Wood is divided into two kinds;  hardwood and softwood, however the names do not always refer to its actual hardness or softness.


Softwoods come from evergreen (coniferous) trees, those that have needles and cones and retain them year-round, also called gymnosperms. Examples include Cedar, Cypress, Fir, Pine and Spruce.

Hardwoods come from broad-leaved (deciduous) trees (those that drop their leaves each Autumn, also known as angiosperms because their seeds are encased in fruits or pods). Examples include Ash, Beech, Birch, Iroko, Mahogany, Maple, Oak, Teak and Walnut.


Softwood for gates:

Slow grown, kiln dried joinery grade Scandinavian softwood typically a creamy white colour, with a hint of yellow and/or red. Softwood is a more economical option but is less durable than Iroko. Pedestrian and 5 Bar softwood gates are supplied pressure treated (Wolmanit® CX), giving the gates a green tint. This will naturally silver over time.  Although the gates are pressure treated we would recommend regular treatment to extend the life of the gate.

All Charltons Courtyard Gates are manufactured using the finest quality joinery grade kiln dried Scandinavian redwood. The wood is certified as being responsibly sourced from PEFC timber. Courtyard gates are supplied with two coats of water based preservative. However, it’s important to note that all gates must be treated with a Modern UV wood oil prior to installation to maintain their quality. Click here for more information.

Softwood for Fencing & Landscaping

Charltons Fencing and Landscaping products all use pressure treated sawn timber softwood which is certified as sourced from PEFC timber. Many of our products are also available in out Longlast range. The timber is pressure treated with Wolmanit® CX.

Untreated Softwood

Untreated planed joinery grade softwood

pressure treated softwood

Pressure treated planed joinery grade softwood

Dipped Brown Softwood

Dipped Brown planed joinery grade softwood

Pressure treated sawn softwood

Pressure treated sawn softwood





Hardwood; Iroko & Oak

Iroko for gates

All Charltons Courtyurad & Driveway Gates gates are offered in Iroko: This is a responsibly sourced kiln dried African Hardwood. It is usually a yellow to golden or medium brown, with colour tending to darken over time. Iroko is a very durable hardwood which is hard wearing and resistant to decay. If left untreated the wood will gradually silver but can be prone to watermarks. Although Iroko is a hardwood we would recommend treatment using a modern UV Oil (click here for more information) to protect the wood and to extend the life of the gate.

Untreated Iroko Hardwood

Untreated planed joinery grade Iroko

Iroko hardwood treated with oil

Iroko treated with Oil

Iroko Hardwood treated with oil

Iroko treated with oil





Charltons sources Iroko from a hardwood specialist importer. Every single piece of wood that passes through our importers hands can be fully traced back to its source. They know where it grew, when it was felled, which mill it came from and even its thickness. They take all reasonable measures to ensure that the timber supplied to
Charltons does not come from:
• Wood harvested from forest areas where traditional or civil rights are violated.
• Wood harvested from non FSC/PEFC certified forest areas having high conservation values which are threatened.
• Wood harvested from genetically modified (GM) trees.
• Illegally harvested wood.
• Natural forest that has been converted to plantations of non-forest use.

Oak for gates

Kiln dried premium European Oak is a durable hardwood light brown in colour, sometimes with a slight olive cast. It can distinguished from other types of oak by its small tassels and can have a striking flame-like patterning. The Oak is PEFC Certified from sustainable sources. Although Oak is a hardwood we would recommend treatment using a modern UV Oil (click here for more information) to protect the wood and to extend the life of the gate.

Untreated oak

Oiled Oak





Please remember timber is a natural product. It is a hygroscopic material, which means it naturally absorbs and gives off water to balance out with its surrounding environment. As such can be subject to movement and weathering as it seasons. It is quite common for small splits and shakes to occur during drying and also warping when timber is allowed to dry too rapidly. This is nature at work and should not be considered a fault. This is normally not detrimental and in all but extreme cases will rectify as humidity rises. Treating your gate with a modern UV oil will help alleviate the affects of weathering – click here to see how to treat your wooden gate.





For details on Wolmanit CX biocidal information click here