Elm is a beautifully warm, brown-coloured wood, high in grain and showcasing a distinctive “partridge-breast” figure. Today, it is most frequently used for furniture, boasting an attractive and pleasing natural or waney edge that adds a touch of organic elegance to any piece.
What sets Elm apart is its unique qualities that make it perfectly suited for a variety of specialist applications. Known for its durability, especially when submerged in water or placed below ground level, Elm can last almost indefinitely. This makes it an ideal choice for constructing fish ladders, sluice gates, and other submerged structures.
Historically, the durability of Elm led to its use in coffin construction. Additionally, large Elm trunks were hollowed out and driven together to form underground pipes beneath major cities. Some of these ancient Elm pipes are still being discovered today, even after 250 years underground.
Another intriguing property of Elm is its “unsplittability”, a result of its stepped pattern of wood fibres. This unique characteristic makes it perfect for chair seats and projects requiring end-grain nail holding capacity, such as the transoms for clinker-built boats. Due to this valuable trait, Elm was traditionally used in wheel hubs and sledgehammers.
Euan highly recommends Elm for a variety of home applications. It is an excellent choice for kitchen tables and chairs, cabinets, and small bespoke home accents. Whether it’s stair bannisters or window ledges, Elm adds a touch of natural charm and robust durability to your living space.