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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Pygeum africanum

syn. Prunus africanum


Family: Rosaceae

Other Common Names: Mkomohoyo, Mseneo (Tanzania), Ntasesa (Uganda), Tenduet, Mueri (Kenya).

Distribution: Found mainly in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zaire; semitropical rain forests at altitudes of 5,000 to 9,000 ft.

The Tree: May reach a height of 120 ft, but may vary markedly according to site; bole straight and clear to 50 ft, sometimes buttressed; trunk diameter to 3 ft.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood pale red when freshly cut, turning on exposure to a dark rich red color; sapwood pale pink, not clearly defined. Texture medium to fine; grain straight to interlocked.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.58; air-dry density 45 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

12% (40) 17,700 1,640 9,100

Janka side hardness 1,860 lb at 12% moisture content.

Drying and Shrinkage: Very difficult to season, dries slowly, liable to checking, warp, and collapse. Kiln schedule T3-C2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-C1 for 8/4. Volumetric shrinkage green to ovendry 9.1%.

Working Properties: Seasoned wood saws easily and cleanly, works well with hand and machine tools, difficult to nail, polishes and finishes well.

Durability: Heartwood is perishable. Sapwood liable to powder-post beetle attack.

Preservation: Resistant to preservative treatments.

Uses: Flooring, heavy construction where durability is not required, furniture components.

Additional Reading: (3), (5), (9), (40)