How is paper made from trees?

When analyzing how paper is made it important to look at the source and understand trees. The bark protects the inner wood from dangers such as whether and insects. The next layer is the cambium, whose cells become both bark and the inner wood. Then there is sapwood which carries the nutrients throughout the tree. Finally, heartwood is the most inner layer of trunk which provides the tree with strength and structure. All of these durable cells that comprise the tree trunk form together to make fibers. These fibers are small cellulose strands which are stuck together with a natural adhesive called lignin. The separation and reorganization of these fibers makes paper. There are two categories of forester trees that are used for making paper: hardwood and softwood species. Hardwood trees such as oaks and maples have very short fibers and therefore yields weak but smooth paper. Hardwood trees are ideal for making printer paper, or loose lead paper to write on. Softwood trees have very long fibers and these fibers can be organized to make products like shipping containers that require strength. The finish of softwood paper is much more rough and doesn’t make ideal paper to write on. In order to get paper from trees workers must harvest these trees. Logs are transported to the paper company where they soak in soap water to rinse away impurities. Then these logs are put through a wood chipper and then the chips are pulped. In the pulping process the individual wood fibers are separated from one another, the finished product looks like a mushy, watery solution. The solution is spread out on a long screen so that the water an be drained. Then the fibers are squeezed together between rollers. The paper is now steamed and dried into long sheets. A calendar rolls over the sheet to make sure that the paper is consistently thick or thin. Once these sheets are formed the paper is cut, packaged and distributed.

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