USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
Other Common Names: Gboyei (Sierra Leone, Liberia), Oualele, Walele (Ivory Coast), Otie (Ghana), Akomu (Nigeria), Eteng (Cameroon), Lolako (Zaire), Pycnanthus (Great Britain).
Distribution: Rain forests, transitional, and secondary formations of West Africa.
The Tree: Reaches a height of 130 ft; bole straight, cylindrical, and clear to 60 ft, sometimes with a swollen base or root swellings; trunk diameter 2 to 3 ft or occasionally more.
General Characteristics: Wood whitish-, pinkish brown, sometimes with yellowish markings, sapwood not clearly differentiated from heartwood. Texture medium to coarse; grain generally straight, no luster; freshly sawn material may have an unpleasant odor which disappears on drying.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.40; air-dry density 31 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
12% (30) 10,400 1,210 5,700
Amsler toughness 163 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Seasons rapidly but is prone to collapse, warp, and splitting. Kiln schedule T3-C2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-C1 for 8/4, requires reconditioning to remove collapse. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.6%; tangential 8.4%; volumetric 12.8%.
Working Properties: Saws easily and works well with hand and machine tools, excellent peeler, good gluing and nailing characteristics.
Durability: Wood is perishable and liable to termite attack; vulnerable to powder-post beetle attack. Logs require rapid extraction and conversion to avoid insect and fungal degrade.
Preservation: Heartwood and sapwood are permeable.
Uses: A general-utility timber, furniture components, interior joinery, plywood.
Additional Reading: (3), (9), (30)