Bentley Uses Trees From Mississippi Wetlands For Its Latest Wooden Veneer

Bentley customers now have the option of a new wooden veneer at their disposal, dubbed Liquid Amber.

This is the brand’s seventh exclusive veneer and the first added in five years. Wooden veneers may be quite a common occurrence in cars, but few manufacturers go to the extraordinary lengths that Bentley does to source the finest trees in the world.

This latest veneer comes from the American Red Gum, found in the moist soils of the Mississippi wetlands. The tree’s resin is called Liquid Amber, hence the name.

Bentley only has access to the wetlands twice a year to harvest the wood. Once it’s been harvested, the wood undergoes a natural smoking process to give it a rich brown look.

Next, the brand’s experts transport it to the Bentley woodshop in Crewe, where it is closely examined. Between 30 and 70 per cent of all Liquid Amber veneer to arrive in the UK is rejected by the automaker. Only the highest-quality veneer will be accepted, with high-burr density, minimal sapwood, and a total lack of bark growth or structural defects.

The process ends with each veneer cut into a 0.6 mm layer. Then, 18 months of tests for stability in UV light and consistency from tree to tree are undertaken before the wooden trim finds its way into a Bentley.

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  • Marty

    I thought all resin was liquid amber 🙂

  • Bash

    This is the first time in like 6 years, isn’t it?

  • Bo Hanan

    There is something wrong about “harvesting” a tree that is so rare…
    Not a tree-Hugger

    • Status

      American Red Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) is not a rare species of tree.

      • Bo Hanan

        Rare enough for Bentley and its customers.

    • Erzhik

      It’s only rare in a sense where it’s growing and how much effort it takes to get a hold of one. Since the wetlands is considered a reserve and under federal and state protection, and Bentley is allowed to “harvest” only twice a year, I would say they take only what is allowed by law. So nothing really hurting the flora and fauna.

  • jaykit

    So the Mississippi swamp-tree trim package? Tight.

  • Richard Taylor

    I hope the limited access Bentley has to the wood is about managing sustainability. Meanwhile I’d love to know what happens to the 30% of wood that’s discarded by the Crewe factory. Presumably its used somewhere else. I admire the lengths that luxury brands go to to secure the best but there needs to be a sustainability dialogue happening between the brand and customer. The most admirable premium efforts of late are by Land Rover who sourced Kvadrat fabrics as an alternative to leather. More of that, please.

    • Erzhik

      Since the wetlands are under the federal protection, I would assume they take only what is allowed. If it doesn’t fit their needs, it is most definitely sold to other markets.

  • Six_Tymes

    A Great idea actually, Not cutting down growing trees.