If you really need to buy new timber, use the table below to find the best. 

We like repairing or adapting existing thingsusing reclaimed timber, or buying locally-grown wood best.

If that's not possible for you then you can use the table below to help you find the best alternative when buying new timber. It covers tree species info on:

  • common and scientific name*
  • country of origin
  • common uses
  • whether it's threatened with extinction (see key below)
  • whether reclaimed timber of that tree species is available
  • how much it's used in the UK.

* listed alphabetically by common name and according to type of tree - eg American Cedar is listed under Cedar American.

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Key to threat classification

CR

Critically Endangered: a very high risk of extinction in the wild

EN

Endangered: a high risk of extinction in the wild

VU

Vulnerable: at risk of extinction

LR (NT)

Lower risk (near threatened): close to qualifying as Vulnerable

Table of different types of wood timber listed alphabetically

 

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Abura

Mitragyna ciliata

West Africa

Interior joinery

Minor

-

 

Afara

Terminalia superba

Africa

Plywood, interior use

Minor

-

 

Afrormosia

Pericopsis elata

West Africa

Furniture, joinery

Minor

EN; CITES Appx II

 

Afzelia

Afzelia spp.

West Africa

Top quality exterior joinery

Minor

A. africanaVU
A. bipindensisVU
A. pachylobaVU

 

Agba

Gossweilerodendron balsamiferum

West Africa

Plywood, furniture

Minor

EN

 

Alder

Alnus glutinosa

UK, Europe

Minor utility products

Minor

-

Occasionally, as beams

Alstonia

Alstonia spp.

Africa

Various, depending on density

Minor

-

 

Andiroba

Carapa guianensis

South America

Turnery

Minor

-

 

Andoung

Monopetalanthus spp.

Africa

Furniture, light construction, plywood, boxes and crates

Minor

M. durandiiVU 
M. compactusVU M heitziiLR/NT

 

Antiaris

Antiaris spp.

Africa

Veneer, plywood, furniture, joinery, boxes and crates, light construction

Minor

-

 

Asanfona

Aningeria spp.

Africa

Musical instruments, heavy construction, marine, furniture, flooring

Minor

-

 

Ash UK,

Fraxinus spp.

UK, Europe, North America

Light coloured furniture, panelling, tool handles

Major

-

Occasionally, as flooring

Apple

Malus sylvestris

UK, Europe

Minor craft items

Minor

-

 

Ayan

Distemonanthus benthamianus

Africa

Outdoor construction, marine construction, furniture, decorative veneers

Minor

-

 

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Balau / Selangan batu /bangkirai

Shorea spp.

South-east Asia

Heavy duty construction work

Major

Many Shorea spp. in international trade areCREN orVU

 

Balsa

Ochroma lagopus

Ecuador

Model making, insulation

Minor

-

 

Basralocus

Dicornia guianensis

South America

Marine and dock work

Minor

-

 

Beech

Fagus spp.

UK, Europe, North America

Furniture, flooring, musical instruments

Major

-

Regularly, as wood strip and woodblock flooring

Berlinia, red

Berlinia spp.

Africa

Heavy construction, furniture and cabinetwork, veneers, panelling

Minor

B. occidentalisVU

 

Bintangor

Calophyllum spp.

South-east Asia

General purpose timber, musical instruments

Minor

Some species are threatened

 

Binuang

Octomeles sumatrana

South-east Asia

Plywood, light construction, furniture components, cabinetwork

Minor

-

 

Birch

Betula spp.

