Beech is the second most abundant species of hardwood in France. Plentiful in the northern half of France it accounts for 2 400 000 ha. Trees have particularly straight trunks, with an average diameter of 1.2m and can reach a height of 40m. They can be harvested between 80 and 100 years of age.
Sawn timber is cream-white to pale pink, without distinct sapwood. Redwood may exist. Generally straight grained with fine texture. Beech wood is highly suited to steaming.
The durability of beech heartwood is reduced by bad weather, however it is easily impregnated and can be used as Class 4 Timber (in contact with water) after treatment.
Physical and mechanical properties
Beech is a hard wood, moderately heavy and solid, with good mechanical properties. It has particularly high resistance to compression, though less so to bending or tension because of its short fibres. Very fine texture. It has a tendency to warp substantially when exposed to changes in humidity. This inconvenience can be countered by way of a steam treatment, which turns it to a pink to reddish colour.
|Masse volumique||680 kg/mᶟ|
|Retrait volumique moyen||18.3 %|
|Dureté Brinell perpendiculaire aux fibres||28 N/mm²|
|Module de rupture de flexion||107 MPa|
|Contrainte de rupture de compression axiale||58 MPa|
|Module d’élasticité longitudinale en flexion||14 300 MPa|
Conditions of implementation
Le Hêtre – Classement visuel
D’après la norme NF EN 975-1
Beech turns well, takes glue readily and can produce high grade veneer. Due to it’s excellent bending qualities it is a very popular in the manufacture of furniture, especially seating. Beech is also ideally suited to interior joinery, flooring, plywood and packaging.