Wood types – origin and characteristics
Solid wood is a renewable raw material, which predominantly has a positive influence on residential health. It is characterized mainly by its aesthetic design possibilities, high stability, and good thermal behavior.
Compared to composite materials such as coated pressboard, solid woods do not emit toxic synthetic resins and adhesives. However, if you tend to be particularly sensitive to natural resins, you should rather avoid conifers and choose broad-leaved woods for your bed frame as an alternative.
People with hypersensitivity to natural resins should prefer broad-leaved woods.
Quicklinks to the wood types:
The wood of the maple usually comes from North America or Eurasia and grows there in about 200 different varieties. However, two species are particularly popular in this country: the sycamore maple, whose noble broad-leaved wood is characterized in particular by its uniform light color, and the Norway maple, whose coloring goes more into the white-reddish. The maple has a medium density and keeps its quality in the long term, which is why it is particularly popular in furniture making
- • Sycamore maple: uniform light color
- • Norway maple: slightly reddish color
- • Medium density
- • Origin: North America or Eurasia
The birch's timber originates from two different species: the silver birch und der white birch, both of which are found in Central and Northern Europe. In terms of its weight, birch wood can be compared to oak, while in terms of its robustness it is more like ash, being elastic despite its stability. The fine-grained wood has a very light, slightly yellowish to reddish color, which hardly yellows.
- • Light yellowish to reddish color
- • Very little yellowing
- • Origin: Central and Northern Europe
When "beechwood" is mentioned, it is usually used as a collective term for various beech species. Beech is mainly widespread in Europe and is the most common broad-leaved tree in Germany. The wood is processed in two ways: Natural or steamed, whereas in the steamed condition it takes on a much more reddish color. If exposed to strong sunlight, the wood may also turn yellowish. The sapwood and heartwood are very similar, and the annual rings are clearly visible.
- • Steamed clearly reddish coloration
- • Yellowish in strong sunlight
- • Annual rings clearly visible
- • Origin: mainly Europe
Core beech is a special type of beech wood: also known as „wild beech“ it stands out from other varieties due to its dark, vivid color and distinct grain, contrasting with that of traditional common beech. This coloration occurs in particularly old beech trees because the inside of the trunk is supplied with too few nutrients. Furniture construction benefits from precisely this appearance, which gives a lively surface without sacrificing stability.
- • Dark, lively origin
- • Distinct grain
- • Contrast with traditional red beech
- • Origin: mainly Europe
Often the wood of beech is processed into multiplex panels. These are plywood panels, which again consist of several layers of veneer and have a density of 760 kg/m3. Both for interior decoration and exterior use, multiplex panels are ideally suited thanks to their robustness and stability. Visually, the wood can be compared to solid wood, which gives it a high-quality appearance.
- • Beechwood often used in multiplex panels
- • Visually comparable with solid wood
- • Robust and stable
- • Density of 760 kg/m3
Oak can be categorized as a typical German tree, as it is one of the most common broad-leaved trees in Germany. Especially due to its stability and enormously long durability, oak wood is very popular. The material can also be used untreated in the garden, as it is very weather resistant. The darker gray-brown core of the oak trunk is surrounded by the sapwood, which also appears grayish, but lighter.
- • Dark, gray-brown core
- • High stability, long durability
- • Typical German tree
Wild oak is not, as may be assumed, a special species of oak, but rather a particular variety of oak wood. The clear, distinctive, and wild structure is the special characteristic of wild oak wood. The naturally brownish color becomes slightly darker and more yellowish with the years but this is hardly noticeable. Thanks to its enormous stability and strength, it is particularly popular in the construction of solid wood furniture.
- • Variety of the oak wood
- • Distinctive wild structure
- • Natural brownish play of colors
- • Enormous stability
Alder is mainly native to Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Two species, in particular, are frequently used: The black alder and the gray alder, both belonging to the sapwood trees. The slightly reddish coloration mixes with white and yellow tones but will darken with high light exposure. The soft wood is often used for the production of chipboard or in combination with other wood species, as it is particularly suitable for use as a binding wood.
