This study assesses the changes in elastic behaviour (i.e. modulus of elasticity - MOE) and mass loss of different hardwood and softwood species exposed to decay in laboratory soil-bed tests. Elasticity moduli were determined using conventional static methods as well as a dynamic method based on flexural vibration. The results obtained show a high correlation between dynamic and static bending measurements for all the timber species tested at different stages of fungal decay. Furthermore, the non-destructive MOE assessment proved to be a good tool for the early detection of wood decay.