English ash trees are hardwood deciduous trees and are the third most common tree in Britain.
Ash is one of the toughest hardwoods and absorbs shocks without splintering. It is used for making tools and sport handles. It is also an attractive wood, and these qualities make it popular for furniture making.
As a firewood it is fairly unique, having the combustible quality to burn well even if slightly green, and when seasoned is known as the king of firewood.
Beech trees are hardwood deciduous plants with broad leaves. They can be used in the landscape as shade trees and are native to temperate Europe, Asia, and North America.
The wood can also be used as lumber or as firewood. As long as the soil drains properly, beech trees can grow in many different conditions.
Beech is especially favoured as fuel wood because of its high density and good burning qualities. Beech wood is also used to make flooring, furniture, and veneer plywood. Coal tar made from beech wood is used to protect wood from rotting.
English Oak trees have been utilised for thousands of years in buildings and for multiple purposes and as such have become part of our national heritage. Oak has become extremely popular and highly valued due to the beautiful grain and rich light brown colour that it offers.
Oak is simple to work with and can be stained or simply left to fade to an attractive silvery grey colour which will tend to split and become more weathered in appearance if left outside.
Alternatively Oak can be air dried which significantly reduces the moisture content making it suitable for joinery such as doors, furniture and flooring. This fascinating material is very hard and strong, making it highly resistant to decay and one of the most popular timbers around today.
Oak will take longer to season than many other hardwoods, but if properly seasoned, due to its density will burn slowly giving out excellent heat. Oak is the perfect log for keeping the fire in over night.
Douglas fir trees are native to North America and have now become one of the most widely used softwoods grown and used throughout the UK.
Douglas fir is most valued for its strength to weight ratio and hence renowned for its optimal use in construction and for building purposes. It has become popular with timber framers as a cost effective alternative to Oak due to its similar mechanical properties.
In appearance Douglas fir is usually a light brown colour with a hint of red and/or yellow, with a generally straight grain. It has a distinct resinous odour when being worked and is notably durable in regard to decay.
Larch is a fairly rapidly growing tree, whose long-lasting timber is very good for fencing, cladding, furniture making and boat-building amongst other uses. It is a large coniferous tree and is unusual amongst conifers in that it is deciduous and sheds its leaves.
Western Red Cedar trees are native to North America and provide a highly used durable wood which is naturally resistant to rot and decay, therefore making this timber long lasting and low maintenance.
Many people choose Western Red Cedar for its striking aesthetic appearance – the mixture of reddish and brown tones with random darker areas along with its straight grain really makes it distinguishable from other timbers.
It is generally softer in comparison with other softwoods, not making it a first choice if choosing a timber based on strength alone. However, it is a resin free timber which makes it an ideal choice for cladding, it is also noticeable for its strong aromatic scent when being worked.