Larch, European

Larch

Larch, European

Density in kg/m3

The Tree
Larch attains a height of 30m to 45m and a diameter of 1m or slightly more. and in favourable situations with a long, clean, cylindrical bole for two-thirds of its length. Essentially a natural tree of the mountains, it requires long, really cold winters for its best development; it is deciduous, and appears to depend upon a long winter rest for the ripening of its wood. In the UK the winters are either short or mild, and neither provide ideal growth conditions. For this reason, English larch is generally inferior to that grown naturally in the mountains.

The Timber
The heartwood is pale reddish-brown to brick-red in colour, sharply defined from the narrow, lighter-coloured sapwood. It is a very resinous wood, with clearly marked annual rings, a straight grain, and a fine, uniform texture. It is rather heavy, weighing 600 kg/m3 when dried.

Drying
Dries fairly rapidly with an inclination to distort and for knots to split and loosen.

Strength
A hard tough timber, it is about 50 per cent harder than Scots pine and slightly stronger in bending and toughness; in other strength categories it is about the same as for Scots pine.

Working Qualities
Medium - Saws, machines and finishes fairly well, but loosened knots may be troublesome. The wood takes the usual finishing media quite well, but it tends to split in nailing.

Latin Name
Larix decidua, Larix europaea

Also known as
European larch

Wood Type
Softwood

Treatability
Difficult to treat

Moisture
Small

Texture
Fine

Origin
Bavarian to Swiss Alps, Poland, UK, Europe