DISEASE-PRONE SPECIES ONCE FAVORED FOR SEATS AND TABLETOPS
Dutch elm disease has ripped through many forests and fields, and this beautiful tree is in continual decline. The lumber has a swirling grain and a wonderful range of colors. A wealth of knots add to the character, making this lightweight hardwood even trickier
Type Temperate hardwood
Other names European elm, Holland elm
Related species English elm (U. procera), which is not as tough as Dutch elm and has a wilder grain
Alternatives Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon), red maple (Acer rubrum), European plane (Platanus hybrida), American elm (U. americana)
Sources Grows across Europe
Color Pale honey, with some beige bands and light sapwood
Texture Relatively coarse-grained
Grain Growth rings of variable width combine with swirling grain
Hardness Soft for a hardwood
Weight Medium (35 lb./cu. ft.) (560 kg/cu. m)
Strength The European variety is stronger than the English elm and can be steam bent.
Seasoning and stability Moves moderately once used, and must be seasoned very carefully or the stack will collapse because of distortion.
Wastage Can be high, with defects, invasive bark and sapwood.
Range of board widths Variable
Range of board thicknesses Depends on the sawmill
Durability Needs preservative for external use; prone to insect attack indoors.
Burl elm is a highly prized of burled woods. Quartersawn sides can exhibit dappling like lacewood.
There is not much certified supply, but it is safe to use.
AVAILABILITY AND COST
It may be available from specialist importers, otherwise it must be bought as a veneer. The cost is lower than might be expected, but there is likely to be some wastage.