Pure Tung Oil is a finishing product that provides a tough, flexible and highly water-resistant coating for a great wood finish when staining wood. It is classed as a drying oil along with linseed, poppy seed, safflower seed, walnut, soybean, oiticica and a few other oils. Although it is relatively new to the Western world, tung oil has been known for centuries to the Chinese, and until this century, China was the main source for the oil. It comes from the seed of the tung trees, Aleurites fordii and Aleurites montana, deciduous trees that are very susceptible to frost damage. This vulnerability has restricted the cultivation of the tung trees to China and South America. Tung oil received wide application in China: in the building trades as a treatment for both stone and wooden structures; in marine trades as a preservative and water repellant on wooden boats. It is said to have been introduced to the West by Marco Polo. From the 13th to the 19th century, tung oil had only limited use in the West. In the 19th century it was adopted by the paint companies to become a major component in paints and varnishes. More recently, tung oil has gained favor over linseed oil for furniture finishing because it is faster drying and does not darken as much with age.