The natural environment of the European larch (Larix decidua) is limited to mountainous regions of the Alps, the Sudeten, the Tatra and some north eastern regions. The larch is forested in almost all countries in central and northern Europe. However, the high-grade fine structured wood is a product of the harsher climatic conditions. Similarly high-grade Siberian larch is also available on the market, but the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) currently do not recommend its use, as it is won through deforestation rather than managed forestry resulting in irreversible ecological damage to the Siberian region.
Heart and sapwood have different colourings. The fairly thin sapwood is light-yellowish to reddish-yellow. The heartwood reddish-brown to glowing red when fresh, darkening to gold-brown. It has a clear striped or grainy patterning.
The larch is the heaviest and hardest native coniferous wood. The wood has a high sap content. It is stable and elastic, is not subject to considerable shrinkage and is strong and sturdy.
Larch is easy to work but Surface finishing can be more difficult due to sap presence. It is very resistant against chemicals. The heartwood is also resistant to the elements and durable under water. Connecting elements containing iron may corrode slightly due to the wood content, and can lead to colouring of the wood when wet.
Larch is available as round (also poles) and sawn timber as well as sliced veneer.
- Ceilings, floors and stairs
- Windows, doors, boarding, shingles
- Boat and shipbuilding
- Wood tiling
- Bridge building
- Woodpile foundations