There are many ways in which trees can be used. The list includes paper, house
building, furniture, fencing and gates (estate work), pit props (pitwood), bridges,
pallets and packaging. Many species produce general purpose woods while others,
particularly hardwoods from broad leaved trees have more specialised uses, such as
for high quality furniture and sports equipment because of their beauty or
Fairly good strength; works, nails and finishes well. Easily treated with wood
preservatives. Preservative treatment required when used in contact with
Uses; general purpose softwood. Railway sleepers, telegraph poles, joinery,
flooring, carpentry and general construction, box and packing cases, various
boards, some pulp, pitwood.
Moderate strength; works, nails and finishes well. Easily treated with wood
preservatives, preservatives needed when used in the ground. Fairly stable in
changing atmospheric humidity.
Uses; general purpose softwood. Boxes, pitwood, fibreboard and ground wood pulp,
woodwool, selected material suitable for joinery.
Norway Spruce (soft wood)
High strength/ weight ratio. Works easily, is difficult to get good finish, clean
white colour, fairly stable in changing humidity. Preservative treatment needed if
used in the ground.
Uses; kitchen furniture, boxes, cable drums, food containers, pulpwood.
Hardwood durable in contact with the ground, resistant to abrasion, handsome
Uses; furniture, veneers, flooring, coffin boards, sea defences, estate work,
construction, cooperage, barge building.
Beech (Hard wood)
Works fairly easily, excellent strength, easy to treat with wood
Uses; furniture, wood turning, estate work, charcoal manufacture.
Sweet Chestnut (Hard wood)
Durable in contact with ground, cleaves readily, works and finishes well, fairly
stable in changing humidity.
Uses; large furniture, flooring, wood turning, estate work. Coppice- estate work,
hop poles, cleft paling and fences.
Silver Birch (Hard wood)
Excellent strength, work fairly easily, readily treated with wood
Uses; furniture, wood turning, cooperage. General purpose hardwood suitable for
estate work if treated with preservatives, charcoal manufacture.
Sycamore (Hard wood)
Clean white colour, easily treated with wood preservatives, works and finishes
Uses; furniture, veneers, food utensils, turning, textile wood ware, estate wood
Part of tree: Trunk
Product: The main crop is the thicker trunk which provides timber for the saw mill
(sawlogs) and produce planks or boards - sawn straight from the tree and plywood
made by gluing layers of wood or 'plys' together at right angles. This is extremely
Uses: furniture, construction, flooring, packing cases and pallets.
Part of tree: Tops of trees, thinnings (smaller, younger trees)
Product: panel boards made from the tops of trees and residues from sawmills. Panel
boards include chipboard, medium density fibreboard (MDF) and oriented strand board
(OSB). These are all made from small parts of the tree, flakes or fibres, which are
then bonded together under pressure, although the process differs slightly in each
Uses: furniture, boards in construction, flooring and work tops. Can be covered
in veneers or laminates.
Paper and cardboard - made by breaking wood down into fibres to produce a pulp
which is mixed with water and spread in a layer before being rolled and dried under
Uses: maps, newspapers, books, stamps, labels, toilets rolls, wallpaper and
Part of tree: Bark
Product: Bark chippings
Use: playgrounds and garden mulches.
Forests cover about a third of the Earth's surface and support much of the
world's biodiversity. It is estimated that about half of the world's species are
found in forested areas, particularly in species-rich tropical forests. Forests
also provide critical ecosystem services by replenishing oxygen in the atmosphere,
reducing erosion, retaining moisture in the soil, and storing carbon. In addition,
forests are one of the world's most important renewable natural resources,
supplying timber products for fuel, building materials, paper, and other consumer
goods, in addition to non-wood forest products, including fruit, cocoa, coconut,
rubber, and coffee. There is also increasing awareness of the economic value of
forests for recreation and tourism.
You can read further information on the following pages about pine wood, oak wood and acacia wood. Follow this link if you would like to
shop by wood. You can read about
furniture care advice there is a page specifically
about our Indian hardwood range too. On this page
you can compare pine and oak furniture.