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Elm Wood

Sustainably sourced Elm Wood.

At Scottish Wood we stock and supply Elm wood in a variety of thicknesses and dimensions, with live, natural and straight edges, the highly figured and colourful grain patterns make it extremely popular and sought after for a variety of uses including furniture making and turning. Burr Elm in particular is highly desired but due to Dutch Elm disease it is becoming relatively harder to source.

Dutch Elm disease caused by spores of the deadly fungus hitch-hiking on the bodies of tiny elm bark beetles, which then in turn carry the disease from tree to tree, it is one of the most serious tree diseases, first spread in the 1920's dying down somewhat until a more aggressive species of the disease was accidentally introduced (through infected logs) in the 1960's and quickly spread through lowland central and southern Britain reaching Scotland within 10 years, though much slower to affect Scottish Wych Elm at first. The aggressive fungus infects all of Britain’s Elm species and continues to push north, particularly on the east-coast north of Aberdeen, with thoughts of this being due to O. novo-ulmi having a lower optimum temperature for growth than the O. ulmi strain. Dutch Elm disease is now well established with disease management campaigns in place but while Elm trees once dominated the landscape they are now sadly only found occasionally in hedgerows and woodland.

The majority of our Elm wood over the years has come from trees directly affected by Dutch Elm disease but this is a limited source and the availability of such a wonderfully beautiful wood, to not only work with but admire has greatly dwindled.

We stock and supply sustainably sourced Elm as kiln dried, planed to thickness boards and off-cuts, kiln dried rough sawn stock, fresh sawn/air dried mantles as well as a selection of burrs and wild rustic pieces - visit and view the wonderful variety available now. Select stock available online.


Medium to course texture

Resistant to splinting/splitting due to interlocking grain

Common uses include - flooring, wall panelling, furniture, kitchen work tops, table tops, boxes, baskets, hockey sticks, veneer, crafts, wood pulp, and papermaking.

Elm heartwood is light to medium warm brown and can be highly grained. Paler sapwood is usually well defined and can be quite a striking contrast against heartwood which is viewed as an attractive quality making it an extremely popular wood to work with. Elm is know for these exquisite grain patterns which can be drastically different, offering many variations including striking green in colourful Wych Elm and stunning unique detail in burrs/cats paw, a waney edge is also often sought for in Elm. Overall a beautiful warm brown coloured wood, highly grained and with a distinctive “partridge-breast” figure. Today it is most frequently used for furniture and is especially popular for it’s attractive and pleasing natural or waney edge. Elm also has some unique qualities that make it ideally suited for use in variety of specialist circumstances.

Elm, particulary Wych, is generally a strong timber, the grain has a stepped pattern in it's wood fibres - making it very resistant to splitting, with a somewhat coarse, uneven texture.

Elm machines well, (unless grain is irregular), it has moderate blunting effect and generally saws without issue, it also nails*, glues and finishes well. Rated as moderately durable it is less so than some hardwoods, though interestingly enough Elm is extremely durable, almost indefinitely once placed in water or below ground level.

*Due to it's grain growth pattern Elm end grain can be nailed/screwed without splitting unlike other hardwoods.

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