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What is Bog Oak?

Bog Oak is a fascinating wood, with an incredible history.

Bog oak comes from Oak trees which have generally been buried, often in marshy conditions, river beds or peat bogs and preserved from decay for hundreds or even thousands of years by the acidic and anaerobic conditions found there.  Tannins in the oak react with dissolved iron in the water, slowly turning the wood brown and then black over millennia.


Bog Oak
A piece of Bog Oak


Following the last Ice age in the UK, parts of low-lying East Anglia formed rich dense Oak woodland.  As the climate warmed and the ice continually melted, the sea levels rose, until around 6000 to 7000 years ago when these coastal areas began to flood.  This meant the trees died and fell into the newly forming fen-land.  Through draining some of these wetlands over hundreds of years and modern agricultural practices these ancient tree trunks are re-discovered and if cut and dried by specialists, can become the the UKs darkest and most fascinating timber.  The bog oak changes its characteristics as this pre-fossilisation process occurs, not only darkening to a deep brown or black, but becoming very dense and very hard.  This can make bog oak difficult to work with, blunting tools very rapidly, however the end result is always very pleasing.

Here are a number of pieces made from ancient bog oak.  The specialty box.  The Bog Oak Cufflink box

A board of Ancient Bog Oak
A board of Ancient Bog Oak