Beechwood - the classic

Beech trees are not only the most common deciduous trees in Germany, but also their wood is one of the most important and most frequently used types of wood. And for a long time. Everything you should know about beechwood is explained in detail in this article.

European beech and hornbeam

The beech is used in Germany - and in Europe as well. The hornbeam (white beech) also provides wood, but has a consistently different characteristics, and is therefore not expected to beechwood. It is also commercially available, but much rarer, and is used due to its hardness almost exclusively in the classic tool making and for chopping blocks, in addition, also in the piano.

DIN designations

The following DIN designations apply to European beech

National designations according to DINBeech / hornbeam
Abbreviation according to DINBU / HB
International designations and abbreviations according to DIN EN 13 556European Beech (FASY, EU), American Beech (FAGR, AM), Oriental Beech (FAOR, AS) and (CPBT, EU) for common hornbeam


Beech trees are ripening trees. Therefore, in the beech sapwood and heartwood have a hardly distinguishable color.


Very fine pores, irregular rays of wood, which can be very wide, but also very fine, distinct annual rings. The annual rings can be more or less wavy.


Beechwood (red beech) can range from whitish gray to pale yellow, occasionally reddish. Steamed wood looks much redder.


The characteristics of the European beech are fundamentally different from those of the hornbeam. Since the hornbeam hardly plays a role in practice, only the characteristics of the red beech are considered here.

General properties

Beechwood is very hard and tough, but also very heavy. It has a good load capacity, but is not very elastic.

Shrinkage and drying

Beech wood is dwindling. Immediately after damping, you can bend the beech wood well, as it is not very stable at this time. When drying, beechwood tears easily.


Beech wood is not weatherproof, but also very susceptible to fungal attack and insect infestation. Undamped beech is also very sensitive to hardening, especially if it is not stored absolutely dry. Steamed wood is less prone to stiffening.


Calorific value of hornbeam

In the hornbeam is noteworthy that in addition to its high hardness, it also has the highest calorific value of all native woods. Nevertheless, it is rarely used as firewood, which is mainly due to the low availability.


Beech wood is very often used as plywood, it is also often used for plywood production. Bent (Thonet method) uses steamed beech wood for bent parts of seating (chairs, etc.). The use as a parquet and staircase are important applications for the beech, in addition, tools and equipment are often made of beech (rolling pin, breakfast boards, tool handles, wooden toys, etc.)

In the industry beech wood is also increasingly used as pallet wood and for crates and in container construction, also loading areas of trucks are lined with plywood panels made of beech wood.

Use as firewood and smoked wood

Beech wood is one of the most popular firewoods, it burns for a very long time and is very quiet and has a very high calorific value. 1 room meter delivers 2,100 kWh of heat energy, one of the highest quantities of all domestic woods. This also creates a very hot glow, which makes beech wood not only suitable for grilling but also for tiled stoves. Hornbeam heats even better, but is usually harder to get.

Beech wood is also the most important raw material for charcoal, is smoked over beech wood (sausages, ham, fish), a particularly spicy taste.

Technical values

Reading Descriptionvalue
density0.54-0.91 g / cc
Medium volume densityabout 580 kg / m³
Compressive strength53 - 123 N / mm²
flexural strength105 - 123 N / mm²
condensing4.0 kWh per kg, 2,100 kWh per room meter


As sawn wood, it is necessary to expect about 95-650 EUR per cubic meter of unrobed red beech, with steamed beech the price can go up to 750 EUR per cubic meter.

All types of wood at a glance

Tips & Tricks

Beech logs are very suitable for the tiled stove because they burn very slowly. If possible, quickly burning wood should not be placed in the tiled stove (such as spruce wood) because this does not optimally improve the heat output of the tiled stove.

Video Board: 2012 beechwood billycart classic.wmv