German hardwood: ecological – innovative

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Despite being a densely populated country (approximately one quarter of the population of the USA on an area smaller than the State of Montana), over 30% of Germany is covered in woodland. Germany was the first country to decide to harvest only so much timber as it was possible to reforest in parallel. This practice has been functioning effectively for over 300 years now and has also been applied successfully in the USA. It is a way to secure the raw material base for the German sawmilling industry for future generations.

German wood – a secure and sustainable raw material base

Every year, 120 million m³ of biomass is newly grown in Germany, which, in the case of many types of wood, is by no means used to the full extent. A historical forest heritage and modern sustainable forestry ensure that the woodland is managed in accordance with ecological principles and with due regard to biodiversity.

We currently have approximately 3.4 billion m³ of wood in reserve in our woodland. As a consequence, the woodland does not only provide a secure raw material base but, at the same time, such forestation also significantly reduces CO2 emissions – an active contribution to the protection of the climate!

Beech

Covering 16% of the woodland area, the beech (botanical name fagus) is the traditional deciduous tree in Germany. About 12 million m³ of beechwood are harvested every year. It provides one of the hardest and most stable wood in Europe. The beech loves cool, shady sites and also thrives in mixed woodland. Without human intervention approximately two thirds of Germany would be covered in beech forest. It is also the main beneficiary of the current forest reconstruction programme in Germany: In just 15 years the area covered by beech forest has increased by 2%.

The beech is characterized by a straight, solid-wood trunk, which is free of knots for up to 15m. It is harvested after approximately 100-140 years when the trunk diameter measures 30-50 cm. However, older beech trees may well reach a diameter of 1-1.5m and live to over 300 years. The colors range from white to red.

Beechwood has a close-grained surface, is easy to process or to glue and is in great demand as solid wood for furniture, stairs and parquet flooring. It does not splinter or crack during processing and has often been awarded prizes abroad for its properties. The wood is also particularly popular as a veneer for wall and ceiling panels as well as plywood or molded plywood.

Beechwood can be processed exceedingly well and can be universally adapted through steaming or treatment of the surface with lasers and paints, amongst other things, for application to a wide range of uses. Beechwood is an all-rounder, a flexible and multi-faceted type of wood with an attractive, decorative surface.

In addition, it can be used for small articles of daily use: small cutting boards, spoons, bowls, pegs or in the form of handles for cutlery or brushes, and even for wooden toys and all sorts of turned or carved objects.

Some of the wood is also used as pulpwood in the wood-based composites industry. Although it is not suitable for exteriors in its natural form, thermally modified beechwood (thermowood) can also be put to good use outdoors.

The properties of beechwood are of particular importance for plywood. At 1/10 of the weight of steel, the wood has 1/3 of its strength. Components molded from beech plywood are elastic, impact resistant and splinter proof, and are notable for their enormous pressure, tensile, bending and shear strength and, at the same time, light weight, which make them suitable for hard, resistant surfaces. Beech is the type of wood most frequently used in Germany specifically for the manufacture of chairs.

The strength of beechwood is also the main reason for its great potential as composite timber (glulam), opening up new architectural opportunities. Beechwood can easily compete with steel and concrete in this sector. In addition, the lightness and stability of beechwood guarantee its use as packaging material for crates, pallets and container flooring.

The trade makes a distinction between steamed and normal beechwood. Steaming brings out the natural wood color, giving it a warm, reddish tone, the shades of which can be adjusted to customer specifications.

Steaming also improves the processing properties of the wood.

Irrespective of whether the sawn beech timber is dressed or undressed, exactly as required by the NHLA classification or according to individual customer specifications, the hardwood sawmills produce a clearly defined material of the highest quality with diverse possibilities for further processing.

Here you can find sawn timber of Beech