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Amboyna, also known as Andaman Padauk, Maiou or Narra grows in parts of East Asia (Malaysia, the Philippines and Borneo) and is often golden brown to red brown in colour with red grain. It is a firm wood with wavy and often interlocking grain making it difficult to work with hand tools, despite this it turns well and produces a high polish.

The Burr from these trees varies in colour from a golden yellow to a deep red with sharp, close burr pips. It is very sought after and used for only the finest furniture.


Apple wood is found in Europe and Western Asia. It has a dark brown colour heartwood, and lighter brown sapwood giving the pattern a interesting contrast. Apple wood is from small often mis-shaped trees, offering only smaller dimension veneers.


Ash, also known as White Ash, grows in Europe and North America. It is cream yellow in colour with subtle grain patterns which can have a ripple effect. Ash Burr is rare to be clean and often shows marks from ingrowing bark and knots.

Often as Olive trees mature they can develop a darker yellow-brown colour.


Beech wood is found in Europe and West Asia. The colour of this wood can vary depending on when the tree is felled. In the winter months if the wood is sliced and uncooked it will be almost white in colour. This is known as White Beech.

Beech or steamed Beech is pinky-brown in colour and both White and Steamed have a fine subtle grain.


Birch grows in parts of Northern Europe, Asia and North America. It is an almost white wood that with age will appear more yellow, with a very subtle grain giving a clean look to the wood.


Blackthorn, or Sloe, is found in Western Asia, Europe and Northwest Africa. It is given its name due to its savage thorns which have been used for making hedge rows “cattle-proof”. Blackthorn wood is a chocolate-brown colour with hints of red and will take a high polish.


Boxwood is found in South America, in particular, Brazil. It is golden yellow in colour with a fine grain. This makes it ideal for fine carving and with its high density, it is more resistant to chipping. Some older Boxwood Trees will yield a darker, more olive colour.



Calamander or Coromandel is a valuable wood found in India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia. It has a contrasting hazel-brown colour with black grain. It is a dense, heavy wood that is so popular it has been logged to extinction over the last few hundred years.

This makes Calamander pieces even more special.


Cedar wood has many variations. Cedar, also known as Lebanon Cedar, True Cedar can be found in Asia, Europe and North Africa. Cedar trees are long lived and often offer a poor quality, knotty wood. Logs used for veneer are carefully chosen to make sure they have a clean, straight grain.

African Cedar, or Bosse, found in West Africa is a pink-brown colour when fresh, turning into a dark almost mahogany colour with age.

Brazilian Cedar found in South America is a medium brown colour.

Western Red Cedar is found in North America. A more durable cedar with a colour ranging from pink-brown to dark red.


Ebony is a dense black wood found in central and west Africa. However, the name is also shared with other heavy black or very dark coloured woods from unrelated species.

It has a very fine texture and when polished will yield a very smooth finish which has made it very popular for decorative carvings.


European Elm, also known as, English Elm, Common Elm, Dutch Elm or Wych Elm. It can be found in the United Knigdom and mainland Europe. European Elm can still be found although it is rare due to “Dutch Elm Disease” which is supposed to have killed around Twenty million Elm trees in the 1970’s. It can be yellow-brown to pink-brown in colour and has a very distinct smell.

Elm Burr can be pink-brown to dark brown in colour depending on whether the tree was alive when felled.

American Elm, found in North America, has become commercially important with the depletion of european Elm due to “Dutch Elm Disease”. It is similar to its European counterpart in appearance.



For more information see Sycamore.


Kingwood, also known as Violetwood, is found in South America and is violet-brown in colour with a darker grain. It is a very dense and hard wood that is only available for smaller items due to the small tree that yields it.


Laburnum, or Scotch laburnum, is found in Central Europe. It is a hardwood which is moderately heavy with a course texture. Laburnum is a rich olive-green colour which will progressively darken with the age of the wood.

Lignum Vitae 

Lignum Vitae, also known as Guayacan or Guaiacum, is found in the West Indies and Tropical America. “Lignum Vitae” is Latin for “tree of life” which gets its name for its many medicinal uses. It is a strong, dense and very durable wood that is a dark brown with almost black streaks.


Mahogany is the name given to many types of tropical hardwood and can be found in Africa, India and South America, most of which are a red-brown colour with a fine, even grain. This makes it easily workable and gives it a durable finish which attributes to its popularity with many kinds of furniture.


Maple is a hard wood found in America and Canada. It is a light creamy colour with very subtle only slightly darker grain. There is a process where the maple logs are cooked before cutting which will give them an almost pink colour.


Oak has many global variations.

European Oak, also known as English or French Oak, is found in Europe. It is a well known and very popular wood due to its different types and strength yielding many uses. It can have a very simple clean look or a highly figured finish varying from tree to tree. European Oak can be Golden-yellow to light-brown in colour.

Brown Oak is from the United Kingdom and its name is derived from its red-brown colour which is resulted from an attack by “beef-steak” fungus. This usually give the wood an even colour, however, sometimes the wood can be streaked with a light brown giving it the name Tiger Oak.

