Relatively Russia is well known as one of the centers of world’s best wooden architecture since 10-12th centuries. Rich in extra quality wood Russia developed greatest traditions of wooden buildings from simple private wooden homes to scenic churches like one in Kizhi village or Wooden Palace of Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich in Kolomenskoye, near Moscow. In some parts of Russia existing wooden structures are considered to be almost 700 years old. And traditionally all wooden buildings from ancient times up to date are made with use of Northern coniferous trees.
In Northern world, namely in Central Siberia where we get wood for Maharaja Log Homes, summers are very short and winters are very cold, so trees are grown very slow and quality of wood from these region is much better. Sometimes density of Siberian timber is double if compared with European species. And in addition due to dry summers with short vegetative periods trees are induced to shade brunches in early stage of bowl development making the lumber milled from pine logs less knotty.
The most frequent use is granted to Pine wood which is proven to be the best for log homes construction both by cost and by quality. We use Siberian Pine logs for walls, roof and floor members in our wooden homes.
Russian Pine is a large conifer tree reaching up to 90-130 feet tall with bowl diameter growing up to 30-50 inches (at the breast height). The heartwood species filed with resin fluxes concentrated mainly in the latewood while the sapwood has lighter color varying from yellowish to pink. The rings are well seen in all the sections with clear border between early and latewood.
The best quality wood comes from pines growing in Russian northern regions. This wood has narrow-ringed dense wood with high amount of late zones as well as narrow sapwood with 10 to 14 numbers of rings per centimeter. Wood density is medium (above 540 kg/m3 for the wood with natural moisture content).
In addition Siberian Pine (Pinus Sibirica) is considered to be the tree of calmness and courage. Thermal protection characteristics of pine wood exceed the ones for such materials as aluminum and PVC. Pine wood is mechanically reliable with low heat conductivity. Pine wood can be distinguished by its bright distinctive texture pattern. It neither fades nor bleaches while the wood becomes darker with years tingeingwith reddish color due to large amount of resins.
Russian Larch (Larix Sibirica)–is the only coniferous tree, which is grouped as a soft wood but basically is as hard as oak almost. Some name it «Tree of eternity» due to incredible durability.
WSiberian Larch is the best quality coniferous tree thanks to high durability and extra resistance against rot and funguswhat makes it ideal for exterior application, cladding and decking. European standards refer Russian larch to the group of extra firm species. Larch resin is evenly divided between wood fiber and works as a good antiseptic: protects wood against moisture, fungal diseases and insects - pests.
Long-term researches have shown that the combination of such factors as high density and high resinous properties with the very specific structure of resin makes Larch wood the most decay resistant wood, twice durable than pine. According to the Moscow State University of Forestry research, larch wood is twice more fireproof than pine wood.
The prevailing color of the timber is yellowish-brown or yellowish-grey and sometimes orange to red, which creates a beautiful and warm play of colors in the wood. The construction qualities of larch along with its esthetic benefits widen the scopes for different architectural and designing ideas.
While other species might be liable to stain and decay, in a long term larch retains all the characteristics of high-quality wood even without chemical treatment. Larch planks used in external applications without any treatment may eventually change the color, but will not lose its properties. Deep yellow andreddish colors can be maintained using natural protective oils. Siberian larch is irreplaceable in cases when the chemical treatment of wood structures is not allowed, but weathering resistance is necessary.
There is one very good proof of larch wood properties uniqueness- Italian city of Venice built on several small islands. In order to reinforce the ground the Venetians had rammed hundreds of thousands of wooden piles into it so it would make a solid foundation for the majestic city. But it is a well-known fact that wood rots in the ground. However, the city of Venice has been standing on its wooden piles since the year 810!More than one thousand and two hundred years passed since then, and suddenly the citizens began to wonder: “What if the piles started to rot?” “How is it that the Venetian piles are so strong?”