Lexicon DIY-Knowledge

Fir (Silver Fir)

Tanne / Abies alba



This coniferous tree is very common in Central and Southern Europe, in Germany it is rather rare. Only some 2 % of the entire tree population here are firs. It is mainly found in the Black and the Bavarian Forests. As a typical heliophobic or shade tree its growth is good when young even under shady conditions, but its maximum growth rate is not reached before it is 80-90 years old. In hardware stores its timber is mainly sold as silver fir. It is reddish-white to yellow-white, similar to spruce, however harder to process since it is more brittle and without pitch pockets. Fir wood has a bright yellow age colour.

Fir wood is soft, medium heavy and shrinks modestly. It is very stable, resistant against acids and base liquids, and can be processed equally well by hand and by machines.
Gluing stability and natural resistance are very good.
Fir wood is like spruce wood an excellent construction and commercial timber.
As non-resinous wood it is used frequently for interior fittings, but also for ground and water works as structural and building timber. Beams, rafters, square timbers, planks, grids, water wheel blades, pikes, and also vats are made of fir wood, as are fibre boards and wood core plywood.
In addition, becuase it can be easily split, it is used to make chip-packaging and for paper and cellulose production.