European Softwood

European Softwood

Europe offers a rich source of supply for the UK market particularly in Redwoods and Whitewoods. International Timber’s demand in softwoods is sourced throughout Europe and Russia with a large majority coming from the Scandinavian region.

International Timber procures the best material available from these regions to suit specific customer requirements. This is achieved through a series of strategic partnerships with leading sawmill groups and specialist producers for onward distribution and further processing by our own network of sawmills.

One major factor which affects the quality of the wood is the rate of growth, and the area from where it is grown. Further North within the Northern Hemisphere will normally dictate a slower grown, better quality of timber.

European Redwood (Pinus sylvestris) offers excellent properties which lend itself to a wide range of uses, particularly in joinery and furniture manufacture, and all kinds of constructional work. The pale reddish-brown resinous heartwood is usually distinct from the paler sapwood, unless treated with a preservative the timber is classed as slightly to moderately durable.

European Whitewood (Picea abies) a similar timber in terms of strength and working properties but with a finer texture, again used in joinery and construction and extensively in furniture manufacture. The lower grades are used in the packing and construction sector. Again unless treated with preservative the timber is classed as slightly to moderately durable.

International Timber can offer a wide range of sizes and quality in redwood and whitewood for every need.

Softwoods come from coniferous trees which are evergreen, needle-leaved, cone-bearing trees, such as cedar, spruce and pine.

The distinction between hardwood and softwood actually has to do with plant reproduction. All trees reproduce by producing seeds, but the seed structure varies. Hardwood trees are angiosperms, plants that produce seeds with some sort of covering. This might be a fruit, such as an apple, or a hard shell, such as an acorn.

All Softwoods, are gymnosperms. These plants let seeds fall to the ground as is, with no covering. Pine trees, which grow seeds in hard cones, fall into this category. In conifers like pines, these seeds are released into the wind once they mature. This spreads the plant’s seed over a wider area.

Redwood and Whitewood joinery timber supplied by International Timber is kiln dried prior to its arrival in the UK. There are many advantages to using Kiln Dried timber, it becomes stronger, can be machined easier, it becomes more stable and can minimise future warping and twist; it also becomes less prone to insect attack and becomes easier to treat with preservative.