Alder is a warm honey-red colored wood with a beautiful, subtle grain interspersed with fine lines and flecks produced by the tree’s annual growth rings. Domestic alder grows in a mile mile wide coastal strip along the Pacific coast from Canada almost to Mexico; European alder along. The wood darkens to a warm reddish-brown color after being felled. Natural markings including pithy flecks and streaks add to the singular character to this wood.
Amboyna burl is among the world’s rarest and most expensive veneers—holding the distinction of being the original wood used on Rolls Royce dashboards. Leafs are small in dimension due to the small size of the burl. Deep yellow-orange to red, amboina burl has an unsurpassed depth and beauty prized in high quality architectural woodwork and cabinetry.
Considered among the best veneers in the poplar family, aspen ranges in color from almost pure white to light straw to warm tan. Favored logs produce a lovely, bright veneer with a beautiful, natural sheen. Aspen is often fumed to a rich, dark brown for use in modern environments. It mixes beautifully with stone and other materials in natural environments.
Bubinga is a striking veneer with a very broad color spectrum ranging from pink to brownish-red to nearly violet. It has a beautiful texture and fine contrasting growth lines that may be wavy in some logs due to the grain’s interlocked fibers. Bee’s wing and block mottle figures are fairly common. Behemoth lengths and widths make it well suited for large architectural installations. When rotary cut, bubinga is called kevazinga. This African veneer is a sophisticated and elegant choice for interior environments.
Thousands of centuries ago, Lebanese cedar was one of the world’s most precious woods, used in the construction of ancient temples and palaces. Today, this beautiful, decorative wood is now primarily grown in England and France. Rare and highly prized, most logs are produced by local European veneer merchants with local knowledge of the availability of this exceptional veneer.
Also known as juniper, the aromatic red cedar veneer tends to be a reddish or violet-brown with a pale yellow sapwood. A relatively small tree, the veneer produced typically includes copious knot marks. Red cedar stands are found in scattered locations over the eastern half of North America and their veneer is well suited to naturalistic and rustic interiors.
American cherry is a timeless and elegant veneer that has a satiny finish and fine, lustrous grain marked with natural pitch flecks and small gum pockets. Typically darker than European cherry, the veneer can vary widely in color from pale pink to reddish brown. Flat cut, it produces a beautiful cathedral pattern. Figured, it exhibits a fine fiddleback or rope figure.
Dillenia is a canopy tree that grows over 100’ tall in the Malaysian archipelago—with straight, branch-free, trunks of 80’ and more, and buttresses up to 12’ high. The heartwood is a rich reddish-brown with an occasional purple tinge. The sapwood is wide, orange-brown to pink, and subtly defined. Conspicuous medullary rays give this wood a lacy and lustrous surface in quarter cut veneer.
Red elm has a lively, decorative grain and a pale reddish-brown color interspersed with lovely light effects that result from wood’s medullary rays. Found primarily around the Great Lakes region, (and commonly referred to as slippery elm in tree form) this elegant domestic is a hardy survivor of the Dutch elm disease that wiped out millions of elms worldwide.
While most etimoe trees are tapped for rubber, untapped trees are often sliced to produce this rare and striking veneer. The light red-brown to grey-brown wood has a straight grain, often with striking black-red veins or stripes, and a fine, even, lustrous texture. Etimoe is available in large sizes and in a variety of figures, most commonly curly and fiddleback.
The rustic character of this wood works well in both contemporary and arcadian settings. The vivid, contrasting red-yellow stripe is typically straight, even, and seldom, if ever, figured. Generally quarter cut, more veneer and production plywood are made from this specie than any other worldwide.
Gaboon is an elegant African wood with a lustrous, natural sheen. It ranges in color from pale pink to reddish brown and when quarter cut it often produces a beautiful broken stripe or rope figure. This moderately priced veneer comes in logs well sized for larger architectural projects; figured logs fetch higher prices.
This domestic tree, common to the southern US states, is highly prized for its beautiful, erratic grain, fine texture, contrasty colors, and beautiful silky luster. In figured logs, an irregular broken stripe creates an uncommon effect in quarter cut veneer. Large logs create excellent opportunities to use this beautiful domestic in large-scale projects.
