Beech wood

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wood of the common beech
Tree species

European beech




pale yellow to reddish white, after attenuation reddish

Material properties
Bulk density mean 720 kg / m 3
Raw density limit values 540-910 kg / m 3
Axial shrinkage 0.3%
Radial shrinkage 5.8%
Tangential shrinkage 11.8%
Flexural strength 105-123 N / mm 2
Compressive strength 53-62 N / mm 2
tensile strenght 135 N / mm 2
Thermal conductivity 0.176 W / (m K)
Fuel properties
Calorific value 19.7 MJ / kg

As beech wood is wood of various types of houses (genus Fagus ) designated as lumber may be used. In Europe, this is primarily the common beech ( Fagus sylvatica ), which is used for various applications, especially as construction and furniture wood . The wood of the hornbeam ( Carpinus betulus ), which is not closely related to the common beech, is very different from beech wood and is accordingly not referred to as such.

According to DIN EN 13556, the abbreviation for the red beech is "FASY".


The common beech is by far the most common type of deciduous tree in Germany and parts of western central Europe . It has an average share of 13.7% of the total German forest area, which in western Germany can even be up to 16%. Buchholz is also a strike of about 7 million annual cubic meters (about 1/6 of the total felling in Germany per year) one of the most important hardwoods as commercial and industrial wood .


In the stand, European beeches grow with a solid trunk with a very long, knot-free shaft . The branch-free trunk lengths reach up to 15 meters with a total height of the tree of up to 30 to 35 meters (maximum up to 45 meters), the maximum diameter is 1.5 to 2 meters with a maximum age of 250 to 300 years. The end-use age of the trees is 100 to 140 years, at this point the trees have a diameter of 30 to 50 centimeters. The growth rates are around 4 m 3 per hectare and year, whereby the trees grow very slowly at the beginning and can reach the main thrust of up to 8.7 m 3 per hectare and year with about 120 years on good soil.

Like the common ash , the beech is a heartwood tree with an irregular color core; This means that heartwood and sapwood can sometimes be uniformly pale yellow to reddish white , but sometimes also have a very intense red - brown color core ( red core ). The sapwood zone is usually very wide, the red heart takes about 80 years, depending on the site conditions; after about 120 years there is a sudden formation of red kernels and by the age of 150, 80 to 100% of the beeches have a correspondingly colored false kernel . By damping the entire accepts color nucleated wood to a uniform red-brown color. The annual rings are clearly separated from each other on cleanly peeled brain surfaces and are partly wavy . The wooden vessels are numerous and scattered, the pores can only be seen with a magnifying glass, which means that the longitudinal surfaces are pore-free. Characteristic are the conspicuous wood rays , which can be seen tangentially as spindles and radially as flat mirrors . Overall, the appearance is poorly drawn.

Beech wood is very hard and with a gross density of 720 kg / m 3 and 12 to 15% wood moisture content, it is a heavy native hardwood that is comparable to oak . It is very homogeneous in its density, tough and not very elastic and, as a construction timber, has exceptionally good strength values. However, the shrinkage is very pronounced, and it does not show very good standing behavior after drying ; Beech wood also “works” more than other types of timber. Due to these properties and the high susceptibility to fungi , beech wood is not used in areas with strong changes in humidity and , if it is not impregnated , it is not suitable for outdoor applications . However, it can be easily impregnated and thus made more durable, whereby it is then durable even under extreme weather conditions.

Beech wood requires careful handling, both as round timber and as sawn timber . It tends to shrink and harden , and it also tears quickly and forms warps . Accordingly, beech wood is removed and sawn as quickly as possible, but drying must not take place too quickly due to the susceptibility to cracking . In addition to the color change, the dampening of the wood leads to a softening and thus to a reduction of the wood tension, which improves the processing during peeling, cutting and bending . Due to its homogeneous structure, the wood is easy to work with, it can be cut , milled , planed , drilled and sanded effortlessly , and it is also suitable for carving and turning . It should be noted that beech wood dust is carcinogenic - it is necessary to wear respiratory protection. After damping , it can be bent very well and is only surpassed by the ash wood . Connections by nails and screws are durable, the bond strength is very good. The surfaces can be polished , stained and colored easily . Treatment with lacquers is unproblematic, but beech wood can not be used in cement materials due to the inhibition of cement setting .


