Woodbank of Estonia

Materials

From roots to treetops, everything that's special...

Wood and Timber

Oak is the symbol of strength, longevity and dignity, both the tree itself and its wood. In Estonia oak is found growing on the northern border of its habitat. And it is here, in these harsh conditions, where its wood obtains most rare spectrum of colour and shape.

Rowan – roots of this tree are spread deep into the hearts of Estonian people. It is believed that rowan-trees keep bad things away. Natural scenes would lose out greatly in variety without its colourful presence. Its berries are food for both – the birds and the human eye.

Apple-tree is no doubt the most well known of the bunch. Its fruits that join the bloodstreams of trees and humans. Apple-tree is regarded as a symbol of fertility. It's wood, especially that of the older and bigger trees, is hard and greatly varied in colour.

Juniper can boast with the oil that is in the world’s top of natural perfumes. Aromatic and durable wood has made it one of the most loved trees in the world of woodwork.

Black Alder is also known as “pig-oak” in Estonian. Its wood is very mild and pleasant to the touch. It doesn't chap easily which makes it perfect material for making spoons and various other kinds of hollow objects.

Ash-trees provide, next to the oak, another important type of hard wood in Estonia. It's fascinating to know that it belongs to the same family as the olive tree. Here, in northern territories its wood is more beautiful and displays more intense range of colours than in southern areas.

Wylch Elm is one of the rarest trees in Estonian forest. Its wood is very tough and resistant in extremely contrast tones; at the base of the tree it can be almost black in colour. No wonder it's one of the most valued wood-materials in Europe.

Black Oak

Regular oak that has aged in the mud of Estonian rivers for at least 300 years is called “black oak” (must tamm) in Estonia. Black colour is caused by the iron in the water.

It's probably one of the darkest natural wood-materials. And since its price is calculated in kilograms it's also one of the most valuable ones.

One must be equipped with patience, sharp tools and heightened attention to process this material.

At times black oak can behave very unexpectedly: there have been cases for it to shorten up to one tenth in length.

There's also a notable difference between handling wet black oak and dried material. Wet wood can be as soft to cut as clay, and leave unbelievably beautiful shining black surfaces.

Once dried it might be too hard to cut for even the sharpest of tools. In all accounts, it is one of the most exciting and exclusive materials, and is connecting us to the distant past.