UK, Europe, North America

General purpose timber, plywood

Minor

-

 

Black bean

Castanospermum australe

Australia

Furniture, cabinetwork, joinery

Minor

-

 

Black locust

Robinia pseudoacacia

Europe, America

Poles, agricultural implements, furniture

Minor

-

 

Blackbutt

Eucalyptus pilularis

Australia

General purpose timber, construction (including marine), flooring

Minor

-

 

Blackwood, African

Dalbergia melanoxylon

Africa

Musical instruments, craft products

Minor

LR/NT

 

Blue gum

Eucalyptus saligna

Australia

General purpose timber, also used for paper

Minor

-

Occasionally, as wood strip flooring

Boxwood, European

Buxus sempervirens

Europe

Turnery, craftwork, sports goods, musical instruments

Minor

-

 

Bubinga Minor

Copaifera salikounda

West Africa

Veneer, furniture

Minor

VU

Regularly, as woodblock flooring

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Caimito

Pouteria spp.

South America

Light construction, furniture, cabinet work

Minor

Several species are threatened

 

Canarium

Canarium schweinfurthii

Africa

Light construction, furniture, veneer, plywood.

Minor

-

 

Cedar, American

Cedrela spp.

South and Central America

Cabinet making, boatbuilding, light construction

Minor

C. odorataVU, CITES Appdx III (Peruvian population)
C. fissilisEN
C. lilloi EN

 

Cedar, pencil (softwood)

Juniperus virginiana/J. procera

J. virginiana: North America J. procera: 
East Africa

Specialist uses

Minor

J. proceraLR/NT

 

Cedar, western red
(softwood)

Thuja plicata

North America,

Exterior use, cladding some UK plantations

Minor

-

Regularly, as beams

Celtis

Celtis spp.

Africa

Furniture, cabinets, carving, veneer.

Minor

-

 

Cherry, European

Prunus spp.

UK, Europe, 
North America

Specialised crafted furniture and decorative work, musical instruments

Minor

-

 

Chestnut, horse UK,

Aesculus hippocastanum

Europe

Minor goods, turnery and utensils

Minor

-

Regularly, as beams

Chestnut, sweet

Castanea sativa

UK, Europe

Furniture, joinery, fencing

Minor

-

Regularly, as beams

Chontaquiro

Diplotropis martiussi

South America

Outdoor and marine construction

Minor

-

 

Coigue

Nothofagus dombeyi

South America

Furniture, joinery, mouldings, turnery

Minor

-

 

Cordia

Cordia millenii

Africa

Exterior cladding, furniture, joinery

Minor

-

 

Cottonwood

Bombax spp.

Africa

Plywood, blockboard, boxes and crates, furniture

Minor

-

 

Curupay / Curapixa

Anadenanthera macrocarpa

South America

Heavy construction, flooring, turnery

Minor

-

 

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Dafo

Terminalia brassii

South-east Asia

Veneer, furniture, cabinet work, joinery,

Minor

-

 

Dahoma

Piptadeniastrum africanum

Africa

Heavy construction, wharf decking, flooring

Minor

-

 

Danta

Nesogordonia papaverifera

Africa

Furniture, turnery, flooring, tool handles

Minor

VU

 

Denya

Cyclicodiscus gabunensis

Africa

External construction

Minor

-

 

Durian

Durio spp.

South-east Asia

Furniture, veneer, plywood, light construction

Minor

Several species areVU

 

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Ebony

Diospyros spp.

Africa, Asia

Cutlery handles, musical instruments, craftwork.

Minor

Several species in international trade areEN or VU

Regularly, as antique escutcheons, door knobs

Ekki / Azobe / Kaku West

Lophira alata

Africa

Sea defences, sleepers

Minor

VU

Occasionally, as woodblock flooring

Elm

Ulmus spp.

UK, Europe, North America

Furniture, joinery, flooring, external cladding

Minor

-

Regularly, as floorboards

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Fir, Douglas (softwood)

Pseudotsuga taxifolia / P. menziesii

UK, Europe (plantations) 
North America

Plywood, structural work, sea defences

Major

-

Regularly, as floorboards

Fir, silver (softwood)

Abies alba

UK (plantations),

Building, joinery, packaging

Minor

-

Northern Europe

Freijo

Cordia goeldiana

South America

Joinery, veneer, construction

Minor

-

 

Fromager

Ceiba pentandra

Africa, South America

Veneer, weak packaging

Minor

-

 

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Gmelina

Gmelina arborea

Native to South Asia, timber is from tropical 
plantations

Light construction, packaging,furniture

Minor

-

 

Gombe

Didelotia spp.

