I am no anthropologist! But I suggest that, along with bones and skins, wood is the oldest material used for buildings and tools. It is a God-given resource to use or abuse.
For millennia the use of wood has been huge and remains massive.
We are all aware that poor forest practices have led to the global destruction of forests.
With the advent of particleboard in the 1930’s came a more efficiency use of wood, leading to today when we have one of the world’s greenest building products.
As a member of a local timber industry association I often feel slightly intimidated in a gathering of foresters, mill managers and wood carting contractors. There is a feeling of being considered as the guy who deals with artificial wood: not the real wood!
I spoke as a wood panel machinery supplier, wood panel additive supplier, panel lamination machinery supplier, paper impregnation machinery supplier,and paper impregnation additive supplier.
At a recent presentation it was explained by examples that within a laminated MDF or particleboard panel there was as much wood as an equivalent solid hardwood panel, even if using lighter softwood fibre or particles:
Considering that kraft and décor papers are predominantly wood fibre.
Then taking panel density, and then mathematically extracting resin weights, we ended up with what was intended to be a convincing argument!
Further consideration was that engineered or reconstituted wood panels are predominantly produced from wood from regenerated forests or from recycled wood, and other organic, otherwise waste substances.
Then consider that industries based on sawn wood and latex would not be feasible without the coexistence of industries producing particleboard, MDF OSB or related products.
Then consider that low cost, unattractive wood panels are transformed by modern surface treatments into the décor products we take so much for granted.