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Blunting Effect
Boring
Certified Source
Comments
Common Names
Common Uses
Countries of Distribution
Cutting Resistance
Distribution Overview
Drying Defects
Ease of Drying
Environmental Profile
Family Name
Gluing
Grain
Heartwood Color
Kiln Schedules
Luster
Mortising
Moulding
Movement in Service
Nailing
Natural Durability
Natural Growth Defects
Numerical Data
Odor
Painting
Planing
Polishing
References
Regions of Distribution
Resin Content
Resistance to Impregnation
Resistance to Splitting
Response to Hand Tools
Routing & Recessing
Sanding
Sapwood Color
Scientific Name
Screwing
Staining
Steam Bending
Strength Properties
Substitutes
Texture
Trade Name
Tree Identification
Tree Size
Turning
Varnishing
Veneering Qualities
Weathering

Scientific Name
Larix decidua

Trade Name
European larch

Family Name
Pinaceae

Wood Image 1

Wood Image 1

Common Names
Common larch, European larch, Lark, Tamarack

Regions of Distribution
Eastern Europe, Oceania and S.E. Asia, Western Europe

Countries of Distribution [VIEW MAP]
Austria, Russia, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Common Uses
Boat building (general), Boat building, Boat building: planking, Bridge construction, Canoes, Clogs, Decorative veneer, Domestic flooring, Exterior trim & siding, Exterior uses, Factory flooring, Figured veneer, Flooring, Foundation posts, Interior construction, Joinery (external): ground contact, Lifeboats, Light construction, Lock gates, Mine timbers, Parquet flooring, Pile-driver cushions, Piling, Poles, Posts, Railroad ties, Shakes, Sheathing, Shingles, Shipbuilding, Siding, Stair rails, Stairworks, Stakes, Stringers, Sub-flooring, Utility poles, Vats, Vehicle parts, Veneer, Windows

Environmental Profile
Abundant/Secure
Status has not been officially assessed


Distribution Overview
The native range of European larch is separated into four distinct, closed regions plus several outliers centered in the Alps. It extends from Switzerland south to Italy. European larch been widely planted throughout Europe and Great Britain, and has also been planted in southern Canada and the northeastern United States. It has become naturalized in Maine, Michigan, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island. The tree prefers moist soils and usually thrives well under cool and humid temperate conditions. European larch is described as a very adaptable tree which grows very quickly when young, but each tree requires enough light and space, which tends to control the number of trees surviving to maturity.

Heartwood Color
Brown
Red
Black
Purple
Reddish brown
Red
Dark brown
Red - pale
Pale red to pink
Greenish to greyish
Brown


Sapwood Color
White
Yellow
Well defined
Paler than heartwood
White to yellow
Thin sapwood
Resinous
Pinkish
Pale yellow


Grain
Straight
Figure
Growth rings (figure)
Crossed
Even
Spiral
Distinct (figure)

Straight
Clear growth rings (figure)
Spiral
Distinct figure

Some trees develop spiral grain making them unsuitable for timber (as sawn lumber tends to split and warp badly during drying).

Texture
Fine
Medium
Fine
Uniform
Medium coarse to coarse


Luster
Slightly lustrous


Natural Growth Defects
Gum/resin streaks


Natural Durability
Durable
Very durable
Moderately durable
Durable
Very durable
Susceptible to marine borer attack
Susceptible to insect attack
Resistant to attack from powder post (Lyctid & Bostrychid) beetles
Pinworms (ambrosia beetles) are commonly present


Moderately durable in ground contact.
More durable than most conifers. The standing tree is vulnerable to a fungal disease known as Larch Canker which tends to kill the tree at an early age.

Weathering
Excellent


Odor
Has a taste
Has an odor
No specific smell or taste


Resin Content
Requires proper seasoning to prevent resin from becoming a problem.
Contains resin


Kiln Schedules
Drying (speed) is fast
Dry at a moderate speed
Dry at a slow speed


Drying Defects
Collapse
Checking
Uneven Moisture Content
Internal Honeycombing Possible
Slight twist/warp
Slight end splitting
Slight surface checking
Expect slight degrade due to knots, splits, and loosening
Knots may split and loosen during drying
Distortion (twist/warp) is likely


Ease of Drying
Fairly Easy
Easy
Moderate
Kiln drying is satisfactory
High tendency to distort in reponse to changes in moisture content
Dries at a fairly rapid rate


Tree Identification
Bole/stem form is cylindrical
Bole/stem form is straight


Tree Size
Tree height is 30-40 m
Trunk diameter is 100-150 cm
Tree height is 20-30 m
Trunk diameter is 150-200 cm
Tree height is 40-50 m
Tree height is 50-60 m
Tree height is 60-70 m
Bark width is 15-20 mm
Tree height is 10-20 m
Trunk diameter is 200-250 cm


The life span of the tree is more than two centuries, although it is usually suitable for timber when it is about 40 years old.

