Wild service tree
The wild service tree occurs naturally in central and southern Europe and as far as the Caucasus. It usually grows alone or in small groups in hilly woodlands and in mountainous regions, less often in parks and along roads. There are larger numbers in Northeast France.
The tree grows typically to a height of 15 to 25 meters and can reach 200 to 300 years of age. The service tree is rare and correspondingly only small quantities of wood are on the market and at a high price.
The sapwood and heartwood of the service tree are the same colour. Younger trees are yellowish-white to light reddish. Older trees have a darker wood, reddish-yellow to red-brown. When steam-treated the wood becomes red or red-brown. The wood has a similar appearance to that of the pear tree. It is difficult to differentiate on the basis of cut timber alone.
The wood of the service tree is heavy and as a result strong and elastic. It is hard and very tough, and is difficult to split. It shrinks considerably and has tendency to crack and warp when drying. When dry it is then strong and stable. It has a low natural durability when exposed to the elements.
The wood must be dried professionally and with care. It is relatively easy to work, but requires more force due to its high density. Sharp tools are recommended. When steam-treated, service tree wood can be sliced. It is not well-suited to glue-laminating due to the dense surface structure of the wood.
Name: Service tree
Wood from the service tree is available as round or sawn timber, sliced veneer or sawn veneer. Sometimes the wood is sold together with pear tree wood due to its similarity, sometimes under the name "Swiss pear".
Other names: Chequers, Chokers and Maple Cherry
- luxury furniture and interior furnishing
- Wall and ceiling panelling
- Musical instruments, especially flutes, organ pipes, pianos and harpsichords.
- Measuring and drawing equipment
- Casting moulds
- Turning and carving