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Sweet chestnut, European alternative

A sweet chestnut is a natural European alternative for the more expensive tropical hardwood. The light brown to dark brown coloured wood looks a lot like Oak, but is lighter in weight and is more easily adaptable. The sapwood is off-white and is about 13 mm wide. Sweet chestnut has a high tannic acid value, that speeds up corrosion of metals. Especially with iron and steel, being careful is important, especially in contact with moist wood. In the European sweet chestnut’s fresh wood, yellow discolorations may occur due to oxidation of content dust. Due to varnishing, these spots are accentuated. After a few months / weeks, these spots vanish when exposed to light. Sweet chestnut poles are adapted more and more as an alternative for more durable poles. The landscape poles are usually imported peeled. These poles are extremely suitable as fencing poles. Other names for Sweet Chestnut include Chestnut and Spanish chestnut.

Sweet chestnut, South-European nature product

Sweet Chestnut grows in Western and Southern Europe, Asia Minor and North Africa. This type of wood is increasingly being extracted as coppice for poles. The relatively fast-growing tree is usually ready for harvest around the age of 15-20 years. The so-called wild chestnut or horse chestnut is a completely different tree species and the properties are less good than those of Sweet Chestnut. Sweet chestnut can be sawn and planed without any problems. Exposure to chestnut wood dust may cause dermatitis (skin inflammation) in very sensitive individuals.

Properties Sweet Chestnut

 Name: Sweet Chestnut
Alternative names: Châtaignier, Edelkastanie, European Chestnut
Appearance: Light brown to dark brown hardwood
Sustainability class: II
Strength class:
Mass kg/m3: Fresh 1040
Dried 540 (490 – 560)
Glue: Good
Bend: Good
Finishing: Moderate, because of a high tannic acid value
Combination with iron: Bad, tannic acid reacts to metals
Origin: South-Europe
Extra: Preparation necessary for varnishing. Good alternative for more durable poles
Adaptations: Poles
Alternatives: Cloeziana (poles)

Our sales team is happy to help with questions about buying Sweet Chestnut. Call us on +31 547 286 350 or reach us using the form on the right.

Source: Houtvademecum © 2010 Centrum Hout Almere, 10th revised edition