Larch, European

Latin name: Larix decidua, Larix europaea

 

Also known as: European larch


Wood Type:

Softwood

Durability:

Slightly durable, Moderately durable

Treatability:

Extremely difficult, Moderately easy (Sapwood - Larch sapwood treatability may vary)

Moisture Movement:

Small

Density (mean, Kg/m³):

550

Texture:

Fine

Availability:

Readily available at timber merchant

Price:

Low

Use(s):

Cladding, Flooring, Joinery - Exterior, Structural use

Colour(s):

Reddish brown (Pale)

Notes on terms used navigation-arrow

Environmental

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

 

Distribution

The natural habitat of larch is the mountainous areas ascending to great elevations, generally from the Bavarian to Swiss Alps, through western Poland and the Moravian Heights to the Carpathians. It has also been extensively planted elsewhere in Europe including the UK where it was introduced early in the seventeenth century.

 

The tree

Larch attains a height of 30m to 45m and a diameter of 1m or slightly more. and in favourable situations with a long, clean, cylindrical bole for two-thirds of its length. Essentially a natural tree of the mountains, it requires long, really cold winters for its best development; it is deciduous, and appears to depend upon a long winter rest for the ripening of its wood. In the UK the winters are either short or mild, and neither provide ideal growth conditions. For this reason, English larch is generally inferior to that grown naturally in the mountains.

 

The timber

The heartwood is pale reddish-brown to brick-red in colour, sharply defined from the narrow, lighter-coloured sapwood. It is a very resinous wood, with clearly marked annual rings, a straight grain, and a fine, uniform texture. It is rather heavy, weighing 590 kg/m³ when dried.

 

Drying

Dries fairly rapidly with an inclination to distort and for knots to split and loosen.

 

Strength

A hard tough timber, it is about 50 per cent harder than Scots pine and slightly stronger in bending and toughness; in other strength categories it is about the same as for Scots pine.

 

Working qualities

Medium - Saws, machines and finishes fairly well, but loosened knots may be troublesome. The wood takes the usual finishing media quite well, but it tends to split in nailing.

Suppliers

B & K Structuresnavigation-arrow

Derby

Benchmark Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

High Wycombe

Brooks Bros (UK) Limitednavigation-arrow

Maldon

Capricorn Eco Timbernavigation-arrow

Stafford

E O Burton & Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Brentwood

English Woodlands Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Midhurst

Gilmour & Aitkennavigation-arrow

Alexandria

International Timbernavigation-arrow

Manchester

iWood Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Stafford

James Latham plcnavigation-arrow

Hemel Hempstead

Joseph Griggs & Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Gloucester

PiveteauBoisnavigation-arrow

Essarts-en-Bocage

Siero Lam SAnavigation-arrow

Arguelles

Silva Timber Products Limitednavigation-arrow

Widnes

Timber Focusnavigation-arrow

Manchester

Timbmetnavigation-arrow

Stanford in the Vale

W. L. West & Sons Ltdnavigation-arrow

Petworth

Woodtrend Limitednavigation-arrow

London

Suppliers

Woodtrend Limitednavigation-arrow

London

W. L. West & Sons Ltdnavigation-arrow

Petworth

Timbmetnavigation-arrow

Stanford in the Vale

Timber Focusnavigation-arrow

Manchester

Silva Timber Products Limitednavigation-arrow

Widnes

Siero Lam SAnavigation-arrow

Arguelles

PiveteauBoisnavigation-arrow

Essarts-en-Bocage

Joseph Griggs & Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Gloucester

James Latham plcnavigation-arrow

Hemel Hempstead

iWood Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Stafford

International Timbernavigation-arrow

Manchester

Gilmour & Aitkennavigation-arrow

Alexandria

English Woodlands Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Midhurst

E O Burton & Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Brentwood

Capricorn Eco Timbernavigation-arrow

Stafford

Brooks Bros (UK) Limitednavigation-arrow

Maldon

Benchmark Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

High Wycombe

B & K Structuresnavigation-arrow

Derby