Timber can be used for a variety of manufacturing and construction purposes in OC, and elegant woods are prized by traders as some of the finest materials in the galaxy. This video shows a quick demonstration of logging in OC, as an expedition lands on a small, lightly forested island and clears it entirely of trees.
- Timber is a very useful raw material in OC.
- Different species of tree produce different wood materials. Wood materials vary significantly in density, strength, and luxury, resulting in drastic differences in value and making some woods better suited for particular purposes.
- Wood materials are gathered by felling trees
- Only plants with wooden trunks can be felled by logging. Plants without trunks must be gathered by harvesting.
- To fell a tree, an NPC needs access to a cutting tool. Axes or saws will work.
- Logging orders are issued by selecting the tree felling tool and clicking the tree to cut down.
- An NPC must have the fell tree activity enabled during its work shift to work on a logging order.
- Tree seeds can be gathered, and trees can be planted and farmed like any other sort of plant.
The Lumber Industry
Timber can be among the most important natural resources available in a forested area, and wood has a multitude of uses in OC. Any item subcomponents that call for a generic solid can be satisfied by any type of wood, and wood is particularly well suited to applications like furniture production and structure building. It’s important to keep in mind that different species of tree yield different wood materials in OC, and that the properties of these materials can vary quite a bit. Let’s take a look at some examples using the in-game encyclopedia. If you’re not familiar with this tool or how materials work in OC, then this post is a good place to find introductory information.
To illustrate this point, let’s compare two wood materials. First, we’ll look at deadwood shrub wood. The deadwood shrub is a rather sorry species of stunted, small tree that grows exclusively in frigid swamps. It looks like this:
When cut down, it yields wood with the following properties:
Its luxury rating is only 2.0, which is rather low for a wood, but its density is also fairly slight. At 0.52, it’s a lightweight material.
Let’s compare this to wood from a droganun tree, a sort of evergreen that grows in temperate rain forests. It looks like this:
And has the following stats:
With a luxury value of 19.0 and a density of 0.68, this is an elegant, heavy wood, ideally suited for crafting fine furniture. If you want to make expensive cabinets to export offworld or to adorn the houses of your elite NPCs, droganun tree wood is a perfect choice.
But there are cases where the deadwood shrub wood is better suited. Suppose you’re building a frame for some machinery or equipment. The luxury stat won’t add anything to the equipment’s functionality, but the lighter weight of the shrub wood will make for a lighter, more easily transportable piece of equipment. As such, it can pay to use the right sorts of wood materials for the right purposes.
Timber as a Renewable Resource
The mechanics of issuing logging orders are very simple, but exploiting this resource to its fullest can be more complex than mining. The first thing to keep in mind when felling trees is that, when managed properly, timber constitutes a renewable resource. Mature trees will naturally produce seeds, from which more new trees will sprout and grow. But plants don’t “spawn” magically in OC. They have to grow from a seed, and seeds are produced by mature plants. If you cut down all the trees in an area, then unless you import seeds from the outside and replant the forest yourself, no new trees will grow.
If, however, you thin out a forest by cutting down some trees and leave others alive, the living ones will produce seeds, room will be made for new trees to germinate and grow, and the forest will continuously replenish itself. Sorta’ like real life! So the best long term strategy for extracting timber for a region involves employing some common sense forestry practices.