Parquet floor made of beech wood
Beech wood toys
Beech wood, cut to length as firewood and chopped

Beech wood is sold and processed as round as well as steamed and undamped sawn timber and as veneer ; It is the most important hardwood range in Germany. Besides spruce and pine wood , it is the most widely used industrial wood , but on the other hand it also supplies very popular special woods for numerous uses. The wood can only be used to a limited extent as construction and building timber in solid form due to its insufficient stability . A total of more than 250 fields of application for beech wood are known. Around half of this is used as industrial wood in the manufacture of chipboard and fiberboard as well as for pulp production in the paper industry and, in particular, as chemical pulp for the production of regenerated fibers such as viscose and lyocell for the production of textiles and technical yarns . It is also good for making creosote .

Construction and furniture wood

The main area of ​​application for beech wood is furniture production , where it is used as solid wood as well as plywood , molded plywood and molded plywood . It is used for the production of hard and resistant surfaces for furniture that is subject to heavy use , especially furniture for children and young people , office furniture and seating . In the chair production Buchholz is the wood most commonly used (is famous the Thonet chair made of curved beech wood), also are beds, tables, benches , upholstered furniture frames made of beech wood, as well as garden furniture and deck chairs . In interior work , beech veneer is used for wall and ceiling cladding , and due to its hardness, it is a wood that is often used for building stairs and as parquet and wooden paving floors .

Beech wood has a very wide range of uses in the area of ​​everyday objects. Here, its use ranges from kitchen equipment such as breakfast boards, pasta rolls, bowls, trays and the handles of tools , brushes and brooms , as well as device handles , to workbenches , folding rules and clothespins . As a chip-free and hard wood, it is the most widely used wood in the toy industry. Due to its peeling and bonding properties , wood is also central to the manufacture of wood-based materials - in particular, veneer plywood , laminated wood , molded plywood and laminated wood parts , synthetic resin pressed wood and modified wood are made to a large extent from beech wood.

Packaging industry

In the packaging sector Buchholz addition to softwood increasing importance for the production of transport pallets from solid wood and plywood, and also for the manufacture of boxes and drums. In container construction, as well as in the construction of loading areas for trucks and vans, it is used in the form of plywood panels for the floors, and it is also used in the form of composite materials with steel for special purposes. Oil-soaked railway sleepers made of beech wood are used in track construction and, because of the pollutants, as re-use in landscaping and horticulture.

Energetic use

Beech wood is an excellent firewood , which is characterized by very long , quiet burning, strong embers and a high calorific value of 19.7 MJ / kg. Due to the strong embers it is suitable for grilling. The appreciation of the red beech as firewood led to specific forms of management that are rarely practiced today, in which the trees are repeatedly cut back ( coppice forest operation ).

Beech wood is also important as a raw material for the production of charcoal , where it is the preferred wood.


As a solid wood, beech is often used for smoking . The wood should give the food a rather spicy taste compared to other types of wood.

Caustic stain

For the production of the blue dye indigo from the plant woad the highly alkaline ash from beech wood (also from other hardwoods next to it) was formerly used.

Web links

Commons : beech wood  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: beech wood  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

supporting documents


  • D. Grosser, W. Teetz: Beech . In: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Holz e. V. (Ed.): Local timber (loose-leaf collection) . No. 7 . Information service wood, wood sales fund - sales promotion fund of the German forest and wood industry, 1998, ISSN  0446-2114 .

Individual evidence

  1. Peter Niemz: Investigations into the thermal conductivity of selected native and foreign wood species . In: Building Physics 29 . tape 29 , no. 4 . Ernst & Sohn Verlag for Architecture and Technical Sciences GmbH & Co.KG, Berlin 2007, p. 311-312 , doi : 10.1002 / bapi.200710040 .
  2. ^ A b Martin Kaltschmitt , Hans Hartmann, Hermann Hofbauer (eds.): Energy from biomass. Basics, techniques and procedures. 2nd Edition. Springer Verlag, 2009, ISBN 978-3-540-85094-6 , p. 360.
  3. a b c d D. Grosser, W. Teetz: Buche . In: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Holz eV (Ed.): Local timber (loose-leaf collection) . No. 7 . Information service wood, wood sales fund - sales promotion fund of the German forest and wood industry, 1998, ISSN  0446-2114 .
  4. Smoking the main character: the right types of wood and ingredients
  5. Gundolf Keil : The 'Cirurgia' Peters von Ulm. Investigations into a memorial of old German specialist prose with a critical edition of the text. (= Research on the history of the city of Ulm. Volume 2). Stadtarchiv, Ulm 1961 (also philosophical dissertation Heidelberg 1960), p. 481.
  6. Jürgen Martin: The 'Ulmer Wundarznei'. Introduction - Text - Glossary on a monument to German specialist prose from the 15th century. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1991 (= Würzburg medical-historical research. Volume 52), ISBN 3-88479-801-4 (also medical dissertation Würzburg 1990), p. 190.