Africa

Plywood, blockboard, veneers, particleboard, furniture, joinery

Minor

D. idaeLR/NT D. unifoliolataLR/NT

 

Greenheart

Chlorocardium rodiei / Ocotea rodiaei

Guyana

Sea defences

Minor

VU

Regularly, as beams

Guarea

Guarea cedrata / Guarea thompsonii

Central and West Africa

Furniture and exterior work

Minor

G. cedrataVU 
G. thompsoniiVU

 

 

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Hemlock, western 
(softwood)

Tsuga heterophylla

UK, Europe (plantations)
North America

Construction

Minor

-

 

Hickory

Carya spp.

North America

Sports goods, tool handles, drum sticks

Minor

-

 

Holly

Ilex aquifolium

UK, Europe

Craft work, inlays

Minor

-

 

Hornbeam

Carpinus betulus

UK, Europe

Minor items, musical instruments

Minor

-

 

Hyedua

Guibourtia ehie

West Africa

Interior construction, furniture, veneer, turnery

Minor

VU

 

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Idigbo / Emeri / Framire

Terminalia ivorensis

West Africa

Joinery and outdoor work

Minor

VU

 

Ilomba

Pycnanthus angolensis

Africa

General utility timber, furniture components, interior joinery, plywood

Minor

-

 

Imbuja

Phoebe / Ocotea porosa

South America

Interior construction, furniture

Minor

VU

 

Ipe Peroba/ Ipe
de Campos

Paratecoma peroba

South America

Furniture, interior joinery, decking, flooring, vats and tanks, veneers

Minor

-

 

Iroko / Odum / Mvule

Milicia excelsa

Africa

Garden furniture, boatbuilding, flooring and joinery

Major

LR/NT

Regularly, as wood strip and woodblock flooring

Izombe

Testulea gabonensis

Africa

Turnery

Minor

EN

 

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Jacareuba

Calophyllum spp.

South America

General purpose timber, musical instruments

 

-

 

Jarrah

Eucalyptus marginata

Australia

Outdoor construction, flooring, decking, sleepers

Minor

-

Regularly as wood strip and woodblock flooring, occasionally as beams

Jelutong

Dyera costulata

South-east Asia

Interior work, crafts, pattern making

Minor

-

 

Jequitiba

Cariniana spp.

South America

Construction, furniture

Minor

-

 

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Kapur

Dryobalanops spp.

South-east Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia)

Exterior joinery and construction

Minor

D.aromaticaCR Some other species EN

 

Karri

Eucalyptus diversicolor

Australia

Heavy duty outdoor construction, sleepers

Minor

-

Regularly as wood strip and woodblock flooring, occasionally as beams

Kauvula

Endospermum medullosum

South-east Asia

Furniture parts, minor items

Minor

-

 

Kempas uses

Koompassia malaccensis

South-east Asia

Heavy construction

Minor

-

 

Keruing / Yang / Curjun

Dipterocarpus spp.

Indonesia, Malaysia

Strength applications in hidden work in furniture, building, and transport decking, plywood

Major

Many species in international trade areCREN

Regularly, as flooring

Khaya - see Mahogany, 
African

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kokoti

Anopyxis klaineana

Africa

Underwater construction and piling

Minor

VU

 

Kosipo / Omu

Entandrophragma candollei

Africa

Furniture, flooring

Minor

VU

 

Koto

Pterygota spp

Africa

Veneer, interior joinery, furniture

Minor

P. macrocarpaVU 
P. bequaertiiVU

 

Kussia - see Opepe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Larch

Larix decidua

UK (softwood) (plantations) Europe, Russia

General purpose timber

Major

-

 

Latandza

Albizia ferruginea

Africa

Heavy construction, furniture, marine work, veneer

Minor

VU

 

Lati

Amphimas spp.

