Timber & Wood Products
Private forest landowners have long understood that some trees are distinguished as being exceptional. Not every forest contains such rare trees. In the hardwood industry, such trees are termed veneer. From veneer trees come veneer logs; from veneer logs come veneer sheets. Unlike most logs that are processed into conventional lumber, veneer sheets are thin layers of wood produced by slicing logs.
Essentially any log can be processed as veneer. However, for hardwood trees, normally only those logs of desired species and with the finest characteristics are selected. This is especially the case when the finished wood product is used as a face veneer (surface-covering) on top of core stock veneer for decorative purposes. Core stock is the underlayer on which the face veneer is placed. Core stock is common and does not require the fine characteristics as does face veneer. For example, red oak cabinets could have side panels with a thin layer of fine oak face veneer overlaid on a thicker layer of common yellow poplar core stock. The focus of this publication is primarily on hardwood face veneer and the trees that are used to produce it.
Veneer is erroneously accepted as a modern development in the forest product industry. In truth, veneer was used in Egyptian coffins nearly 3,500 years ago. Modernization and expansion in the veneer industry occurred in the 20th century, improving construction and design of furniture and leading to better utilization of the wood resource.
"PB1744 Quality Hardwood Veneer," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, 04-0344 E12-4915-00-015-04 PB1744-1M-5/04, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexfores/35