American White Oak, or White Oak, is found in North America. It is a very popular Oak used for many different functions. It can have a broad range of colour from yellow to a medium brown.

American Red Oak, or Northern Red Oak, is also found in North America. It grows quicker and taller than White Oak which produces a coarser more open grain.


Olivewood, also known as Real Olive or Mediterranean Olive. Olive trees are slow growing tree and are better known for the olives and oils which the produce. Olivewood is a yellow-cream colour with almost random dark brown veining.

Partridge Wood

Partridge Wood, sometimes called Cabbage wood, is found in South America. It can come in a variety of colours ranging from red-brown, brown to almost black. Patridge wood is similar to rosewood in density and grain tightness. Its a slightly rarer wood due to difficulty of finishing it cleanly.


Palm wood or Coconut Timber is a hardwood found in Asia. Its appearance is similar to mahogany but with a more ?brous grain. Palm can range from a golden colour to near ebony tones. The trees have no annual growth rings or branches, which means it is free from knots and other common imperfections.


Pear, also known as Peartree or Swiss Pear can be found in Europe. In particular Austria, France and Switzerland. The logs of these trees is steamed which gives them a light pink colour. Lower grade Pear can have dark grey-brown heartwood, giving it a similar look to Apple.


Pine wood has many variants.

Carolina Pine, also known as Yellow Pine, Southern Yellow Pine or Short Leaf Pine is found in Eastern and South Eastern areas of the U.S.A. It has a golden yellow colour with straight, slightly darker grain.

European Pine is also known as Scots Pine, Baltic Pine, Scandinavian Pine, Scot Fir, Deal and Redwood. It is found in Northern Europe and Russia. The wood can slightly vary depending on its origin with the speed at which it grows. The colour can range from pink-red to a more yellow colour. The faster growing pine is a softer wood with a wider grain pattern.

Oregon Pine, also known as British Columbian Pine or Douglas Fir originated from Western North America but can now be found in Europe. This is thanks to David Douglas who first introduced the tree to Scone Palace, near Perth in Scotland. Oregon Pine is a yellow-brown colour with a red-brown fine, straight grain.


Planetree or London Plane is found across Europe. Planetree is a creamy yellow colour with a light brown grain. When the log is quarter sliced the veneer is known as Lacewood and is pink-brown in colour.

Planetree Burr is a darker brown with very small almost indistinct pips giving it a velvet finish.


Rosewood has many variations.

Indian Rosewood, also known as Bombay Rosewood or Bombay Blackwood, is found in India and Indonesia. It is highly valued for its striking appearance with colours ranging from a medium-brown to dark red-brown with even darker grain lines.

Madagascan Rosewood, found in Madagascar is a pink-brown colour with a darker almost purple grain. It is one of the least used Rosewoods due to limited resources and carefully controlled cultivation. As with other, rarer wood types this is reserved for finer items due to its higher price.

Mexican Rosewood, or Bocote, is found in Central America and is not actually a rosewood. It has adopted the name due to its many similarities with other Rosewoods.

Mexican Rosewood is a dark brown colour with almost black veining.

Rio Rosewood, also known as Jacaranda, Palisander, Bahia Rosewood, Brazilian Rosewood, originates from Brazil. It is now banned from export and only old stock may be traded. Rio comes in many colours from medium-brown, dark-brown and even orangey, each with dark streaks. It is a very rare wood now and if logs are found they are reserved for only the very finest of items.

San Dominican, found in the Dominican Republic, is a rare wood due to its limited availability. It has a pink-brown colour sometimes shading towards a darker brown.

Santos Rosewood, also Known as Santos Palisander or Pau Ferro, is found in South america especially Brazil. It was originally marketed as a cheaper replacement for Rio Rosewood due to its appearance and colour range.


Satinwood is found in India and Sri Lanka. It has a rich golden colour and an almost reflective sheen. Satinwood is traditionally used for high quality furniture.


Sycamore, also known as Harewood is a member of the Maple family, found in Europe. It is light yellow in colour and is often a very clean wood, with a straight, fine grain.

The wood is often pippy. However, these pips are usually a very similar colour to the rest of the wood making them hardly visible.


Thuya grows in North West Africa. It is a soft wood which grows in a sporadic, twisted manner. The sought after part is the burr which grows underground as a root burr. It is red-brown in colour with a fine detailed grain and will take a high polish finish.


Tulipwood is also known as Brazilian Tulipwood, Brazilian Pinkwood and Bahia Rosewood. It is found in South America, mainly Brazil. The colour is a pale yellow with streaks or brown-red grain.


Walnut comes in many varieties from America to Europe.

American Walnut is often a warm yellow-brown to purple-brown colour with a straight grain.

European Walnut tends to vary greatly from tree to tree in terms of colour and pattern. From light grey-brown to dark brown with dark grain and irregular markings.

Walnut trees often develop large burr growths which when veneered show beautiful rich coloured swirls.


Yew, or Yewtree, originates from Asia, Europe and North Africa. It is yellow-brown to orange-brown and usually conforms to a fine uniform pattern. Yew wood usually has black pips scattered throughout so clean veneers fetch a high price and are reserved for finer items. A few trees will produce a burr which offers a distinct decorative finish.