If you really want to understand the strengths and weaknesses of wood, you need to read the, “Wood Handbook – Wood as an Engineering Material”. Published by: Forest Products Laboratory, USDA Forest Service, Madison, Wisconsin
This is probably the most definitive work out there on the properties of wood, and wood derived products ever written.
While it is written as an engineering resource, they have taken the trouble to define and explain the significance of the engineering terms, at a level most non-engineers can understand it.
And the best part: it can be downloaded for free, at: