Beech, European

Latin name: Fagus sylvatica

 

Also known as: European Beech


Wood Type:

Hardwood

Durability:

Not durable

Treatability:

Easy

Moisture Movement:

Large

Density (mean, Kg/m³):

720

Texture:

Fine

Availability:

Readily available at timber merchant

Price:

Low

Chemical Properties:

Excellent bending properties

Use(s):

Joinery - Interior, Furniture, Flooring

Colour(s):

Pink/pale red, Reddish brown - after steaming, White/cream

Notes on terms used navigation-arrow

Environmental

Not listed in CITES. Believed available from well-managed sources. Check certification status with suppliers.

 

Distribution

Europe, especially central Europe and Britain.

 

The tree

Beech has been called the mother of the forest, since without it in mixed broad-leaved forests, other hardwood timber trees would have greater difficulties for survival. The rain drip from beech destroys many soil-exhausting weeds, its shade prevents over-evaporation of moisture from the soil, and its heavy crop of leaves provides humus to the soil. In close forest, it can reach a height of 45m with a clear bole of 1 5m but on average this is usually about 9m with a diameter averaging 1.2m occasionally more.

 

The timber

Normally, there is no clear distinction by colour between sapwood and heartwood, the wood being very pale brown when freshly cut, turning reddish-brown on exposure, and deep reddish-brown under the influence of steaming treatment commonly applied in parts of the Continent before shipment. Some logs show an irregular, dark reddish-coloured kern or heart, caused it is believed, by the effect of severe frosts, and occurring more frequently in Continental beech. The wood is typically straight grained, with a fine, even texture, but varying in density and hardness according to the locality of growth.Thus beech from central Europe, notably that from Yugoslavia (Slavonian), and that from Romania is milder and lighter in weight, about 672 kg/m³, than beech from Britain, Denmark and northern Europe, which weighs about 720 kg/m³ when dried.

 

Drying

Although it dries fairly rapidly and fairly well, beech is moderately refractory, tending to warp, twist, check and split, and shrink considerably. It therefore requires care both in air drying and kiln drying.

 

Strength

Green beech has general strength properties roughly equal to those of oak, but after drying, most values increase, and beech is stronger than oak in bending strength, stiffness and shear by some 20 per cent, and considerably stronger in resistance to impact loads.

 

Working qualities

Good - * Red heart extremely difficult to work. Beech varies somewhat in its ease of working and machining according to growth characteristics and dried condition. Thus fairly tough material, or badly dried stock may tend to bind on the saw, or burn when cross-cut, or, if distorted due to drying provide difficulties in planing. On the whole, however it works fairly readily, and is capable of a good smooth surface. Beech turns well, takes glue readily, and takes stains and polish satisfactorily. It produces excellent veneer.

Suppliers

A C Timber Solutions Ltdnavigation-arrow

Cambridgeshire

Border Hardwood Ltdnavigation-arrow

Wem

Brooks Bros (UK) Limitednavigation-arrow

Chelmsford

Burton, E O & Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Brentwood

Capricorn Eco Timbernavigation-arrow

Stafford

Chadwicks (Mowbray Drive) Limitednavigation-arrow

Blackpool

Champion, A W Limitednavigation-arrow

New Malden

Elaborados y Fabricados G?miz, S.A. navigation-arrow

Sta. Cruz De Campezo (Álava)

Enfield Speciality Doorsnavigation-arrow

Enfield

English Woodlands Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Midhurst

English Woodlands Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Midhurst

Fleming Buildbasenavigation-arrow

Aberdeen

Gilmour & Aitken Limitednavigation-arrow

Alexandria

International Timbernavigation-arrow

Manchester

iWood Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Stafford

James Latham plcnavigation-arrow

Hemel Hempstead

James Latham plcnavigation-arrow

Hemel Hempstead

Mid-Sussex Timber Co Limitednavigation-arrow

East Sussex

Morgan Timbernavigation-arrow

Rochester

NHG Timber Limitednavigation-arrow

Croydon

Quinn Hardwoods Ltdnavigation-arrow

Dublin

Siero Lam SAnavigation-arrow

Argüelles

Thorogood Timber Limitednavigation-arrow

Colchester

Timbersource Limitednavigation-arrow

Waterlip

Timbmet Ltdnavigation-arrow

Oxford

W. L. West & Sons Ltdnavigation-arrow

Petworth

Watford Timber Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Watford

Suppliers

Watford Timber Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Watford

W. L. West & Sons Ltdnavigation-arrow

Petworth

Timbmet Ltdnavigation-arrow

Oxford

Timbersource Limitednavigation-arrow

Waterlip

Thorogood Timber Limitednavigation-arrow

Colchester

Siero Lam SAnavigation-arrow

Argüelles

Quinn Hardwoods Ltdnavigation-arrow

Dublin

NHG Timber Limitednavigation-arrow

Croydon

Morgan Timbernavigation-arrow

Rochester

Mid-Sussex Timber Co Limitednavigation-arrow

East Sussex

James Latham plcnavigation-arrow

Hemel Hempstead

James Latham plcnavigation-arrow

Hemel Hempstead

iWood Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Stafford

International Timbernavigation-arrow

Manchester

Gilmour & Aitken Limitednavigation-arrow

Alexandria

Fleming Buildbasenavigation-arrow

Aberdeen

English Woodlands Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Midhurst

English Woodlands Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Midhurst

Enfield Speciality Doorsnavigation-arrow

Enfield

Elaborados y Fabricados G?miz, S.A. navigation-arrow

Sta. Cruz De Campezo (Álava)

Champion, A W Limitednavigation-arrow

New Malden

Chadwicks (Mowbray Drive) Limitednavigation-arrow

Blackpool

Capricorn Eco Timbernavigation-arrow

Stafford

Burton, E O & Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Brentwood

Brooks Bros (UK) Limitednavigation-arrow

Chelmsford

Border Hardwood Ltdnavigation-arrow

Wem

A C Timber Solutions Ltdnavigation-arrow

Cambridgeshire