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New Zealand Silver Beech Nothofagus menziesii
New Zealand silver beech is one of three Nothofagus species that populate New Zealand, along with red beech (N. fusca) and hard or clinker beech (N. truncata). None of them is a true beech (Fagus species). The wood dries fairly easily and distortion is relatively slight, though there is small movement in service. Silver beech works easily with both hand and machine tools, except where irregular grain is present on quartersawn stock, when a reduction in the cutting angle is recommended. Logs can be rotary cut for plywood and sliced for decorative veneers for furniture and paneling. These beeches stair and glue well and can be brought to a good finish, but they do not take preservative too well. Red and hard beech are both durable, but silver beech is not. They are all prone to attack by insects.

Type Temperate hardwood
Other names Southland beech
Related species N. fusca (red beech), N. truncata (hard beech, clinker beech)
Sources New Zealand
Color Inner heartwood is a uniform pink-brown in color
Texture Fine and even
Grain Straight, but sometimes curly
Hardness Medium
Weight Medium (33 lb./cu. ft.) (530 kg/cu. m)

Silver beech is not widely available outside New Zealand, where the cutting of old forests is restricted. There is no indication of the species being under threat, and FSC silver beech is being produced.

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Updated: 12/2017   copyright 2011 Rowecraft