Bog oak has become quite a popular choice for wood veneer use. The fact that this wood has so much history, in the sense of time involved in its creation, gives it an additional fascination factor for many.
Bog oak is a term used for a type of oak that has been buried inside a peat bog or gravel pit for centuries. The bogs or gravel pits keep the wood protected from decay due to their anaerobic environmental conditions (basically meaning, without air).
The medium to dark brown to jet black color of the wood comes from the acidic water containing tannins, which gives the wood a special rich look. The color can be solid or have a gradual or abrupt change from dark to light.
A Brief Background on Bog Oak
Centuries ago, due to rising sea levels and weather conditions, rivers overflowed wooded areas causing the trees to die. These trees fell and were buried in silt riverbeds, bogs or gravel pits. Many of these trees have been kept incredibly well preserved, due to the oxygen-free conditions of the peat bogs and gravel pits. Modern day road constructions, excavations and river dredging have brought these ancient logos to light. Some of these discoveries have been in Germany along the Danube, the Rhine River valleys and the English and Irish peat bogs.
How is Bog Oak Produced?
Digging and reclaiming bog oak is exceptionally labor intensive and costly. Once the logs have been unearthed, they need to be sliced quickly to prevent them from drying out and getting brittle.
Characteristics of Bog Oak Wood Veneer
Bog oak is part of ‘Bog Wood’, which describes any species that has been buried in the bogs, gravel pits and swamps. Species include pine, cypress, oak and kauri. The brown-black color exhibited by bog oak is due to a chemical reaction that takes place between the soluble irons in the mineral subsoil and the tannins in the oak.
An interesting paradox, in regular logs the sapwood is usually lighter than the heartwood, in bog oak just the opposite can be true. In the latter, the outer annual rings can be dark brown to black while the center heart could be medium brown. Carbon dating has placed the age anywhere from 2000 to over 10’000 years old, making this wood a truly rare historic find and a great conversation piece.
Because bog oak is buried for an extensive number of years, it reaches the early stages of fossilization. Using bog oak is a wonderful homage to a timeless wood with a long history.