One of the most beneficial characteristics of Old Growth larch is its natural durability and decay resistance. This unique quality is due to its extremely high resin content. Also, since Old Growth Larch grows very slowly, it has very tight growth rings which give it superior stability. For many centuries, the world has witnessed the unique performance of Old Growth Larch in a variety of applications. These experiences have earned Old Growth Larch the name, “The Tree of Eternity”. In fact, there are numerous homes and churches in Russia today that have been estimated to be more than 800 years old. Perhaps the most famous example of the longevity of Old Growth Larch is its use as pilings and other woodwork in the construction of the ancient city of Venice….believed to be over 1,000 years old.
Siberian Larch has been used in construction for ages. There are homes and churches in Russia that are estimated to have been standing for over 800 years. You may not be familiar with Larch as a premium building material, but that will soon change. Homes made from larch are very ecologically friendly because the annual growth of Siberian Larch is greater than the annual felling rate. Siberian Larch can reach a height of up to 40m and a diameter of 60cm or more. The climate in which Siberian Larch grows is defined as ‘extreme continental, meaning short hot summers and long cold winters. This harsh climate gives Siberian Larch its unique qualities as a superior building material. Some of the characteristics of this unique material are:
Durability: Siberian Larch wood has an extremely high density of 1770 lbs/m3. High density makes it more difficult for decaying organisms to penetrate the wood. In its durability larch is equivalent to the Oak. Larch`s hardness is 109 units on the Brinnel’s scale. Oak is 110 units.
Longevity: In a scientific study on the properties of Siberian Larch, it was concluded that larch trees are composed of 75-90% heartwood. Heartwood is denser, less permeable, and more durable than the surrounding sapwood. Very few species possess such a large percentage of heartwood. European Standard EH 350-2 classifies Siberian Larch among the most durable of species.
Resistance to Indentation: Siberian Larch is quite a hard wood. It has a hardness of 7095 lbs/cm2 as measured by the Janka Scale. Harder wood means fewer dents and abrasions as well as fewer places for water and fungi to penetrate the wood.
Aesthetic Beauty: Siberian Larch ranges from pale honey to reddish-brown. Annual rings are well defined; they can be easily seen on every transversal section of the wood and provide a beautiful texture to the planed surfaces. Larch sapwood does not get blue stain. The sapwood of any species of tree is the softer, more vulnerable wood that is often subject to attack by airborne mold which can turn the wood blue. However, Larch`s never turn blue, even at the time of warm weather or sap flowing.
Health Properties: Larch’s medical properties are specified by biologically active substances, antioxidants, which help the organism to wrestle against aging and various diseases, particularly in circumstances where stressing, polluted environment and radiation are prevalent.