Why Holly is Expensive Wood

      Very tricky to saw and kiln dry, holly yields small amounts of useful wood and that makes it a pricey variety. April 19, 2006

Question
I need a small amount of holly lumber for my segmented turning. I have found some, but why is the cost of this lumber so high compared to some other woods?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor B:
Same reason the price of oil is high and caviar is expensive. It's the first law of economics: supply and demand.



From contributor J:
The reason holly is a little pricey is that it is very hard to dry and keep straight. You generally cannot get large timbers, either. It grows kind of funny in the wild if surrounded by other trees, and doesn't get all that big. Also not as common as other hardwoods.


From contributor A:
I have cut a fair amount of holly for woodworkers that felt the same way about the price. In each case, they supplied the logs and we took extreme care with handling the boards I cut for them. They realized that even with great care in stacking and stickering and dedusting, it was extremely difficult to get the bright white holly that they were hoping for without a significant amount of degrade and warping. I have cut many other species for these folks and they have had great success in drying, but the holly seems to elude them. I'm satisfied that they now know why very nice holly commands such a premium price.


From contributor D:
I've dried a lot of holly in my vac kiln. To keep it white, you need to blast the water out. To keep it flat, you need a press. It's the worst stuff I've ever seen for warp.


From contributor C:
Supply and demand, tough to dry and keep from twisting. Landscapers get to see a lot of them being removed during refurbishing landscapes. In another lifetime, we took out a 16 foot tall holly with about a 14 inch base. Oh, if I knew then what I know now.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Sawmilling


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article