Beech is a popular furniture wood that has a simple texture. After steaming the light-coloured wood takes on a uniformly noble salmon hue, which gives it a friendly elegance. The boundaries of the growth zones are clearly marked by the narrow, darker late wood, which gives rise to slight tangential grain. The wood is also enlivened by the wood rays, which produce reddish spindles tangentially and dark mirrors radially.
Trade names and other names
Abbreviation DIN EN 13556: PGXX
Botanical name: Fagus sylvatica
German: Buche gedämpft, Rotbuche, Gemeine Buche
English: Steamed Beech
Frnch: Hêtre étuvé
Italian: Faggio evaporato
Spanish: Haya al vapor, Haya común
Portuguese: Faia-europeia cozinhada
Dutch: Beuken gestoomd
Technical wood properties
Weight fresh/green: 820 - 1270 kg/m³
Bulk density air dry (12-15% u): 540 - 910 kg/m³
Tensile strength: 7.0 - 10.7 N/mm²
Compressive strength: 41 - 99 N/mm²
Flexural strength: 74 - 210 N/mm²
Shear strength: 6.5 - 19.0 N/mm²
Hardness according to Brinell BII: 72 N/mm²
Hardness according to Brinell: 34 N/mm²
Differential shrinkage (radial): 0.20%
Differential shrinkage (tangential): 0.40%
Natural durability (DIN-EN 350-2): 5, not durable
Values of the technical properties of a wood species refer to a wood moisture content of u ≅12% to 15%. Data without guarantee.
European beech is widespread over almost all of Europe with the exception of southern Greece and Spain. The distribution area extends primarily between the 40th and 60th degrees in the northern latitude with its peripheral areas.
Trunk and bark
European beech, a slow-growing tree, growing in closed stands and forests, reaching heights of up to about 40m and diameters of up to 150 cm. The trunk is fully woody, very well and straight grown, free of knots up to 15m. The bark of the copper beech is free of bast fibres, smooth, grey-green. Only exceptionally do longitudinal and transverse cracks appear in the lower part of the trunk. Cattle tubercles or Chinese whiskers are pea- to walnut-sized, woody, dark, upwardly curved lines or balls in the bark, which are due to abnormal development of dormant eyes or branches.
Characteristics and wood colour
Scattered pores, pores small. Medullary rays of beech are broad and distinct, forming the typical light brown mirrors in radial section. The sapwood and heartwood are not different. The wood of the beech is generally without any special colouring. The wood of the beech is reddish-white to light reddish. The heartwood is generally without any special colouring in red beech. The reddish-brown heart, the so-called "false heart", is a disease symptom of the European Beech.
Thanks to its homogeneous structure and easy processing, Beech can be easily adapted in colour to all similar structured wood species.
- Wood Atlas | 6th edition in 2006 | Rudi Wagenführ
- Wood science volume 1-3 | 1982 | Hans Heinrich Bosshard
- Properties and core sizes of wood species | 1989 | Jürgen Sell / Lignum Schweiz