Wych Elm

Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra)
Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra)

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Common Name(s): Wych Elm, Scots Elm

Scientific Name: Ulmus glabra

Distribution: Europe

Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 38 lbs/ft3 (605 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .49, .61

Janka Hardness: 990 lbf (4,400 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 14,240 lbf/in2 (98.2 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,615,000 lbf/in2 (11.14 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 6,710 lbf/in2 (46.3 MPa)

Shrinkage: Tangential: 12.4%

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is light to medium reddish brown. Paler sapwood is usually well defined.

Grain/Texture: Grain is interlocked (making it very resistant to splitting). With a somewhat coarse, uneven texture.

Endgrain: Ring-porous; medium to large earlywood pores in a continuous row one or two pores wide, small latewood pores in wavy bands; tyloses occasionally present in earlywood; growth rings distinct; rays not visible without lens; parenchyma vasicentric and confluent.

Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable; susceptible to insect attack. Living trees are susceptible to Dutch elm disease.

Workability: Can be a challenge to work because of interlocked grain, especially on quartersawn surfaces. Planing can cause tearout and/or fuzzy surfaces. Poor dimensional stability. Glues, stains, and finishes well. Responds well to steam bending, and holds nails and screws well.

Odor: Elm usually has a strong, unpleasant smell when green; though once dried has very little odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Elm in the Ulmus genus has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Should be moderately priced within its natural habitat in Europe, though availability from mature trees has been greatly diminished by Dutch elm disease.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Boxes, baskets, furniture, hockey sticks, veneer, wood pulp, and papermaking.

Comments: Elm trees are commonly infected with Dutch elm disease, a fungal disease spread by elm bark beetles. D.E.D. has wiped out millions of Elm trees worldwide.

Related Species:

Related Articles:

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the wood sample and turned photo of this wood species.

Wych Elm (sanded)
Wych Elm (sanded)

Wych Elm (sealed)
Wych Elm (sealed)

Wych Elm (endgrain)
Wych Elm (endgrain)

Wych Elm (endgrain 10x)
Wych Elm (endgrain 10x)

Wych Elm (turned)
Wych Elm (turned)
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