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This article is about an older version of DF.
So many roots, that you wood hardly believe it.

"Timber" redirects here. For the month, see Calendar.

Wood is a hard material found in nearly all trees. It (currently) does not form the actual material of tree tiles, which are composed of generic plant material, but is instead dropped from trees as logs , the raw item form of wood, when they are cut down. For the most part, different kinds of wood are identical, except for differences in density and color. It is generally weaker and more lightweight than other heavy-duty materials, such as stone or metal. All wood is flammable, with an ignition point of 10508 °U . Only nether-cap wood is magma-safe, due to its fixed temperature. The harvesting and use of wood to make products is known as the wood industry.

"Timber" is the name of the ninth month of the dwarven calendar, covering late Autumn, the only month of the dwarven calendar to not be named after a stone.

Occurrence and production[edit]

Chopping down trees[edit]

Wood is obtained by designating trees to be chopped down. Any dwarf with the wood cutting labor enabled and access to a battle axe will cut down a tree, producing a variable number of 'logs' dependent upon the tree's size and composition. In general, bigger trees yield more logs than smaller ones, though relevant plant tokens can have a significant impact on the total.

Trees start their lives as saplings. Saplings cannot be cut down until they mature into full-grown trees, which can take several years. Creatures frequently moving on a tile with a sapling will eventually kill the sapling, leaving you with a dead sapling occupying the square for a time before it disappears and another plant starts growing.

Saplings will randomly appear in above-ground soil, only if the tiles underneath them are unmined and have at least another z-level of open space above them. If the soil does not have an immediate support for the roots, no saplings will appear. If there is no open space above, saplings will not grow. Underground saplings will begin to randomly appear in soil and muddy underground rock only once one of the caverns is exposed. Unlike above-ground saplings, underground saplings don't require the level below them to be unmined. However, they also require open space on the z-levels directly above them, otherwise the saplings will never grow.

It is recommended to clear trees out of active corridors. Tree trunks act as walls and may, for example, block the path of wagons to the trade depot. Building roads and smoothing floors prevents new saplings from growing on the tiles.


Entities with [OUTDOOR_WOOD] and [INDOOR_WOOD] use wood from above-ground and underground trees respectively from their local environment for their products. Additionally, [USE_GOOD_WOOD] and [USE_EVIL_WOOD] allow entities to use wood from good or evil-aligned trees: feather trees and glumprongs. Except for kobolds, all civilizations use some type of wood.

[USE_MISC_PROCESSED_WOOD_PRODUCTS] permits the availability of certain wood-derived products: lye, charcoal, and potash. Dwarves, humans, and goblins possess this. Entities with [WOOD_WEAPONS] and [WOOD_ARMOR] will use wooden weapons and armor - elves and subterranean animal people possess these tokens.

Logs and wooden products are available from trading by any friendly civilizations. Wood can also be brought before embarking. Logs are quite inexpensive, costing only three points per log, and bringing a large number can help jump-start the wood industry immediately.

Other sources[edit]

"Wagon wood" can be obtained from wagons. The initial wagon after embark (an entirely different wagon) can be dismantled for three free logs of any type.


