Wood

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Wood comes from the interior of the branches and trunks of trees and some shrubs. The stalks of bamboo, while not strictly wood, are used in many similar contexts.

Production

Bamboo and other sources of wood would be grown in greenhouses on Mars.

  • Bamboo can yield 4 tonnes per hectare[1].
  • Trees
  • Bushes

Use

Common uses for wood include construction materials, art, consumer goods, paper, and fuel.

Construction Material

Certain types of wood have excellent strength to weight ratios that make them ideal construction materials. The fibers in the wood strengthen it in the direction of the grain.

Art

Wood is easily carved into a variety of shapes. Wood carving and crafting is a possible diversion, and may improve morale.

Consumer Goods

Wood may be fashioned into cups, bowls, utensils, and many other useful items. In early settlements, wood items are likely to be a luxury, or unavailable altogether. These goods may be used in commerce within the settlement or with other settlements.

Paper

The fibers of wood can be processed into paper. Most of these fibers can come from the waste pieces left over from the other applications.

Fuel

Wood is an unlikely fuel on Mars, and may only be used in this way as a luxury, requiring dedicated venting and fireproof enclosure.

Open Issues

  • How easily are trees grown using aquaponics or aeroponics?
  • How will the reduced gravity affect the density of the wood?
  • Will dwarf varieties of fruit trees remain short?