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ELM

V. Ryan 2008

 

Ulmus procera, Ulmus hollandica, Ulmus glabra
Family: Ulmaceae

Commercial names: English Elm, Wych Elm, Dutch Elm.

Distribution: U.K. and Europe.

The most disastrous setback to Native Hardwoods in recent years has undoubtedly been the arrival from North America of Dutch Elm Disease, which attacked all the commonly known species of Elm.

 
 
 

General Description: The heartwood colour is dull brown, with the annual rings distinct due to large early wood pores, giving a coarse texture to the wood. Tends to be of irregular growth and cross grained. Wych Elm tends to have a straight grain which may include a green streak. The English and Dutch Elm tend towards a more irregular growth with possible cross grain.
Average weight 550 kg/m3 (34 lb/ft3); specific gravity 0.55.Unusual characteristics: BURR/PIPPY ELM. This growth can be found in all types of Elm. It gives an overall effect of small “cats paws” which are formed by clusters of pin knots/burrs and irregular growth. Due to its popularity it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain boards totally covered in “pin knots/burrs” whereas boards with patches of pin knots are readily available. Selected logs are held in stock in the round for conversion to customers
requirements.

Mechanical Properties: Medium density with low bending and crushing strengths, very low stiffness and resistance to shock loads. Has reasonable steam bending properties.

Working Properties: Not an easy timber to work as it tends to bind on the saw and pick up in planing and moulding. There is a moderate blunting effect on tools which should be kept sharp. It accepts nails and screws without splitting; gluing is good and the material stains and polishes or waxes to a high finish.

Durability: The timber is non-durable and subject to insect attack; it is moderately resistant to preservative treatment but the sapwood is permeable.

Uses: Cabinet work, chairs and settee frames, Windsor chairs, turnery, bentwood backs and domestic flooring. It is extensively used for coffin making, boat building, dock and harbour work and weatherboarding.
 

 
 
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