To achieve a more prominent integration of native hardwoods into construction as load-bearing elements it is necessary to evaluate their suitability on a technological and an economical basis. This paper provides information on the strength grading characteristics of six European hardwood species. Market available dried sawn wood assortments were selected as research material. Lamellas with a cross section of 100 x 30 mm² and lengths up to three meters were strength graded visually according to DIN 4074-5 (2008). Additionally, dynamic modulus of elasticity
(MOEdyn) and density were determined. Out of the investigated collectives, the collectives of the species ash, maple and European oak showed the best lamella qualities. Many big knots, that led to downgrading characterized the beech and lime collectives. In lime, inbark was also abundant, which makes it less suitable for an application in construction. The influence of pith on mechanical properties is to be investigated, since in the maple, birch and ash collectives, pith was the main downgrading criterion. Ash exhibits the highest MOEdyn values, but also the highest
value variation. The highest densities were measured in the beech and oak collectives. At present, the market does not provide dried sawn wood assortments suitable as hardwood structural timber. Suitable assortments might come from round wood, which is at present consumed for energy production or from commercializing co-products from high quality products.