Content - Product range
Product range. Our timber depot offers a wide selection of very different trunks. Colour and growth ring structure can vary substantially even within the same wood type, depending on its origin. Joiners can seek out an individual trunk with its own special character in our timber depot, as well as a number of trunks exhibiting similar features – and of consistently high quality.
The following list illustrates some of the most popular wood types from our range. But the list below is not exhaustive. Our specialists will be happy to advise you further.
Distinctive features. One of the best-known representatives of the German oak is the Spessart oak. For the most part these are sessile oak trees dating back more than 500 years, originally planted in tandem with beech. As the dominant tree type, the beech forces the oak to invest all its strength in upward growth. For that reason, German oak trunks are often long, with little knottage, and little tapering. Even the knots that do exist are relatively evenly surrounded by wood growth. Breadth growth is limited, as is reflected in fine growth rings. This is explained by the meagre, sandy soil in which these trees grow, which is also responsible for the wood's light colour.
Distinctive features. Burgundy oak is the name given to the large, cylindric-shaped trunks from the pure pedunculate oak forests of central France. The argilliferous, mineral-rich soils are conducive to rapid growth, while the constant wind results in uneven growth ring development. The occasional knots are typically healthy but rough, and are typically surrounded by wood growth. Burgundy oaks have a lush, beige-brown basic tone. The latewood often exhibits a dark colour, as the tannic acid in the trees' nutrient cycle has difficulty dispersing in the argilliferous soil.
Distinctive features. The Champagne region of northern France is home to sessile oak trees in particular. Although high in rainfall, this region is also well-drained thanks to the Aube, Saine, Marne and Aisne rivers. Tannins are typically well dispersed from the root systems, which is why the oaks from Champagne have a lighter colour tone than those from Burgundy. The moist, temperate climate gives rise to many small knots. The timber consequently exhibits typical knot clusters or "cat's paws".
Origin: Croatia, Hungary
Distinctive features. Slavonian oak trees grow along rivers, and are sometimes actually found in marshland. Excessive groundwater keeps the levels of tannic acid in these pedunculate oaks low, which results in the wood having a honey-coloured appearance. The Slavonic oak has uniformly rough growth rings, and little colour differentiation between earlywood and latewood. Just like the rather short and often conically shaped trunks, this characteristic is attributable to the mild climate.
Origin: Switzerland, Germany
Distinctive features. Natural beech is the term we give to unsteamed copper beech which is largely free of heartwood. Due to the absence of steaming, the reddish-white natural beech requires particularly careful drying, above all to minimize cracking. The air drying of beech should typically take place in warm moist regions: Popular areas include Spain and Italy, whereas the climate in continental Switzerland is actually too aggressive. As another factor, it is important to ensure that unsteamed beech trees are sourced from lower altitudes wherever possible (less than 300 metres). Because experience shows that with beech trees, the lower the habitat, the less tension the trunk exhibits. Natural beech wood trees with a more lively appearance can be found in the Black Forest.
Origin: Switzerland, Germany
Distinctive features. At an advanced age, i.e. from around 70 years and upward, copper beech can develop a heartwood core. As a rule this is cloudily-shaded brown in colour, thereby differing significantly from the reddish-white sapwood. However, this difference in colour can become less pronounced over the years. Heartwood cannot be found in copper beech trees that grow in the forest, and even today it is not absolutely clear why that should be. Our experience shows that heartwood is less commonly found at low altitudes, and when it is, there is virtually no evidence of a dark, almost black edge to the heartwood, as is often the case with beech heartwood from higher altitudes. In Switzerland, striking heartwood is found above all at the southern edge of the Jura.
Origin: Switzerland, Germany
Distinctive features. Steamed beech is the term given to wood from copper beech trees that is steamed when still in fresh condition, i.e. within two weeks after cutting at most. There are two different types of steaming process to choose from. Either the trunk is submerged for two days in an almost boiling waterpit, or it is suspended for a maximum of six days above a steaming water bath. The act of steaming has the effect of eliminating inner tension from beech wood, as well as facilitating the subsequent air drying process and intensifying the initially reddish-white colour of the wood to the point where it takes on a reddish-brown tone. In order to ensure an evenly lush colour tone, the copper beech trees should not be sourced from hill slopes: Timber from this kind of habitat often has increased glucose deposits, which acquire a more intensive colour during thermal processing. In our experience, the most visually appealing hue is achieved when the trunks are steamed with the bark still on.
Origin: Switzerland, France, Germany
Distinctive features. The term olive ash does not refer to a particular species of ash, but describes the characteristic of differentiated colouration between heartwood and sapwood. Whereas the sapwood typically remains whitish in colour, mature ash trees from around 60 years and upward exhibit a dark, predominantly greyish-brown core. In the coal-producing areas of Slovakia, this heartwood sometimes exhibits yellow-brown-black veins, indicating a botanical relationship with the olive tree – hence the name olive ash. Experience shows that ash trunks sourced from fairly dry chalk soils have the most pronounced heartwood hue. Other than in the mountain ash, these patterns tend to develop irregularly along growth rings. Heartwood formation in ash trees cannot be seen in the forest. There are areas, however, that lend themselves particularly well to greater heartwood colouration, including the south-facing hills of eastern France.
