What is oak bogwood?
Bogwood is a type of wood. More specifically, this wood type comes from trees that have been buried in peat bogs and preserved from decay by acidic and anaerobic bog conditions. This wood ranges in age from 2,500 to 5,000 years. Bog oak is known for its exceptional strength and often used to make luxury furniture and interiors. Its age and living conditions give it a unique character and rich natural colour variation determined by its age. Its colour gradually darkens with age going from a light, golden brown to an almost ebony-black colour.
Bogwood's formation process
As mentioned above, bogwood is created from tree trunks that lay for centuries and millennia in bogs, or bog-like conditions such as river bottoms, swamps and lakes. The extremely low oxygen conditions of the bog protect the wood from normal decay, and lead to the process of fossilisation.
The flow and depth of the water have a key role in the formation of bog-wood. This is because, the iron and minerals of the water in the peat bogs react with the tannins in the wood, naturally staining the wood. This is a centuries-long process known as maturation, in which the wood goes from a golden-brown to a completely black colour. At the same time, this increases the wood’s hardness, in fact it becomes so strong that the it requires speciality tools to cut it. This also means that products made of bogwood are impervious to pests, and maintain their pristine condition for centuries to come.
The time taken for wood to transform into bogwood varies, yet the maturation tends to last thousands of years. As a result of the ecological reasons aforementioned, no two bogwood trunks will ever be the same colour.
One of bogwood’s main characteristics is its natural staining and colour variations, and direction of growth rings. As a general guideline, bogwood darkens with time, slowly turning from a light, golden brown colour to a lustrous, completely black colour. Yet, the species of the trees and bog conditions (variations in water level, soil composition and water acidity) significantly affect the final colour of a piece of bogwood.
What type of tree is bogwood?
Bogwood is not a specific species, but is rather a term given to wood that has been buried in a peat bog for hundreds or sometimes thousands of years. Hence, bog-wood is wood at the early stages of fossilisation, if this fossilisation was to proceed over a period of many millions of years it would form jet, lignite and coal. Having said this, bogwood can come from any species of trees that naturally grow near or in bogs. These include oak, pine, swamp cypress, kauri and yew. Among them, oak bogwood is one of the rarest and more sought-after bogwood species in the world.
Oak bogwood and Sakai Kyuba knives
One of the latest additions to our Sakai Kyuba knives range is oak bogwood. More specifically, our knives’ kakumaki (collar of the handle) is now made entirely with oak bogwood. This gives each Sakai Kyuba knife an even richer history as this single wood piece ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 years in age. Similarly, it adds to the uniqueness of our knives as no two kakumaki’s will ever be the same, giving you a unique piece of craftsmanship.