Volume: 132
Issue: April - May 2011

New Wood Species

Story by Wally Nut

The International Wood Species Council (IWSC) has issued a bulletin declaring a new species of hardwood, known as AEKI wood.  Prior to this declaration, all new wood species were dependent on the discovery of a new tree species.  In this case, however there really is no such thing as an AEKI tree, and AEKI wood is actually a mixture of small wood particles held together with adhesives, and covered by a microscopically thin layer of veneer that may or may not resemble real wood.

Critics have complained that this is a blatant attempt by IKEA, the worlds largest furniture maker, to declare particleboard a wood species so that it can advertise its products as being made from 100% hardwoods.  They cite the name of the new wood, which is IKEA spelled backwards, and the all capital letters used in the designation, as proof of the Swedish company’s influence.  A spokeswoman for IKEA, Hilda Johannsen, denied any undue pressure by the corporation.  “ Ya sure, the IWSC organization held it’s January meeting at our corporate headquarters in Sweden, but that, and the airfare we provided the members was simply corporate largess for which no strings were attached,” Hilda stated.   “Whatever decisions the council made, were done as the fully independent organization that the IWSC is.”  When asked about the free Volvo XC90 provided to each council member she stated that the members needed an easy way to get around Sweden while they were at the meetings, and after the meetings the cars were “not that valuable, since they were no longer new” so IKEA just gave them to the IWSC members.  “We expected nothing in return.”

“This is worse than calling plywood a species,” declared Minnesota Woodworkers Guild member Harvey Finkelbottom.  “Have you ever seen a particleboard tree, or cut one down with a chainsaw?  Of course not!  What does the leaf from an AEKI tree look like?” he asked rhetorically.  He called for massive protests, similar to those recently held in Egypt, Libya and Wisconsin as a way to overturn this decision.

No members of the IWSC could be reached for comment.  This reporter was told that they were all on extended vacations in undisclosed Scandinavian countries.