beech

 

Botanical Name: Fagus sylvatica

Environmental profile:
This species is reported to be abundant, with little or no threat to its population within most of its natural growth range, Europe, especially central Europe and Britain.
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.

Color & grain:
Normally, there is no clear distinction by color between sapwood and heartwood, the wood being very pale-brown when freshly cut, turning pinkish-brown on exposure or steaming treatment. Older logs show a striking irregular, dark reddish-colored kern or heart (‘Red Heart Beech’) caused – it is believed – by the effect of severe frosts, especially in continental Beech. The wood is typically straight grained with a fine, even texture accounting for a general clean appearance.
Urban Beech is a Massiv re-definition of a beech finger-jointed panel: heart, stain, bark inclusions, knots, and fungi found within the wood distinguish Urban Beech and set it apart from a conventional Beech panel.

Density & strength:
Average density: 672 kg/m3
Green Beech has general strength properties roughly equal to those of Oak but after drying Beech becomes stronger than Oak in bending strength, stiffness and shear by some 20%, and considerably stronger in resistance to shock and pressure.

Beech

Working properties:
Works fairly readily and is capable of a good smooth surface. It turns well, and takes stains and polish satisfactorily. It produces excellent veneer.

Uses:
The uses for Beech are countless. It has good bending properties which makes it a natural choice for furniture. It is very hardwearing which makes it ideal for flooring and the traditional wood for workbenches. It is clean, odorless and not tainting making it well suited for use in areas of food preparation (habitually used for worktops or chop boards) and children’s toys.
 
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