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The Wild Service Tree (Sorbus Torminalis)

Keep your eyes open!


Swiss Pear is the trade name used on the continent for this species. The majority of mature trees today come from France, but it also occurs in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Due to the strong demand early in the 1990s and because of the low occurrence of this species, prices for logs have exploded so that Swiss Pear is now one of the most expensive species in the world. It is used for bedroom furniture, panelling and office furniture.

It is often treated with little respect in Britain because we do not seem to realise how valuable the species can become when it reaches the kind of girth and length as shown in the photograph.

This particular tree was only allowed to be felled from a Suffolk woodland because a storm had snapped the top and it had damaged nearby young Oaks. The size of the butt length was 9 1/2 ft x 21 ins = 29.09 cu ft. When offered to a renowned continental veneer cutter, much interest was expressed, but because it was a single tree, the veneer merchant could not justify the transportation costs.

It was therefore cut into 1 inch and 2 inch planking and sold to North Heigham Sawmills in Norwich – where it was much appreciated.

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