Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Wooden Wonders part nine: larch

Posted: February 14, 2012 at 07:40 am Author: Kate Cashmore

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, is full of magnificent trees.

As part of our half term Wooden Wonders event taking place from 14 – 16 February, Kate Cashmore from Westonbirt’s learning team has created a trail which will help you find out about our hidden wonders.

Here, she highlights some of the Wooden Wonders that you can discover when you follow the trail.

Although Westonbirt's larch trees shed their leaves last autumn, they are conifers and have soft wood. They mature in 60 to 70 years.

Morley ride

The wood needs seasoning or drying before using, as it tends to bend as it dries. Timber is seasoned either outdoors or in a kiln.

Outdoors, it is carefully stacked so that air can circulate and the moisture evaporates over a period of weeks or months.

In a kiln warm air and steam is circulated by fans until the desired moisture content is achieved.

Once dry, its straightness, strength and moderate durability makes it a useful timber for outdoor use, in fences, poles, and wagons.

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