Main article: Tree
Comparison of density, weight, and color
Wood Density
Weight (Γ)
per log
Feather 100 5 Cream
Papaya 130 6.5 Taupe pale
Candlenut 140 7 Ochre
Kapok 260 13 Tan
Custard-apple 360 18 Tan
Willow 390 19.5 Tan
Alder 410 20.5 Tan
Cherry 425 21.25 Gold
Cacao 430 21.5 Chocolate
Chestnut 430 21.5 Dark chestnut
Saguaro 430 21.5 Ecru
Cashew 450 22.5 Dark chestnut
Ginkgo 450 22.5 Peach
Rubber 490 24.5 Flax
Default wood 500 25 Brown
Highwood 500 25 Brown
Tunnel tube 500 25 Violet
Wagon 500 25 Brown
Pine 510 25.5 Beige
Durian 520 26 Taupe pale
Mango 520 26 Burnt sienna
Avocado 540 27 Chestnut
Maple 540 27 Rust
Carambola 550 27.5 Flax
Nether-cap 550 27.5 Dark indigo
Tea 550 27.5 Taupe pale
Walnut 562 28.1 Dark tan
Cedar 570 28.5 Olive
Hazel 580 29 Taupe pale
Bitter orange 590 29.5 Taupe pale
Desert lime 590 29.5 Tan
Finger lime 590 29.5 Tan
Kumquat 590 29.5 Taupe pale
Larch 590 29.5 Light brown
Lime 590 29.5 Tan
Orange 590 29.5 Burnt sienna
Pomelo 590 29.5 Ash gray
Round lime 590 29.5 Tan
Acacia 600 30 Peach
Ash 600 30 Pale brown
Fungiwood 600 30 Lemon
Goblin-cap 600 30 Red
Mahogany 600 30 Mahogany
Pear 600 30 Buff
Spore 600 30 Teal
Tower-cap 600 30 White
Guava 610 30.5 Tan
Coffee 620 31 Taupe pale
Rambutan 620 31 Bronze
Birch 650 32.5 Burnt umber
Black-cap 650 32.5 Black
Coconut palm 680 34 Dark taupe
Sand pear 690 34.5 Buff
Bayberry 700 35 Pale brown
Citron 700 35 Ash gray
Oak 700 35 Auburn
Macadamia 705 35.25 Pale brown
Pecan 735 36.75 Peach
Apple 745 37.25 Chocolate
Apricot 745 37.25 Light brown
Pomegranate 770 38.5 Peach
Almond 795 39.75 Copper
Peach 795 39.75 Dark tan
Plum 795 39.75 Pale brown
Date palm 820 41 Burnt sienna
Paradise nut 820 41 Light brown
Mangrove 830 41.5 Dark taupe
Persimmon 835 41.75 Tan
Lychee 880 44 Taupe sandy
Olive 990 49.5 Pale brown
Glumprong 1200 60 Purple
Blood thorn 1250 62.5 Crimson

There are 71 types of wood, excluding the default one. Of the 72 trees, abaca and banana do not produce wood. Nine types of trees are only found underground, while the remaining 61 grow above-ground in various biomes, except mountains, glaciers, tundras, and oceans. The final type of wood, wagon wood, is only produced by the death of a wagon. All wood possesses the same material properties except its density (which affects the weight of an item) and color. It is brown by default, and very few types exhibit a color besides it.

The density of the material is the most important factor when choosing different types of wood. Wooden products made with heavier wood slow down hauling, which negatively impacts the work speed of a fortress in the long-term. The type of wood used in weapons and armor also becomes important in regards to its force, durability, and weight.

Weight of logs[edit]

Each log has a volume of 5,000 or 50 litres. The weight can be derived by dividing the density (kg/m³) of the material by 20. An oak log will thus weigh 35Γ, a feather wood log 5Γ and a blood thorn log 62.5Γ. Weight is displayed in integers in-game, so a blood thorn log's weight will be displayed as just 62Γ. Wood has a default [SOLID_DENSITY] of 500 kg/m³, about five times lighter than most stone and fifteen times lighter than iron. Feather wood is the lightest at 100, and blood thorn wood is the heaviest at 1,250. Papaya (130) and glumprong (1,200) wood are also notable.

Grown wood[edit]

All wooden items made by elves are referred to as "grown". It is assumed that elves use an unknown (and unimplemented) magic to grow their products from trees without chopping them down. Elven caravans only accept wooden products made from grown wood.



Burning wood in a wood furnace is the only major way to produce ash. It is otherwise rare and difficult to obtain naturally. Ash is essential in the production of lye, potash, and pearlash. Lye is used for making soap, and potash is used as a fertilizer for farm plots to yield larger harvests. Pearlash is used for making clear glass and crystal glass in glassmaking. Ash can also be used as a glaze for ceramic products. In total, ash has major applications in the soap, farming, glass, and ceramic industries, all of which derives from wood.


Charcoal is a type of fuel produced by burning wood in a wood furnace. Smelters, forges, glass furnaces, and kilns need fuel to operate. Coke is produced from bituminous coal or lignite, neither of which is guaranteed to be present on a map, thus charcoal is typically the first reliable fuel for an early fortress. If coke sources are present though, it is recommended to use coke over charcoal so that wood can be used for other purposes.

Once magma is acquired, charcoal becomes obsolete as a fuel source for workshops. Despite this, charcoal is still significant in the production of steel, where refined coal is required as a source of carbon.


Beds can only be made from wood, with the exception of artifact beds created from strange moods. Without beds, citizens get unhappy thoughts from sleeping on the ground.

Machine components[edit]

The following machine components can only be made from wood: water wheels, windmills, and axles. Axles are necessary in the transfer of power over distances. Water wheels and windmills are the only power sources to not require a dwarf to generate power.

