This tree is found throughout England and Scotland, in the temperate parts of Europe, in America, and Australia.
Has remarkably distinct medullary rays; the annual rings are visible; each is a little darker on one side than the other, and is full of very minute pores. The colour is a whitish brown, darker or lighter according to the variety; the wood has considerable beauty, especially when the silver grain is exposed.
It is durable if quite dry or wholly submerged in water, but if subjected to alternate wet and dry becomes overspread with yellowish spots and soon decays. It rots quickly in damp places. It is very subject to the attacks of worms, and contains juices which corrode metal fastenings.
The white variety is the hardest, but the black is tougher and more durable.