Many extant land plants display secondary growth originating in a lateral meristem known as vascular cambium. A conspicuous product of secondary growth is wood which dominates terrestrial ecosystem biomass. Despite the economic and ecological significance of the process the underlying molecular mechanism are still poorly understood. We have recently shown that members of the LBD transcription factor family play function in control of secondary growth. Here we propose a mechanistic model of LBD regulatory roles. We also show how these roles may be linked to evolutionary changes in level and pattern of wood formation that provide structural and functional innovations in wood anatomy in relation to species growth habit and biology.