Certified Source
Certified Source


Substitutes
Japanese larch (Larix leptolepis)

Comments
General finishing qualities are rated as good

General finishing qualities are rated as satisfactory

Larch is usually selected over other conifers for those applications where durability and strength are the primary requirements, because it is considered to be harder and tougher.

Blunting Effect
Little
Blunting effect on sawing green wood is moderate
Blunting effect on machining is moderate

Hard knots in the wood may cause severe and uneven dulling effect on cutting edges.

Boring
Very good to excellent results
Fairly easy to very easy


Cutting Resistance
Easy to saw
Cutting Resistance with dry wood is moderate
Cutting Resistance with green wood is moderate
Cutting Resistance with green wood is difficult

The material saws well but loosened knots may cause problems.

Gluing
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Easy to glue


Mortising
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Moulding
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Movement in Service
Excellent Stability - Small Movement
Fair to Good Stability - Medium Movement
Small
Retains shape after manufacture
Medium
Dimensionally stable after seasoning


Nailing
Pre-Boring Recommended
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Holds nails well
Easy to nail
Tends to split during nailing
Requires pre-boring
Difficult to nail


Planing
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Hard knots may blunt cutting edges severely

The wood performs generally well in planing, turning, moulding, boring, and other woodworking operations. Machining properties may also be affected by the presence of loose knots

Resistance to Impregnation
Heartwood is resistant
Sapwood is moderately resistant
Heartwood is highly resistant


Resistance to Splitting
Poor
Satisfactory


Response to Hand Tools
Easy to Work
Responds Readily
Moderate working qualities
Worked fairly easily with hand tools
Cutting edges may be blunted due to hard knots


Routing & Recessing
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Sanding
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Screwing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results


Turning
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Veneering Qualities
There is slight to moderate drying degrade and the potential for buckles and splits
No drying degrade. Dries flat without splitting
Easy to cut


Steam Bending
Moderate


Painting
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Satisfactory results
Takes paint readily
Good results


Polishing
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results


Staining
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Finish is generally satisfactory
Stains well
Finish is generally good


Varnishing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Satisfactory
Good results


Strength Properties
Density (dry weight) = 31-37 lbs/cu. ft.
Max. crushing strength = medium
Density (dry weight) = 38-45 lbs/cu. ft.
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = low
Bending strength (MOR) = medium
Shrinkage, Radial = very small
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = very low
Toughness-Hammer drop (Impact Strength) = low
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = low
Hardness (side grain) = very soft
Hardness (side grain) = soft
Bending strength (MOR) = low
Work to Maximum Load = low
Shrinkage, Tangential = very small
Shrinkage, Tangential = moderate
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = very low
Max. crushing strength = low
Toughness-Hammer drop (Impact Strength) = medium
Toughness (total work) = medium
Toughness (total work) = low
Shrinkage, Tangential = small
Shrinkage, Radial = moderate
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = medium


Numerical Data
ItemGreenDryEnglish
Bending Strength779512796psi
Density35lbs/ft3
Hardness745lbs
Impact Strength3331inches
Maximum Crushing Strength35116265psi
Shearing Strength1542psi
Stiffness117314221000 psi
Toughness208inch-lbs
Work to Maximum Load1013inch-lbs/in3
Specific Gravity0.410.55
Weight3434lbs/ft3
Radial Shrinkage2%
Tangential Shrinkage6%
ItemGreenDryMetric
Bending Strength548899kg/cm2
Density560kg/m3
Hardness337kg
Impact Strength8378cm
Maximum Crushing Strength246440kg/cm2
Shearing Strength108kg/cm2
Stiffness82991000 kg/cm2
Toughness239cm-kg
Work to Maximum Load0.700.91cm-kg/cm3
Specific Gravity0.410.55
Weight544544kg/m3
Radial Shrinkage2%

References
Boone, R.S., C.J. Kozlik, P.J. Bois, E.M. Wengert. 1988. Dry Kiln Schedules for Commercial Hardwoods - Temperate and Tropical. USDA, Forest Service, General Technical Report FPL-GTR-57, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin.

