Timber joints with their simultaneous ductile and brittle failure modes still pose a major challenge when it comes to modelling. Wood is heterogeneous and highly anisotropic. It shows ductile behaviour in compression and brittle behaviour in tension and shear. A 3D constitutive model for wood based on continuum damage mechanics was developed and implemented via a subroutine into a standard FE framework. Embedment and joint tests using three different wood species (spruce, beech and azobé) were carried out, and the results were compared with modelling outcomes. The failure modes could be identified, and the general shape of the load–displacement curves agreed with the experimental outcomes.