USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
(608) 231-9200


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Musanga cecropioides

African Corkwood

Umbrella Tree

Family: Moraceae

Other Common Names: Parasolier (Ivory Coast), N'Govoge (Sierra Leone), Doe, Govwi (Liberia).

Distribution: Found from Sierre Leone to Angola and eastward to Uganda; typical in secondary forests, common on old farms, short-lived. May form almost pure stands and is suitable for plantation culture.

The Tree: May reach a height of 100 ft; bole slender and rather straight, 20 to 40 ft in length; trunk diameters mostly 1 to 3 ft. Prop roots may extend to 9 ft and more above the base. Tree can spread vegetatively by means of aerial runners.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Wood pale yellow, pale brown, or whitish, heartwood is not distinct from sapwood. Texture coarse; grain straight, luster rather high.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.18 to 0.28; air-dry density 14 to 21 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)

12% (46) 4,600 525 2,620

12% (47) 7,700 1,080 3,620

Amsler toughness 40 to 120 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: No information on drying characteristics. A kiln schedule similar to T12-D5 has been suggested. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.2%; tangential 7.0%; volumetric 9.8%. Reported to be moderately unstable when manufactured.

Working Properties: Saws well, but difficult to plane because of low density, difficult to finish.

Durability: Wood has poor durability and is prone to mold and stain.

Preservation: Sapwood is permeable; heartwood resistant to impregnation.

Uses: Modelmaking, insulation, toys, floats (fishnets, rafts), suitable for high-yield pups.

Additional Reading: (3), (46), (47)