|This article is about an older version of DF.|
Wood is produced by esignating to be chopped down. Any reesdwarf with the wood cutting labor enabled and access to a battle axe will cut down the trees, which will turn one tree into one log, the raw form of wood.
"Timber" is the name of the ninth month of the dwarven calendar, covering late Fall.
Trees start their lives as saplings. Saplings cannot be cut down until they mature into full-grown trees, which can take several years. Saplings will randomly appear in appropriate soil (above and below ground) and muddy underground rock (underground areas will only start to sprout saplings once you have hit the caverns) to provide a slow (but steady) supply of wood. Fully-grown trees will impede units' movement, so be sure to clear them out of active corridors.
Besides cutting down trees, wood (and some wooden goods, such as barrels) is often available from the elven, dwarven and human caravans. Wood can also be purchased before embarking. Wood is quite inexpensive, costing only 3☼ per log, and you may wish to bring a large number of logs when embarking in order to jump-start your wood industry. The wagon you start the game with can also be dismantled for three logs.
Reasons you need wood
- To build beds
- Without beds your dwarves will get unhappy thoughts from sleeping on the ground
- To build water wheels and windmills, as well as axles
- Without wood, you cannot generate or transfer power.
- To build siege engines and ballista bolts
- These can be very effective defenses when traps fail.
- If you want obsidian short swords, they require one obsidian stone and one wood each (these swords likely consist of a wooden hilt with an obsidian blade or, as a more exotic alternative, a thin wooden "paddle" with sharp flakes of obsidian forming sharp edges, like the Aztec macuahuitl).
- If you have access to obsidian, these can be a great source of quick weaponry early in the game, before any steel works are up to speed. Even on a tree-lite map, each weapon takes less wood to produce than a steel weapon (unless you are using magma to fuel your smelters and forges and have access to bituminous coal and lignite).
- To be burnt for ash, which is used in glass making, soap making, glazing, and for fertilizing crops.
Reasons you want wood
- It is simpler to make items from wood.
- All metalworks (smelters, forges), glassworks and ceramic kilns are either coal-fueled or magma-fueled. If you are planning on having any sort of serious metal or glass production, then you're going to need either a lot of wood, or magma (and charcoal or coal for steel).
- Wooden training weapons are useful for military training started shortly after embark should you feel the need.
- Crossbows can be made from wood (or bone) and may be preferred if you have a skilled bowyer but not a skilled weaponsmith.
Reasons you don't need much wood
- Everything other than beds, axles, windmills, water wheels, obsidian shortswords, siege engine parts, and ballista bolts can be made without the use of wood.
- Once you have magma then you don't need wood for fuel. If you have coal, you don't need (as much) wood to produce charcoal for steel. If you have both, you don't need wood to produce metal or steel products.
The weight of a 'unit' of each type of wood is half their density; the densities for each individual type of wood is listed under the appropriate tree. Wood has a default [SOLID_DENSITY] of 500, making it about three times lighter than most stone and fifteen times lighter than iron. Feather tree wood is the lightest, with a density of 100, and blood thorn wood is the heaviest, with a density of 1250. Cedar wood, density 380, and glumprong wood, density 1200 are also notable. However, since average wood is relatively light to begin with, with the possible exception of wood hauling, this makes (almost?) no practical difference in the daily routine of a fortress or your dwarves.