Words related to wood
also dead-wood, 1887 in the figurative sense of "useless person or thing," originally American English, from dead (adj.) + wood (n.). The meaning "wood dead upon a tree" is by 1803. Dead wood in a forest is useful as firewood; perhaps the reference here is to the dried up parts of plants grown for commercial production of flowers or fruit.
The term also meant, in ship-building, "timber built up at either end of the keel to afford firm fastening for the cant timbers" (18c.) and, in bowls, "pins which have been knocked down and block those still standing" (1858).
Another theory traces it through Medieval Latin forestis, originally "forest preserve, game preserve," from Latin forum in legal sense "court, judgment;" in other words "land subject to a ban" [Buck]. Replaced Old English wudu (see wood (n.)). Spanish and Portuguese floresta have been influenced by flor "flower."
1560s, from hard (adj.) + wood (n.). That from deciduous trees, as distinguished from that from pines and firs. Bartlett ("Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848) defines it as "A term applied to woods of solid texture that soon decay, including generally, beech, birch, maple, ash, &c. Used by shipwrights and farmers in Maine, in opposition to oak and pine."
also matchwood, 1590s, "wood used to start a fire;" 1838, "wood which has been split to proper size for matches," from match (n.1) + wood (n.). From the latter sense it has been used as a figure of speech for wood which has been broken or splintered into very small pieces. Also in this sense is matchsticks (1791).