Brown, W.H.,1978,Timbers of the World, No. 6 Europe,TRADA, Red Booklet Series

Clifford, N.,1957,Timber Identification for the Builder and Architect,Leonard Hill (Books) LTD. London

Dallimore, W. and Jackson, A. Bruce,1966,A Handbook of Coniferae and Ginkgoaceae Fourth Ed. Revised by S.G.,Harrison,Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd. London

Findlay, W.P.K.,1975,Timber: Properties and Uses,Crosby Lockwood Staples London,224PP

Forest Products Research Laboratory U.K.,1957,A Handbook of Softwoods,Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Forest Products Research,HMSO

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1937,A Handbook of Home-Grown Timbers,HMSO

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1967,The Steam Bending Properties of various timbers,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Leaflet,No.45

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1969,The Movement of Timbers,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough Technical Note,No.38

Howard, A.L.,1948,A Manual of Timbers of the World.,Macmillan & Co. Ltd. London 3rd ed.

I.U.F.R.O.,1973,Veneer Species of the World,Assembled at F.P.L. Madison on behalf of I.U.F.R.O. Working Party on,Slicing and Veneer Cutting

Jackson, A. and D. Day. 1991. Good Wood Handbook - The Woodworker's Guide to Identifying, Selecting and Using the Right Wood. Betterway Publications, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kloot, N.H., Bolza, E.,1961,Properties of Timbers Imported into Australia,C.S.I.R.O. Forest Products Division Technological Paper,No.12

Lavers, G.M. 1966. The Strength Properties of Timbers. Forest Products Research Bulletin, No. 50. Ministry of Technology, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London.

Lavers, G.M.,1983,The Strength Properties of Timber (3rd ed. revised Moore G.L.,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Building Research,Establishment Report (formerly Bulletin No.50)

Lincoln, W.A. 1986. World Woods in Color. Linden Publishing Co. Inc., Fresno, California.

Little, E.L. 1980. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees - Eastern Region. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

Mitchell, A.F. 1985. Conifers. Forestry Commision Booklet No. 15. Forestry Commission, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London.

Nairn, P.M., Editor. 1936. Wood Specimens - 100 Reproductions in Color - A Series of Selected Timbers Reproduced in Natural Color with Introduction and Annotations by H.A. Cox. The Nema Press, Proprietors of Wood, London.

New Zealand Forest Service. 1957. Forest Trees and Timbers of New Zealand. Bulletin No. 12, New Zealand Forest Service. Compiled under the Direction of A.R. Entrican by H.V. Hinds and J.S. Reid. Governemnt Printer, Wellington, New Zealand.

Oliver, A.C.,1974,Timber for Marine and Freshwater Construction,TRADA, London

Patterson, D. 1988. Commercial Timbers of the World. Fifth Edition. Gower Technical Press, Aldershot, UK. ix + 339 pp.

Patterson, D.,1988,Commercial Timbers of the World, 5th Edition,Gower Technical Press

Redding, L.W.,1971,Resistance of Timbers to Impregnation with Creosote,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Building Research,Establishment Bulletin No.54 pp.43

Rendle, B.J.,1969,World Timbers (3 Vols.,Ernest Benn Ltd. London

Rijsdijk, L.F. and Laming, P.B.,1994,Physical and Related Properties of 145 Timbers, Information for,Practice,TNO Building and Construction Research Centre for Timber Research Kluwer,Academic Publishers

Smith, S.W. and Entrican, A.R.,1957,Forestry in New Zealand,New Zealand Forest Service Information Series No.1

T.R.A.D.A.,1942,Home-grown timber trees - their characteristics, cultivation and Uses,TRADA

Thomas, A.V.,1964,Timbers Used in the Boat Building Industry A Survey,Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Forest Products Research,Laboratory

Timber Development Association Ltd.,1955,World Timbers (3 Vols.,Timber Development Association Ltd.

WCMC. 1992. Conservation Status Listing - Trees and Timbers of the World. World Conservation Monitoring Center-Plants Programme, Cambridge, CB3 ODL, United Kingdom.

Wood, A.D.,1963,Plywoods of the World: Their Development, Manufacture and,Application,Johnston & Bacon Ltd. Edinburgh & London








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