching over 30 m. By contrast, the widespread Alnus viridis is more than a 5-m-tall shrub. Alders are found near streams and wetlands. In the Pacific Northwest of North America, the white alder unlike other northwest alders, has an affinity for warm, dry climates, where it grows along watercourses, such as along the lower Columbia River east of the Cascades and the Snake River, including Hells Canyon. Alder leaves and sometimes catkins are used as food by numerous butterflies and moths. A. glutinosa and A. viridis are classed as environmental weeds in New Zealand. Alder leaves and the roots are important to the ecosystem because they enrich the soil with nitrogen and other nutrients. Alder is noted for its important symbiotic relationship with Frankia alni, an actinomycete, nitrogen-fixing bacterium; this bacterium is found in root nodules, which may be as large as a human fist, with many small lobes, light brown in colour.
The bacterium makes it available to the tree. Alder, in turn, provides the bacterium with sugars; as a result of this mutually beneficial relationship, alder improves the fertility of the soil where it grows, as a pioneer species, it helps provide additional nitrogen for the successional species which follow. Because of its abundance, red alder delivers large amounts of nitrogen to enrich forest soils. Red alder stands have been found to supply between 120 and 290 pounds of nitrogen per acre annually to the soil. From Alaska to Oregon, Alnus viridis subsp. Sinuata, characteristically pioneer fresh, gravelly sites at the foot of retreating glaciers. Studies show that Sitka alder, a more shrubby variety of alder, adds nitrogen to the soil at an average of 55 pounds per acre per year, helping convert the sterile glacial terrain to soil capable of supporting a conifer forest. Alders are common among the first species to colonize disturbed areas from floods, fires, etc. Alder groves themselves serve as natural firebreaks since these broad-leaved trees are much less flammable than conifers.
Their foliage and leaf litter does not carry a fire well, their thin bark is sufficiently resistant to protect them from light surface fires. In addition, the light weight of alder seeds allows for easy dispersal by the wind. Although it outgrows coastal Douglas-fir for the first 25 years, it is shade intolerant and lives more than 100 years. Red alder is the Pacific Northwest's largest alder and the most plentiful and commercially important broad-leaved tree in the coastal Northwest. Groves of red alder 10 to 20 inches in diameter intermingle with young Douglas-fir forests west of the Cascades, attaining a maximum height of 100 to 110 feet in about sixty years and lose vigor as heart rot sets in. Alders help create conditions favorable for giant conifers that replace them. Alder root nodules; the catkins of some alder species have a degree of edibility, may be rich in protein. Reported to have a bitter and unpleasant taste, they are more useful for survival purposes; the wood of certain alder species is used to smoke various food items such as coffee and other seafood.
Most of the pilings that form the foundation of Venice were made from alder trees. Alder bark contains the anti-inflammatory salicin, metabolized into salicylic acid in the body; some Native American cultures use red alder bark to treat poison oak, insect bites, skin irritations. Blackfeet Indians have traditionally used an infusion made from the bark of red alder to treat lymphatic disorders and tuberculosis. Recent clinical studies have verified that red alder contains betulin and lupeol, compounds shown to be effective against a variety of tumors; the inner bark of the alder, as well as red osier dogwood, or chokecherry, is used by some Indigenous peoples of the Americas in smoking mixtures, known as kinnikinnick, to improve the taste of the bearberry leaf. Alder is illustrated in the coat of arms for the Austrian town of Grossarl. Electric guitars, most notably those manu
In biology, the canopy is the aboveground portion of a plant community or crop, formed by the collection of individual plant crowns. In forest ecology, canopy refers to the upper layer or habitat zone, formed by mature tree crowns and including other biological organisms. Sometimes the term canopy is used to refer to the extent of the outer layer of leaves of an individual tree or group of trees. Shade trees have a dense canopy that blocks light from lower growing plants. Canopy structure is the spatial arrangement of a plant canopy. Leaf Area Index, leaf area per unit ground area, is a key measure used to understand and compare plant canopies, it is taller than the understory layer. Dominant and co-dominant canopy trees form the uneven canopy layer. Canopy trees are able to photosynthesize rapidly due to abundant light, so it supports the majority of primary productivity in forests; the canopy layer provides protection from strong winds and storms, while intercepting sunlight and precipitation, leading to a sparsely vegetated understory layer.
Forest canopies are home to unique fauna not found in other layers of forests. The highest terrestrial biodiversity resides in the canopy of tropical rainforests. Many rainforest animals have evolved to live in the canopy, never touch the ground; the canopy of a rainforest is about 10m thick, intercepts around 95% of sunlight. The canopy is below the emergent layer, a sparse layer of tall trees one or two per hectare. With an abundance of water and a near ideal temperature in rainforests and nutrients are two factors that limit tree growth from the understory to the canopy. In the permaculture and forest gardening community, the canopy is the highest of seven layers. Canopy Canopy research Canopy walkway Hemispherical photography Stratification Treefall gap Wildfire Crown shyness Tropical forest Rainforest size-asymmetric competition Lowman, M. D. and H. B. Rinker. 2004. Forest Canopies. Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-457553-6, ISBN 978-0-12-457553-0 Moffett, M. W. 1994. The High Frontier: Exploring the Tropical Rainforest Canopy.
Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. Russell, G. B. Marshall, P. G. Jarvis. 1990. Plant Canopies: Their Growth and Function. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-39563-1, ISBN 978-0-521-39563-2 International Canopy Access Network