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Characteristics of European Larch

Naturally durable with decay-resistant heartwood, Larch would make good decking or siding. April 21, 2011

Question
Does anyone have info regarding the decay resistance qualities or other pros and cons of European larch (Larix decidua)?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
The heartwood of this species has very high natural resistance to decay.



From the original questioner:
Very encouraging since I'm buying 20-30 mbf from a plantation in Woodstock, VT.


From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Plantations tend to have more sapwood, so be careful. Is the plantation in VT? It is interesting that they would choose this non-native species. I wonder why.


From the original questioner:
The sapwood ranges from 1/2 to 1" generally. The plantation is on land that is now the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Frank Billings chose larch as well as several other species after a trip to Europe in the early 1880's. He was interested in forest stewardship and replanting the Vermont countryside after devastating clear-cutting for sheep farming left the landscape barren.


From contributor K:
I live in the UK. We use larch for fencing posts. A 4x4 will last 20 years untreated. Also good for exterior cladding. It is regarded as good timber in the trade and fetches good money in the round.


From the original questioner:
Very helpful. I'm planning to use it for porch decking and clapboards. It air dries incredibly fast. After 2 weeks on sticks its reading 12-14 %!
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