- • Black alder and gray alder
- • Slightly reddish coloration
- • Darkens when exposed to intense light
- • Suitable as binding wood
- • Europe, Middle East, North Africa
Ash is widespread almost throughout Europe, but mainly in river regions and valleys. It is one of the ripened wood species, which means that the heartwood contains comparatively little water and there is no colored core. Both sapwood and heartwood are particularly light-colored and either yellowish or reddish-white. Occasionally, the wood of older trees is dark brown in color. The hard wood is particularly suitable for use as a solid wood in furniture-making as well as for flooring where a uniform color is desired.
- • Light wood without color coren
- • Yellow- or red-white colored
- • Uniform and calm color
- • Origin: Europe
The so-called „core ash" are ash trees older than 100 years. From this age on, the tree, which grows in Europe, forms a dark brown, almost black core, which stands out distinctly from the remaining light, grayish sapwood. Due to its combination of strength and elasticity, this type of wood is in great demand, especially for furniture and interior construction.
- • Dark brown, almost black core
- • Yellow- or red-white coloration
- • Uniform and calm coloration
The cherry, usually bird cherry, is widespread in many parts of the world: Central Europe, as well as North America, North Africa, and the Indian subcontinent, are among its places of origin. The medium-weight, yellowish-white wood, which has a slightly reddish color at the core, is popular both as veneering and as furniture wood. This coloration can intensify and darken over the years with exposure to high light irradiation, which creates a particularly warm atmosphere.
- • Medium-weight, yellow-white wood
- • Slightly reddish color in the core
- • Color intensifies with the years
- • Origin: worldwide distribution
The American cherry differs from the European cherry primarily in its coloration, which can be described as darker and reddish-brown, sometimes greenish, with the annual rings clearly visible. The high-quality wood is very easy to work with and is one of the most popular wood species for giving the interior design an exclusive finish.
- • Reddish-brown, partly greenish color
- • Annual rings clearly visible
- • Origin: mainly North America
The genus "Linden" groups together several species: The large-leaf linden, the small-leaf linden, and the Dutch linden, all three of which are found in Europe. Already in the late Gothic period, linden wood was popular mainly for carving and woodturning due to its easy processing, which has not changed until today. Both heartwood and sapwood have a light whitish-yellowish color, sometimes with a slight brownish or reddish glow.
- • Various species from Europe
- • Heartwood and sapwood slightly yellowish
- • Brownish or reddish shimmering
- • Origin: mainly Europe
Walnut (nut tree)
The distinctly dark brown colored, noble wood of the nut tree originates mostly from Eastern Europe and enjoys great popularity, especially for high-quality interior furnishings. The lively grain of the slightly grayish shiny sapwood is partly streaked with dark stripes, which gives it a particularly exclusive look. To maintain this, the wood is often used unprocessed, which does not bring any disadvantages due to its stability and durability.
- • Dark brown colored noble wood
- • Vivid grayish shining grain
- • Streaked with dark stripes
- • Origin: mainly from Eastern Europe
American Walnut (nut tree)
In contrast to the European walnut, the heartwood of the nut tree from North America has a strong dark brown, almost black color, which sometimes looks violet. The annual rings and pores are clearly visible.
In bright light, the different colors can blend together to form a more uniform color.
- • Strong dark brown color
- • Partly shimmers violet
- • Annual rings and pores clearly visible
- • Origin: North America
The walnut is one of the most popular noble broad-leaved woods, which are only available in limited quantities. From Italy or France, the walnut tree reached Germany, and its valuable wood is used extremely selectively for high-quality products. Unlike other trees, the walnut tree is not felled, but dug out, as the lower part of the trunk contains the so-called burls, which are considered to be particularly extraordinary. The sapwood is reddish-white in color and the heartwood is grayish to dark brown, depending on the origin. Depending on the age, the vessels of the wood are smaller or larger, which causes a slightly striped or cloudy appearance of the core.
- • High-quality wood
- • Sapwood reddish-white in color
- • Grayish to dark brown core
- • Origin: Europe
Swiss stone pine
Swiss pine wood is mainly characterized by its pleasant aromatic scent and its positive effect on our sleep and overall health. The Swiss stone pine mainly originates from the Alpine region and the Carpathians and is found at an altitude of 1300 to 2800m. It has a soft wood that is easy to work with. Particularly outstanding is the knotted grain of the light, almost white wood, which changes color to honey yellow depending on the sunlight exposure.
- • Pleasant aromatic scent
- • Positive effect on sleep
- • Knotted grain of the light wood
- • Honey-yellow coloration through sunlight
- • Origin: alpine region