Dutch and English Elm: Ulmus hollandica and U. procera

We supply English Elm, Welsh Elm, Scottish Elm, Irish Elm and European Elm.

Distribution

Dutch Elm (Ulmus hollandica) is widely distributed across continental Europe and the British Isles, Englich Elm (U. procera) is mainly found in England and Wales.

Description

Elm wood has a coarse texture due to the large earlywood pores that create the distinct growth rings within the light brown heartwood. Elm tends to show irregular growth and has distinct cross grains. Dutch elm generally has a more even growth and a straighter grain than English Elm. Weighs 550 kg/m3; specific gravity .55.

Properties

Both woods are of medium density and have low bending and crushing strengths, very low stiffness and resistance to shock loads. Dutch elm is 40% tougher than English elm, Dutch elm also has very good steaming bending properties whereas English elm has a tendency to distort.

Seasoning

Both timbers dry quickly and are prone to distortion and collapse. There is medium movement in service.

Working

Both woods can be difficult to work as they stick to the saw and pick up during planing and moulding. Dutch elm is thought to provide a better finish than English elm due to its milder grain. Both can be worked with nails or screws without splitting. They also work well with glue, and stain, polish or wax to a high finish.

Durability

Subject to insect attack Elm timber is non-durable. It is moderately resistant to preservative treatment, but the sap wood is permeable.

Uses

Elm timber has many uses, notable it is widely used in coffin making, but also boat building, as weather boarding, cabinet work and as flooring. Elm is very rare these days, following Dutch Elm disease, therefore it tends to be available in small volumes only.