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The wettability of a freshly cut wood surface will change over time, which is denoted as natural ageing. Water contact angle measurements indicated that the thermal modification of European beech reduces its wettability, but does not affect the rate at which the contact angle increases within a 4-week period. A plasma treatment of fresh wood surfaces enhanced the wettability and equaled the wettability properties of unmodified and thermally modified wood surfaces. The contact angle on plasma-treated wood surfaces increased faster than on unmodified wood surfaces, but a reduction in contact angle by the plasma treatment was still evident after ageing for 4 weeks.