How do Siberian Larch and British Larch differ?

If you are looking for Larch timber, you will usually come across two different types: Siberian Larch and British Larch. But which should you choose? At EcoChoice, we are asked this question fairly frequently and thought it best to answer it once and for all. To do that, we have compared the two timbers right here, giving you everything you need to know to make the right choice.

Two Different Trees From Two Different Continents

Of course, the main difference between Siberian Larch and British Larch is where the two are grown! Fortunately, the names make that pretty easy to differentiate. One is native to Siberia, and the other to Britain and Northern Europe.

Two Different Species

Although both are called Larch trees, they are actually entirely different species. The British Larch is also known as Larix Decidua, and the Siberian Larch can be referred to as Larix Sibirica. They are similar in name, but very different when you examine the tree itself.

Siberian Larch Trees vs British Larch Trees

The physical appearance of both trees is fairly similar, with narrow-reaching foliage growing in a triangular shape. Tall and either green or yellow, it can be hard to tell the two apart at face value. However, the timber is where the contrasts begin.

Timber from the Larch grown in Britain is a pale blush pink in colour with consistent dark knots in the wood. The Siberian Larch, on the other hand, is more of a pale straw colour not unlike Pine, and the knots are usually fewer, smaller and more grey than dark. 

Durability and Stability

Compared to other tree species, such as Cedar, both Larch trees are fairly unstable. They can see quite a lot of shrinkage throughout the year and can be prone to mild splitting.

But when it comes to durability, the Siberian Larch comes out on top. Due to the harsh winter conditions in which the timber is grown, with temperatures dropping to an average of -16° in January, it tends to be more resistant and hardy. This makes it a better choice for external uses such as decking or cladding than British Larch, especially if you live in a cold and frosty environment.

Price Differences of Siberian and British Larch

Both Larch trees are very accessible and tend to be fairly similar in price. However, UK grown Larch can often beat Siberian Larch, coming in at a slightly cheaper price. It is important to ensure you check the certification when purchasing your Larch, though, especially if the price seems to be very cheap. It is vital you source either Larch from a sustainably managed forest, something with which our team at EcoChoice can help. We support FSC certified forests and sawmills so that your project is not only beautiful, but it also helps to protect endangered habitats. 

Find Sustainable Timber With EcoChoice

We source all our timber from independently certified forests where sustainable practices are followed, from promoting biodiversity and protecting local communities to securing the safety of our planet’s forests for years to come. When you choose sustainable Larch from Ecochoice, you are helping the whole world. To find out more, get in touch with our team today and we will be happy to help answer any questions!

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