Hevea brasiliensis (plantation)
Family: Euphorbiaceae
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Para Rubbertree

Other Common Names: Arbol de caucho (Venezuela), Sibi-sibi (Guyana), Mapalapa (Surinam), Seringa, Seringuera (Brazil), Capi, Jeve, Shiringa (Peru).

 

Distribution: Amazon Basin, but widely planted in Southeast Asia and West Africa for rubber production.

 

The Tree: In the wild may reach heights of 100 to 125 ft with large cylindrical trunks with or without buttresses.  Cultivated the tree reaches a diameter of about 20 in., usually with a short bole, and with pronounced taper.

 

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood whitish when freshly cut, becoming light brown with a pink tinge on exposure; not distinct from sapwood.  Texture moderately coarse and even; grain straight; has a characteristic sour smell; luster low.

 

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.46 to 0.52; air- dry density 35 to 40 pcf.

 

Mechanical Properties: No data available but is reported to be equal to or stronger than Pinus sylvestris in all mechanical properties.

 

Drying and Shrinkage: Air-dries rapidly; warp is severe unless stickers are closely spaced and the piles are weighted; should be dried under cover.  Lumber requires chemical dipping to control blue stain and borer attack.  Kiln schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock.  Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.3%; tangential 5.1%.

 

Working Properties: The timber is reported to saw without difficulty and planes easily to a smooth surface; tends to split in nailing.

 

Durability: The timber is perishable and stains readily.  Also highly susceptible to borer and termite attack as well as powder-post beetles.

 

Preservation: Reported to have satisfactory treatability; absorbs 7 pcf of preservative oils using a hot and cold bath system.

 

Uses: Can be used in general construction provided particular care is used to control stain and insect attack, pulp and paper products, fiberboard, and particleboard, furniture components.  Of course, the tree is best known for its yield of latex.

 

Additional Reading: (12), (67)

 

12.  Burgess, P. F. 1966.  Timbers of Sabah.  Sabah Forest Records No.  6.

67.  Thomas, A. V., and F. H. Landon. 1953. The timber of para rubber. The Malay Forester 16(4): 21 7-21 9.

 

From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.