The common beech (Fagus sylvatica). - The wood in the young tree is light brown; old wood is very dark. The medullary rays are large, glossy, and dark brown, and the general colour of the wood is uniform. The concentric annual layers are not specially conspicuous, but they are easily distinguished. Beech timber is hard, close, heavy, and easily split, especially in the direction of the medullary rays. It is inelastic and rather brittle. It dries very slowly, and warps easily. It is very durable under water and when kept dry, but if exposed to varying degrees of moisture it is the least durable of all timbers. It is highly valued for its hardness, and much used for barrels.

The oak (Quercus robur). - The sap-wood and the wood in young stems is nearly white. The heart-wood in older trees is brownish. The large pores on the inner edges of the annual layers, and the broad, yellowish brown, frequently glossy, medullary rays are specially noticeable. This timber is peculiarly hard, strong, and durable. It is not affected by alternations in the degree of moisture, and it is in all circumstances the most durable of all our timbers. It dries slowly, and is very apt to warp unless thoroughly well seasoned. After being in water - especially salt water-for many years, its colour becomes bluish black. The oak furnishes better timber than any other tree of Northern Europe.

[The chestnut (Castanea vesca). - The colour of the sap-wood is yellowish white; that of the heart-wood is light to dark brown. The wood of the chestnut resembles that of the oak in colour, but it may easily be distinguished from it by the absence of the broad medullary rays which are found in the oak. The timber is heavy, hard, elastic, and very durable if kept uniformly either dry or wet. If subjected to Variations in the degree of moisture it is of low durability. - Trs.]

The lime (Tilia). - The wood is usually white, soft, and light. The medullary rays are extremely fine, and the annual layers can scarcely be distinguished. It does not warp easily. It is of low durability, and is not very serviceable.

The maple (Acer platanoides). - The wood is white, with very narrow and numerous medullary rays of a faint brown colour, which give it a beautifully " waved " lustrous appearance. The annual layers are inconspicuous. The wood is uniform in texture, hard, strong, tough, and difficult to split; it presents a glossy surface to the plane, and does not crack or warp readily. In consequence of these good qualities, it is much sought after for slojd timber.

The White-beam (Sorbus Scandica). - The wood of the young tree is yellowish. OJder wood is light brown or reddish in colour. It is frequently speckled or veined. This timber is fine and uniform in texture, hard, close, and very tough. It warps but little, and is much valued as slojd timber.

The pear and the apple (Pyrus). - The wood of the young tree is nearly white. Older wood is dark brown, sometimes red in colour, and often streaked. It is very fine and close in texture, hard, heavy and tough. The medullary rays are small, and they and the annual layers are inconspicuous. It can be cut easily in all directions, and does not splinter, owing to the uniformity of its texture.

The wood of the apple tree has a general resemblance to that of the pear, but it is closer, redder, and harder - indeed the apple furnishes one of the hardest timbers. The wood of the wild pear or apple is superior to that of the cultivated varieties. The wood of both trees is much esteemed.

The rowan (Sorbus Aucuparia). - The wood is whitish or light brown, In some respects it resembles the white-beam, but it is not so good. As slojd timber it may often rank with the birch.

The common walnut (Juglans regia). - The wood of the young tree is almost white, loose in texture, and soft. Older wood is brownish grey or dark brown, and is often beautifully marked. It is hard and strong, and generally close in texture, though, like the oak, it has particularly large pores. The medullary rays are almost invisible. It dries very slowly, and shrinks a good deal. It is one of the most beautiful European timbers, and is extensively used.

The following tropical timbers may also be mentioned:-

Ebony (Diospyros). - From Africa and the East Indies. The sap-wood is quite white, the heart-wood generally quite black, though sometimes brownish black with white streaks and flecks towards its inner edge, which detract from the value of the wood. Its texture is so uniform that it is impossible to distinguish the annual layers or the medullary rays. The timber is brittle, but very hard, close and heavy. On account of the three last named qualities, and its beauty, it is much esteemed, but it is too expensive to be used to any great extent.

Mahogany (Swietenia Mahogani). - From Central America and the West Indies. Other kinds of timber are also sold under this name. When fresh the wood is generally reddish or brownish yellow, but it gradually darkens, and finally becomes almost black. It has narrow, rather inconspicuous annual layers, and small but distinctly visible pores. In longitudinal section the figuring of this timber is very beautiful. It has fleck-like or pyramidal markings, with a fine satin-like lustre. It varies much in hardness, weight, closeness, and general texture in different varieties. Mahogany is under all circumstances very durable. It warps but little ; shrinks less than any other timber ; and is never attacked by worms. It is highly esteemed as timber, and is very extensively used.

Lignum vitae (Guaiacum officinale). - From Central America. The wood is greenish or blackish brown, with yellowish and dark streaks in longitudinal section. It is heavy, resinous, very close-grained, and almost as hard as metal. It is twisted in fibre, very difficult to split, and therefore not easy to work. Its extraordinary hardness and great durability make it valuable in the case of articles which are exposed to much wear and tear.