Making the grade - A guide to appearance grading UK grown hardwood timber

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This guide details appearance grades applicable to hardwood planks and boards from trees grown in the UK. It broadly follows the grading criteria set out in EN 975 - 1 but with modifications to take account of the timber availability, species, characteristics and production methods found in the UK.

Three appearance grades are defined for all species. However, some mills or users may wish to make fine distinctions within these grades so each grade can be split into two sub-grades, plus 'special feature' grades.

The Guide was commissioned by the Forestry Commission, the Welsh Development Agency, the Northern Ireland Forest Service, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Forestry Trust.


  • The appearance grading system used in this guide
  • Detailed grading criteria
    • Ash
    • Beech
    • Oak
    • Sycamore
    • Sweet chestnut
    • Cherry
    • Lime
    • Elm
  • A comparison between this system and the European and British standards
  • Measurement of sawn hardwood timber
  • Properties and uses of UK hardwoods
  • Specification, sourcing and certification

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