Wood working15.04.2010

Finland’s national tree – the birch

Birch logs

Birch logs

The birch is the most common deciduous tree found in Finland. Two different kinds of birch grow in Finland: the silver birch and downy birch. The first is Finland’s national tree. Koskisen Oy has found its own way to utilise the birch.

The silver birch’s wood is light in colour and in addition to being used in the plywood industry, it is a popular raw material in the joinery and furniture industries. In addition to the plywood factory, the Group’s birch experts can be found at Koskisen’s birch product industry in Hirvensalmi, where the focus is on the sawing of birch and the fl exible production of special products.

Durable and easy to shape

Most Finnish and foreign clients are interested in birch wood because of Koskisen's special birch products. Furniture manufacturer Korhonen produces custom-made illuminated PLY wall elements for Showroom Finland. They are manufactured from Vilkon Oy’s 0.4 mm thin-veneer plywood. Harri Pekonniemi from Korhonen explains that the product’s advantages are its machinability and the material’s thin-yet-tough quality.

“The process’s critical points are the quality of the veneer and a successful gluing process. Vilkon Oy’s product is excellent, however, and does not crack easily. The company has a long tradition and skills in procuring birch and manufacturing birch products.”

Pekonniemi praises Vilkon Oy’s excellent customer-oriented service and desire to create products that meet with their client’s wishes. Jyrki Vuorio from EFG, a company manufacturing office and lobby furniture, agrees. His company uses Vilkon Oy’s veneer in their furniture production. Due to its durability, veneer is more shapeable than regular plywood and its surface is especially suitable for lacquered products. “We use veneer for Eero Aarnio’s classic Liisa armchairs and sofas, for the Avia chairs, armchairs and sofas designed by Karri Monni and Kimmo Koskivaara, as well as for the brandnew Garbo armchair by Jan Ekselius. Quality and delivery reliability are the main arguments for us when choosing a raw material supplier.”

Branches of wisdom

Downy birch, Betula pubescens

Grows throughout most of Finland. Likes well-lit and fertile places. Can grow up to 20-metres in height. A light-coloured, fl exible, yet hard wood.