AbstractDrying time reduction has always been a major concern in the drying process and is achievable by increasing the temperature of the surrounding air. To optimize the quality of the resulting material, drying conditions must be enhanced to reach a balanced correlation between the drying time and quality of the dried timber. This paper analyses the high-temperature drying of wood and the optimization of this process, as well as the effect that drying temperature and thickness of beech timber specimens has on the drying process. The high-temperature drying of beech wood was carried out by means of hot air in a laboratory drier for maximum 33 hours at maximum temperatures of 130 and 150 °C. The initial moisture content of samples was approximately 70%. The resulting drying times were short in comparison to conventional warm-air drying, which is caused by the high intensity of drying during the removal of bound water. Finally, it can be concluded that the thickness of the dried specimens is a significant factor in the process of high-temperature drying of beech wood.