Origin: Croatia, Romania, Hungary, France
Distinctive features. The white ash has a white to whiteish-yellow hue, and often forms only one small area of brown heartwood close to its core. This species of ash prefers lowland and riparian habitats along waterways with little exposure to flooding. There are a few isolated monocultures in Romania and Hungary. Girsberger sources straight ash trees that are knot-free up to a considerable height from Slavonian habitats, typically situated in half-shade areas of beech forest. As a result of their flat root systems, white ash trees sometimes exhibit quite wild structures in the stump area. A fine bark is often an indicator of fine growth rings. Particularly evenly-structured examples can be found in regions of France that benefit from mild winters.
Origin: France, Romania, Slovakia, Moldavia
Distinctive features. Girsberger refers to the European walnut tree as a French walnut, as it is most commonly found in France, although it can also be found in the Western and Eastern Carpathians, as well as in the Balkans. A particular characteristic of French walnut is its multicoloured hue, which extends from various browns and violets through to purple tones, and in certain soil conditions even greenish or greyish tones. The most beautiful French walnut trees tend to be found at an altitude of around 400 m, on the first hills adjoining river basins. Not only do the walnut trees here bloom rather later in the spring, they are often exposed to milder air streams in the winter, thereby minimizing the risk of frost cracks.
Origin: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece
Distinctive features. Walnut trees from the Caucasus are frequently fine-grained, with small pin knots and wild structures. Trunk lengths rarely exceed 3 m. The latewood has a black appearance, providing a contrast to the earlywood, which ranges from beige to brown. Obtaining this expressive timber in its purest form is a considerable task: The Caucasian walnut is often found in isolation in the foothills of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, far away from the main roads. In certain areas, these trees can actually grow without frost damage thanks to mild winds from the Black Sea. They are occasionally also found in Greece, Turkey, and parts of the former Yugoslavia.
Origin: Hungary, Serbia, Croatia
Distinctive features. Black walnut is the name given to the American walnut tree, which has been cultivated in Western Europe too ever since the 18th century. Black walnut trees were planted in particular along the Danube, in what is now Hungary and Croatia, in order to lower the groundwater level. The rich soil and relatively mild climate are conducive to regular, lush growth. Black walnut is characterized by pronounced areas of heartwood, a regular light to dark-brown (and very occasionally violet-brown) hue, as well as knot-free, straight-boled trunks of up to 10 m in length.
Origin: Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, France, Romania, Switzerland, Germany
Distinctive features. The wild cherry is a tree species with an extremely low level of shade tolerance, and prefers a mild climate together with sandy soil that is rich in nutrients. Wild cherry trees from southern areas are frequently perceived to have more regular structures and more pronounced colouration. In particular, trunks from Croatian and Romanian deciduous mixed forests, the lowlands bordering the Sava river, and parts of Bosnia frequently exhibit the widely-prized pale-red to salmon-coloured heartwood hues. The lighter, often yellowish-beige sapwood comes closer to the heartwood colour with age. This natural process can be partially replicated through the humid storing of the round wood and gentle steaming. We take care to avoid procuring any cherry trees that grow in open spaces: Here the wood is often tinged with a high proportion of green and covered with fine black intergrown knots due to the enhanced crown development. Wild cherry trees require careful drying as they are prone to warping.
Origin: Germany, Netherlands, Slovakia, Romania, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia
Distinctive features. As the name suggests, this species of elm typically grows in open spaces. Accordingly, they have uneven growth ring development due to the influence of wind and weather. Field elms often exhibit many knots, and are likely to have the most intensive hues of all elm species. This is explained by their array of reddish-brown pores and glistening medullary rays in the light-brown earlywood, as well as their virtually black veins, which are attributable to mineral influences such as from the carboniferous Carpathian soil.
Origin: Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, Bosnia
Distinctive features. The mountain elm grows sporadically up to an altitude of 1,400 m as long as the soil is sufficiently well-grounded and nutritious. The pores of mountain elms are less visible than those of the field elm, which gives the wood a smoother look. Similarly, the difference between earlywood and latewood consists mainly of just a subtle change in the rust-brown hue. Physically however, the wood of the mountain elm is typically in tension due to the sloping ground on which it grows. This can be noticeably reduced with a short bout of intensive steaming combined with extended air drying. Just like all other types of elm, mountain elm is increasingly difficult to obtain, as a fungus has dramatically reduced its prevalence.
Fluttering elm (white elm)
Origin: France, Germany
Distinctive features. Fluttering elms require a considerable amount of water, and therefore proliferate in particular along rivers such as the Rhine and in temperate riparian forests. Fluttering elm wood is characterized by rough annual growth rings, and therefore exhibits less of a colouration difference between earlywood and latewood. The fluttering elm frequently forms shrub knots not dissimilar to the "cat's paws" of the Champagne oak. The wood nonetheless has a smooth overall finish.