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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Turreanthus africanus


Family: Meliaceae

Other Common Names: Blimah-pu (Liberia), Apapaye (Ghana), Lusamba (Zaire), Apaya (Nigeria).

Distribution: From Sierra Leone to the Congo region and Angola; most common in the eastern region of the Ivory Coast, scattered elsewhere. Found near streams and lakes.

The Tree: Reaches a height of 115 ft; bole usually irregular, clear to 50 ft; fluted; trunk diameter 2 to 3 ft.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood creamy white to pale yellow, darkening to a gold yellow; sapwood not differentiated. Texture moderately fine, grain straight, wavy, or irregularly interlocked; high natural luster; has an attractive mottled figure if quartered.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.48; air-dry density 36 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

12% (9) 13,400 1,390 7,450

12% (47) 19,200 1,750 8,800

12% (44) 14,400 NA 7,050

Janka side hardness 1,080 lb for dry material. Amsler toughness 160 to 220 in.-lb. 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Dries fairly rapidly with some tendency to warp, existing end checks are liable to extend. Kiln schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.6%; tangential 6.7%; volumetric 12.0%. Movement in service is rated as small.

Working Properties: Timber saws well and easy to work with hand and machine tools, planing a cutting angle of 15 to 20 degrees is suggested to avoid tearing of interlocked grain, good gluing and veneering properties. Dermatitis, nosebleeding, and other symptoms reported in woodworkers.

Durability: Heartwood is nondurable; reported to be moderately resistant to nonresistant to termite attack.

Preservation: Heartwood extremely resistant to preservative treatments; sapwood permeable.

Uses: Furniture, fine joinery, decorative veneers, cabinetwork, paneling.

Additional Reading: (3), (9), (44), (47)