Lightweight storage[edit]

Wooden items used for storage are lighter to carry than items made of most stone or metals. Barrels, bins, buckets, jugs, large pots, wheelbarrows, minecarts, and cages are items that can be made of wood and are frequently used in hauling stuff between stockpiles and workshops. Using a lighter material for storage decreases encumbrance and increases movement speed.

The type of wood is very important in storage items. Among the trees with the lightest wood are: feather tree, papaya, candlenut, kapok, custard-apple, willow, alder, cherry, cacao, chestnut, and saguaro. Making storage items from the wood of these trees provide the best results. Trees to avoid include blood thorn, glumprong, olive, persimmon, mangrove, paradise nut, date palm, and lychee.

In addition, it only takes one log to produce a bin, cage, wheelbarrow or minecart. Forging them with metal will take two or three bars instead.

Weapons and armor[edit]

See also: Weapon § Material

Wood is an extremely terrible material for combat. It has the worst impact and shear properties out of the standard weapons-grade materials (even against bone), making it ineffective in dealing substantial damage, both blunt or cutting. Denser wood has a small effect on its force power, but it remains weak compared to metal. A creature's natural weapons can be more lethal than a wooden weapon. Wooden armor provides little to no protection. Wood durability is low, and breaks very quickly from repeated hits against harder materials. Its weakness serves as an advantage in situations where damage is desired to be kept to a minimum. In justice, inflicting punishment with wooden weapons deals very little damage to the accused, which reduces the chance of accidental deaths.

Shields and bucklers can be made from wood. Bashes with wooden shields in melee combat are weaker than those delivered by metal shields. The material does not affect a shield's ability to block, and even dragonfire can be blocked without getting burned at all. Taking in their lower weight, wooden shields are more effective over metal ones for their maneuverability. There is still the drawback of wood breaking faster than metal.

Dwarves can only create wooden melee weapons in the form of training weapons, which are used in the military for training. They are useful for live training and danger rooms, but are not necessary. Training weapons can also be bought from caravans at a cheap price.

Short swords made of obsidian require one log in production. They are more or less a novelty, as metal weapons are superior.

Crossbows can be made from wood by a bowyer. Wooden crossbows suffer reduced damage in comparison to metal crossbows if they are used to bash enemies in melee combat. However, since even metal crossbows are spectacularly bad melee weapons, this is a fairly unimportant consideration. The lighter wooden crossbow should be prioritized over metal ones for its lesser weight, minimizing encumbrance. Bone has a density of 500 kg/m³, so bone crossbows should replace wood whenever the type of wood being used is over 500 kg/m³.

A stack of 25 bolts is made from a single log. In comparison, 5 bolts are made from a single bone. Wooden bolts are sufficient for training and hunting, although significantly less effective against armored opponents than metal bolts.

Siege engines[edit]

Siege engine parts can only be made from wood. Although siege engines require lots of effort to manage, they can be very effective defenses when traps and soldiers fail. Both wooden and metal ballista arrows also need a log to be made. Wooden ballista arrows are inferior to metal ones. Wooden ballista arrows made from denser wood deal more damage than lighter wood.


All logs are valued at 3☼. Wooden products are a poor choice for trading, because wood has a material multiplier of ×1 (no bonus). Elves do not accept any items or decorations made from wood, except the "grown" wood items that only elves produce. They get extremely upset when offered regular wood and will leave with no further possible trading for the season.

Other uses[edit]

Wood can be used to make most finished goods, furniture, and tools. Items can be decorated with wood through strange moods. Colorful wood from underground, good, and evil trees are useful for aesthetic creations; they include black, blue, cyan, red, magenta, yellow, and white.

Wooden constructions can safely hold magma, but wooden buildings will burn so using other materials is recommended where fire is a potential risk. Floors constructed using lightweight wood will reduce the damage from falls. The lighter the wood, the softer the impact.

Building destroyers prioritize destroying wooden doors and floor hatches.[Verify] Wooden buildings can be used in trap designs as cheap, affordable bait to lure them toward traps.

See also[edit]

"Wood" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: lolum
Elvish: ave
Goblin: dôr
Human: pado
More: GemsMetalsStones
BloodBoneBrainCartilageCheeseChitinEggFatFeatherHair (WoolYarn) • HoofHornIchorLeatherMilkNailNervous tissueParchmentPearlScaleShellSilkSkinSpitSweatTallowTearsToothWax
Fiber (PaperSlurry) • FlowerFruitLeafOil • Plant powders (DyeFlour) • Seed (Press cake) • Wood
AmberAshCoralFilthFuelGlassGrimeIceLyeMagmaMudPearlashPotashSaltUnknown substanceVomitWater
See also: Material science