Phoenixwood - An Environmental Wonder



Phoenixwood is proving to be one of those rare environmental solutions that also makes good economic sense. The mitigating effects of sustainable forest cultivation on climate change and the environment are a good news story for our planets future.

The Normandy Shutter range is made of the finest Phoenixwood, a sustainable tree species that has genuine green environmental credentials.

The Phoenixwood tree, also know as Paulownia or Kiri tree, is one of the worlds fastest growing tree species. Sawn timber can be harvested in less than 10 years and after harvesting, a new tree can grow from the original stump (coppice growth), using the old and well established root system.

This process can be repeated several times, saving post-harvest clearing, land erosion and the resultant runoff and river salinity.

The Phoenixwood tree has a long tap root system that regulates the water table. It keeps soil salinity in check and absorbs waste water pollutants. Because its root system does not compete with the roots of most crops and it increases soil fertility, it is a favoured tree species used for intercropping.

Phoenixwood trees also improve the microclimate by reducing the effects of drying winds and increasing air moisture during the dry season, by absorbing underground water from deeper layers and humidifying the air by transpiration. The huge leaves of the Phoenixwood are sparse, allowing plenty of light to come through, thus food crops recieve light at all times (around 20% - 40% light penetration)

Besides the extraordinary benefits of growing Phoenixwood, all parts of the trees can be used for commercial purposes. This is another reason why many species of Phoenixwood are successfully used in agroforestry.

Phoenixwood Characteristics




Dimensionally stable, consistently knot free, durable and light hardwood

  • Beautiful light honey to blond colour
  • One of the highest strength to weight ratios
  • Extraordinary wood grain with a silky satin appearance
  • Free of volatile oils and low resin - fire retardent (ignition temperature 420 to 430 degrees celsius)
  • Resists splitting and warping
  • Accepts almost any kind of oils, stains, lacquers, polishes and paints
  • Low thermal conductivity, thus excellent insulation qualities
  • Naturally resistant to rotting and decay
  • Sound absorbent


Prescription Wood Conditioning - for reduced shrinkage & swelling

The Norman Shutters patented wood drying techniques, originated in their research and development laboratories, is used on the complete range of Norman timber shutters.

We employ our prescription Wood Conditioning technique to reduce post installation shrinking and swelling on Norman timber shutters.

Drying to the proper environmental conditions ensures that shutters will close tightly without gaps, resulting in a more solid and beautiful shutter for years to come.

Wood shrinking and swelling is the main cause of poor alignment, loose closure and gaps in installed shutters. Over time, flawed shutter construction and manufacturing shortcuts result in a decline in value and appearance.


Quarter-sawn louvres - for beauty & extreme durability

The finest heirloom furniture is made with quarter-sawn wood to ensure generations of durability and so are all Norman timber shutter louvres.

In quarter-sawing, the wood is harvested from tree logs in a way that makes it less susceptible to inherent cupping, twisting and warping.

Cuts are made vertically through the tree, across and perpendicular to the growth rings which gives the wood remarkable strength and stability.

Though craftsmen recognise that quarter-sawn wood results in a superior shutter product, flat-sawn wood is widely substituted because it is much more plentiful and inexpensive. Quarter-sawing yields fewer usable boards and are extremely prized for the manufacture of superior quality shutters.

Quarter-sawn wood enhances the Norman Timber Shutter range. The tight grain pattern showcases more depth and character than flat sawn wood and the smooth surfaces result in an exceptionally smooth finish.

With Quarter-sawn timber, growth rings are parallel to the short face. The long face of every board is close to a radial face. A large number of growth rings can be seen on this face.

Quarter Sawn Timber copy web

Advantages of Quarter-sawn timber

  • Best grain shows on face
  • Good wearing surface for floors, furniture
  • Radial face preferred for coatings
  • Lower width shrinkage when dried
  • Less cupping and warping than other cuts
  • Can be successfully reconditioned