Mountain ash is a hardwood

Mountain ash - little known as a wood, but very high quality

Technical values

Measured value descriptionvalue
Bulk density0.67-0.90 g / cc
Compressive strength45 - 55 N / mm²
Flexural strength93-108 N / mm²

Other designations and DIN designation

The mountain ash is a tree that is very common in Europe and has been used for many millennia. Accordingly, there are also diverse and very different names for the tree and the wood:

  • Atlas wood
  • Silk wood
  • Atlas berry wood
  • Rowanberry wood
  • Sorbe
  • Swiss pear tree



The grain is very irregular, annual rings are clearly visible in the wood. The structure looks simple but elegant and is very similar to that of pear wood.


Unlike the classic pear wood, the wood of the mountain ash is much more reddish in color. This is a good way to distinguish the two types of wood.


Mountain ash wood is only moderately hard, but dense and heavy. A lot of force is required for processing, tools should be hardened as far as possible.

Shrinkage and drying

The drying process requires a lot of care, as there is a high tendency to crack and warp. The shrinkage behavior is very pronounced in mountain ash wood.


Mountain ash wood is neither weatherproof nor resistant to fungal and insect attack. It is therefore not possible to use it outdoors.


Mountain ash wood is used as much as possible in the same way as classic pear wood, that is, mainly for carving and turning work. Because of its high dimensional accuracy, measuring instruments, slide rules and musical instruments are also made from mountain ash wood.


The mountain ash is native everywhere in Central Europe, smaller stocks can also be found in North Africa and the Middle East. These stands are of no importance for forestry.


Mountain ash wood generally costs between 1,600 and 2,200 EUR per m³ in the timber trade. This makes it many times more expensive than the original pear wood (1,400 - 1,600 EUR per m³).

Here you will find an overview of the most important types of wood worldwide. You can find an overview of the most important tropical wood species, such as Angelique, here

If you are offered "Swiss pear tree", it is very often actually mountain ash wood - so the high price for the special pear tree variant is usually justified.

Author: Johanna Bauer Home »Building» Building Materials »Wood