wood species


Origin: Europe.

Latin name.
Fagus sylvatica L.

Natural vegetation area.
Beech is present in pure or mixed forests all over Europe, excluding the most northern area.

The tree can reach the height of 30-32 metres, with diameter at breast height equal to 1.40 m. Its growth, but above all the trunk shape, are influenced by the habitat characteristics: in dense forests, the trunks are regular, thin and straight; isolated trees, on the other hand, have squat trunks with a large foliage with forks or big branches. The trees are considered as fully grown when the reach the diameter of 40 cm; the trunk often features strong internal stresses as well as a considerable grain deviation.

In general and under normal conditions, the wood is rosy darkish on the entire cross section, so it can be considered as undifferentiated. Occasionally, however, some trunks can feature an irregularly shaped variegated dark brown area in the inside next to the medulla, so-called “fake heart”, whose genesis has not been clarified in a definite way yet, and which in any case is a negative depreciation factor. The medullary rays are very clear, especially on the radial surfaces, where they form a shiny blaze. The growth rings are never very large or clearly identifiable.

Specific weight.
In the fresh condition 1,050 kg/m³; after normal seasoning 730 kg/m³.

Histological structure.
Fine texture; the grain is often a spiral grain.


Mechanical characteristics.
Axial compression strength 60 N/mm² on average; bending strength 120 N/mm²; hardness from medium to high; the impact behaviour is from medium to good.

Modulus of elasticity.
14.500 n/mm²

Most frequent structural defects and alteration.
Fake heartwood; spiral grain; strong internal stresses; discolouration (dote) due to fungi whose spores have penetrated through bark cracks.

Poor, especially with respect to fungal attack.


Texts taken from: “Manuale tecnico del legno”, FNALA CNA LEGNO LEGNO, by Prof. Ing. Guglielmo Giordano.


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