USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
Other Common Names: Mchenga, Mgombo, Msima (Tanzania).
Distribution: Zambia and Tanzania, widespread in the savanna woodlands.
The Tree: Total height to 40 ft; boles 8 to 20 ft; trunk diameters 1 1/2 to 3 ft; commonly contains ring shake.
General Characteristics: Heartwood dark red brown, lighter towards the periphery; sapwood pale yellowish brown, 3 to 6 in. wide, distinct. Texture medium to coarse grain strongly interlocked to irregular; lustrous.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) about 0.78; air-dry density 60 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
12% (40) 21,300 2,260 11,700
Janka side hardness 2,470 lb for dry material.
Drying and Shrinkage: Dries slowly with a strong tendency to warp; surface and end checking moderate. No information on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to 12% moisture content: radial 2.9%; tangential 3.6%. Movement in service rated as medium.
Working Properties: Difficult to work with hand and machine tools, rapid blunting of cutters, grain tears in planing and molding, slow feed speeds are suggested, unsatisfactory for turning, moderate steam-bending properties.
DurabilIty: Heartwood is rated as durable but liable to termite attack. Sapwood susceptible to attack by powder-post beetles.
Preservation: Heartwood is untreatable; permeability of sapwood variable, outer zone most permeable.
Uses: Heavy construction, mining timbers, railroad crossties.
Additional Reading: (3),(5), (40)