Beech

Beech

Fagus sylvatica

General description

Beech is a Western European species found up to an altitude of 1500 meters and up to 60 degrees northern parallel. The trees grow to 35 m in height with diameters ranging from 40 – 90 cm.

Wood description

The colour is creamy white to pale pink and gets more red due to higher drying temperatures or when exposed to steam. The heartwood is not demarcated from the sapwood. Sometimes there are reddish areas near the heart. The wood has a fine texture.
Beech is a diffuse porous timber but annual rings and rays are clearly visible. The wood is very hard and heavy with very good strength properties. Machining is well, gluing is good, nailing and screwing is good, but pre-boring is necessary.
Beech has good properties for bending in processing of bent furniture.

Common uses

Beech is one of the most important European hardwoods.
Its common uses are furniture, flooring, stairs, and bent wood for furniture.

Physical characteristics
Density (at 12 % moisture content) 712 kg⁄m3
Total longitudinal shrinkage 0.3 %
Total radial shrinkage 5.8 %
Total tangential shrinkage 11.8 %
Equilibrium moisture content  
(20° C⁄ 37 % rel. humidity) 7.3 %
(20° C⁄ 83 % rel. humidity) 15.7 %
Mechanical characteristics
Modulus of elasticity under bending 16000 N⁄mm2
Modulus of rupture under bending 123 N⁄mm2
Tension strength 135 N⁄mm2
Compression strength 62 N⁄mm2
Brinell hardness perpendicular to the fibres 34 N⁄mm2
Janka Hardness 6.7 kN
Nail withdrawal strength in N per mm depth and mm diameter 18 N⁄mm2
Natural durability and treatability (according to en 350-2)
Fungi Class 5 not durable
Dry wood borers susceptible
Termites Class S susceptible
Treatability 1 – easily permeable

Natural durability is based on mature heartwood. Sapwood must always be considered as non durable against wood destroying agents.