Ancient Norwegians considered a mythological ash tree to be the center of the world. Among the palest colored veneers, ash has a lustrous surface, beautiful straight grain, a light stripe effect, and subtle contrast between its light tan heartwood and creamy sapwood. It produces a wide range of beautiful, shimmering figures and delicate burls. Extremely strong, ash is the lumber of choice for parallel bars, baseball bats and tool handles. In veneer, it’s prized for high quality furniture and for use in light, open interiors.
Olive ash is not a specie in itself, rather it’s the name given to veneer cut from the dark heartwood of one of several European ashes. The dark on light stripes are reminiscent of true olive wood. Colors range from white to yellow to brown in varied combinations of color and markings. Grain may be straight, curly, or wavy. Olive ash burl veneer is highly prized for its turbulent markings and striking color contrasts.
A favorite in modern interiors, beech is a straight grained wood with a very fine, even texture. While beech is naturally a creamy, almost white color, most beech is steamed, producing a consistent slightly pink hue in veneer. Flat cut veneers present a nice cathedral; quartered veneers carry a silvery fleck pattern. This specie produces a number of beautiful figures prized for interior architecture.
One of the most common trees in European forests, this oak has long been associated with the mythological gods due to its immense size, strength, and longevity. Like most oaks, the grain is straight with broad rays that produce a lively flake effect in flat or quarter cut wood and straight combed grain in rift cut. The golden-brown wood is slightly darker than American white oak, and slightly lighter than English brown oak. Fumed veneer produces a rich chocolate-brown color similar to tropical and African woods. CoCo (color-imbued) options are available in several shades of gray and brown. Vintage oak is sliced from the hand-hewn beams of reclaimed wood from old barns and farmhouses across Europe; this rustic looking veneer is intended for use in random matched sequences.
This European fruit tree produces a very fine-grained wood with a uniform texture and a partial flame that is both beautiful and decorative. The wood is often pith-marked and occurs in colors from rosy cream to light reddish brown in both plain and figured logs. When fumed, pearwood turns a rich, dark brown; when stained black, it provides an excellent substitute for ebony.
Planetree is a particularly decorative veneer—reddish-gray with a silvery sheen, straight grain, and a lovely small flake in quarter cut veneer, the result of cutting through its extremely regular medullary rays. Found in wetland habitats across Europe, it's said to be the specie of the famed Solitary Tree that legend says marked the spot of the battle between Alexander the Great and Darius in northern Persia.
Actually a maple by genus, sycamore is among the most valuable native broad-leafed trees in Europe. Nearly white in color with a fine, close texture, notable uniform structure, and straight grain that may be figured, this light color wood evokes a minimalist elegance. Flat cut veneer shows the characteristic cathedral pattern. It readily accepts stains and can be dyed to many colors, most popularly a silver gray.