This tropical evergreen grows to impressive heights in consistently cylindrical trunks, making it ideal for veneer production for architectural use. It has an intense, warm, reddish-brown color—much like cherry—with contrasting occasional gray-brown streaks. Jatoba has a medium texture, interlocked grain, and very desirable natural luster.
A relative newcomer to the US market, jequitiba has grown in popularity in the last decade as an alternative to mahogany for rich, traditional interiors. The reddish to purple-brown heartwood, sometimes with dark streaks, varies only subtly from its paler sapwood. It has a medium luster, fine grain, and soft, smooth texture. These large trees produce ample size leaves for large installations. Flat cut, it has a pleasing cathedral figure; quartered wood may be figured.
Kevazinga is the name given to Bubinga veneer that has been rotary cut to capitalize on its eccentric grain patterns. This exceptional veneer is red-brown in color; with dark veining, a coarse texture, and a lively, swirly grain interspersed with “peanut” or pommele markings. Highly sought after for high-end cabinetry and architectural use.
Very little veneer is produced from the trunk, but large growths at the base of the madrona produce this remarkable burl veneer. In what some believe looks like an overhead view of a hilly landscape intertwined with waterways of swirly grain, this warm, inviting, and choice veneer is highly sought after for high-end architectural installations and custom millwork.
Equally apt in contemporary, global, and traditional settings, mahogany has been traded from African ports for hundreds of years. Typically red to red-brown, and darker than South American mahoganies, this specie often develops a plain to ropey stripe, and may be marked with highly decorative cross figuring. Crotch veneers with vivid, flame-like patterns are one of nature’s most beautiful works of art.
Artists and designers alike appreciate the elegant lines of this lighter alternative to African mahogany. It’s lighter in color, firmer in texture, and straighter in grain than its African counterpart. Among the finest woods in the world, this is a versatile and adaptable choice for architectural interiors.
Also called African cherry, makore shares the light pink to deep red coloring, dark growth lines, and small pores common to cherry. In architectural installations it has the added benefit of availability in large sizes not found in American cherry. Cut on the quarter, makore shows a contrasting stripe that may be plain or crossed with a variety of decorative figures. Flat cut, it bears the distinctive cathedral grain pattern.
One of the largest trees in equatorial Africa, this tropical hardwood’s immense size ensures large leaves and volumes of veneer well suited for architectural use. Regarded for its shimmering luster that refracts light, this species ranges from pinkish brown to rich red in color with a fine, even texture, and a typically straight grain that may be decorated with a wide range of widely variable figures, including a highly prized pommele. As with most veneers, almost every log is unique.
North American oak is well suited for rustic or modern interiors. While different growing conditions can produce a range of colors, in general, it’s slightly redder, more uniform in color, and has a less prominent flake figure than white oak. The grain is firm and straight, somewhat coarse with large pores. Rift cut veneer produce a very straight, combed grain effect.
Among the largest and tallest trees on earth, the redwood produces a rich, warm, inviting veneer that’s as impressive as the tree. Uniformly deep reddish-brown, the grain in quarter cut veneer is beautifully striped or figured by fine markings. Burled veneer (also known as vavona burl) is sliced from huge, prolific burl growths found on occasional redwoods, producing some of the largest and most uniform burled veneer in the world.
This is one of the world’s most loved and prized veneers. It ranges in color from lustrous chocolate-brown to purple-black with a cream colored sapwood—all very saturated with a vivid contrast. It has a lively variegated stripe and occasional bee’s wing figure and, when flat cut, produces a characteristic cathedral pattern. Increasingly used as a substitute for the extremely rare but prized Rio rosewood.
Sapele varies in color from log to log, but is generally medium to dark red-brown. Finishing brings out an intense depth of color and highlights its natural luster, which is similar to mahogany. This veneer has a fine grain, a distinct and desirable stripe formation, and often carries a lively figure. Flat cut sapele shows the characteristic heart or cathedral grain The highly prized pommele sapele is intensely marked with a swirly grain and randomly interspersed blisters, or pommele markings. A high degree of luster gives sapele a three-dimensional effect.