I contend that humans resonate with wood because we share similarities with one another. Trees, like humans, are approximately 60% water. Trees, like humans, are about 18% carbon. Trees, like humans, have a peak life of about 80 years.
Additionally, humans exhale CO2 and trees inhale it, keeping the carbon and exhaling oxygen. This is the very definition of symbiosis.
Humans and trees can live longer than our peak life, but our productivity is compromised by age. We are both susceptible to injury and disease and we are simply less productive the older we get. Trees have one job in the biosphere and that is to absorb carbon. After reaching its peak life a tree will start to slowly leach its stored carbon back into the atmosphere. It is our mission as responsible stewards of timber resources to find those trees that have completed their job of capturing all the carbon they can capture, then harvest those trees and allow new, younger trees to take their place.
George Nakashima, one of country’s greatest furniture designers and manufacturers, said of a tree’s second life: “When trees mature, it is fair and moral that they are cut for man’s use, as they would soon decay and return to the earth. Trees have a yearning to live again, perhaps to provide the beauty, strength and utility to serve man, even to become an object of great artistic worth.”