Africa

Interior joinery, veneer, mouldings

Minor

-

 

Laurel,

Chilean Laurelia aromatica

South America

Veneer

Minor

-

 

Lignum vitae

Guaiacum spp.

Central and South

Special bearings, tools, sports goods

Minor G.

officinaleEN 
America G. sanctum:EN Both CITES Appdx II

 

Limbali

Gilbertiodendron spp.

Africa

Construction (including marine), industrial flooring, panelling

Minor

Several species areVU

 

Lime

Tilia spp.

Europe

Brush backs, turnery, minor goods

Minor

-

Regularly, as antique carving

Longui

Chrysophyllum africana

Africa

General purpose timber

Minor

-

 

Louro 
(see also Greenheart)

Ocotea spp.

South America

Marine structures, heavy duty work

Minor

Several species VU

 

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Mahogany,

Khaya ivorensis

West Africa

Utility and decorative work, indoors and outdoors, from boatbuilding to furniture and joinery.

Major

African VU

Regularly, as woodblock flooring

Mahogany, Brazilian

Swietenia macrophylla

Central and South America

Joinery, high quality furniture, plywood

Major

VU, CITES Appdx III (populations in several countries)

Regularly, as woodblock flooring, occasionally as beams

Makarati

Burkea africana

Africa

Flooring, furniture, joinery

Minor

-

 

Makore

Tieghemella heckelii

West Africa

Joinery and wood work subjected to tough environments

Minor

EN

 

Mansonia

Mansonia altissima

Africa

High class joinery and furniture

Minor

EN

 

Maple

Acer spp.

North America

Flooring, musical instruments

Minor

-

Regularly, as wood strip or woodblock flooring

Mashonate / Guariuba

Clarisia racemosa

South America

Construction, furniture, mouldings, flooring, turnery

Minor

-

 

Medang

Litsea spp.

South-east Asia

Joinery, carving, furniture, light construction, veneer

Minor

L.leytensisVU

 

Mengkulang

Heriteria spp.

South-east Asia

Interior joinery

Minor

-

 

Meranti / Seraya (parts of Malaysia)
and Lauan (Philippines) Red, Yellow and White

Shorea spp.

South-east Asia

All types of joinery, framing, doors and fittings. Also used in plywood a

Major

Many Shorea species in international trade areCREN or

Regularly as woodblock and wood strip flooring, occasionally as beams

Merbau VU 
Pacific

Intsia bijuga

Asia, Africa, Australia, (main source
of timber is Indonesia,
Malaysia)

Top quality exterior joinery

Minor

VU

Occasionally as wood strip flooring

Mersawa

Anisoptera spp.

South-east Asia

Light construction, furniture, plywood, veneer, marine construction

Minor

many species CR,EN

 

Mora

Mora spp.

South America

Industrial flooring, marine and heavy construction

Minor

-

 

Muhimbi

Cynometra alexandri

Africa

Construction, turnery

Minor

-

Occasionally as woodblock flooring

Muhuhu

Brachylaena hutchinsii

East Africa

High quality flooring subject to heavy wear

Minor

-

Regularly as wood strip and woodblock flooring

Muninga

Pterocarpus angolensis

Africa

Panelling and joinery

Minor

LR/NT

Regularly as wood strip and woodblock flooring

Mutenye

Guibourtia arnoldiana

Africa

Turnery, flooring, furniture, veneer

Minor

-

 

Common name

Scientific name

Origin

Uses

Level of use in the UK

Global threat status
(see key above)

Available as reclaimed?

Niangon

Heritiera utilis

West Africa

Furniture

Minor

VU

 

Niove

Staudtia stipitata

Africa

Cabinetwork, joinery, decorative veneers, flooring, turnery

Minor

-

 

Nyatoh

Palaquium spp.

South-east Asia

Exterior construction, fine furniture, veneer, musical instruments

Minor

Several species areVU