USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
East African Camphorwood
Other Common Names: Muwong, Maasi, Mkulo (Tanzania), Mwiha (Uganda).
Distribution: Occurs in wet montane forests at altitudes of 3,000 to 9,000 ft; mainly in Kenya and Tanzania, sparse in Uganda.
The Tree: Reaches a height of 120 to 150 ft; bole straight and clear to about 50 ft; trunk diameters to 7 ft, occasionally to 10 ft. Mature trees often have heartrot.
General Characteristics: Heartwood light yellowish brown, darkening to a deep brown on exposure; sapwood slightly paler, not clearly demarcated. Texture medium to fine and even; grain interlocked producing a stripe figure; sometimes lustrous; timber has a distinct camphor scent.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.51; air-dry density 37 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (First set of data based on the 2-cm standard; second set on the 2-in. standard.)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
Green (9) 8,500 1,180 4,440
12% 13,300 1,440 7,590
12% (5) 10,900 1,440 6,790
Janka side hardness 760 lb for green material and 930 lb for dry.
Drying and Shrinkage: Seasons fairly well; but rather slowly, particularly thick stock. Kiln schedule T8-B3 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T5-B1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to 12% moisture content: radial 2.5%; tangential 4.0%. Movement in service rated as small.
Working Properties: Works easily with hand and machine tools, in planing interlocked grain a cutting angle of 20 degrees is suggested, good gluing and moderate steam-bending properties, finishes satisfactorily.
Durability: Heartwood is rated as very durable but is vulnerable to termite attack and marine borers. Sapwood liable to powder-post beetle attack.
Preservation: Heartwood is rated as extremely resistant to preservative treatments; sapwood is permeable.
Uses: Cabinet and furniture work, joinery, flooring, sliced veneer, boatbuilding.
Additional Reading: (3), (5), (9)