USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheet
Other Common Names: Mukusu (Uganda), Tiama (ivory Coast), Edinam (Ghana), Kalungi (Zaire).
Distribution: West, Central, and East Africa; occurs in rain forests, deciduous forests, and transitional formations. Coppices freely at the pole stage.
The Tree: Reaches a height of 160 ft, bole moderately straight, cylindrical, clear to 60 to 80 ft; trunk diameters 4 to 7 ft over large buttresses; wide-spreading root ridges.
General Characteristics: Heartwood pink brown or a dull uniform red, usually darkening on exposure to a deep red brown; sapwood creamy white or pale pink, up to 4 in. wide, sometimes not sharply demarcated. Grain interlocked, producing rather broad stripes; texture medium to rather coarse; without taste and almost without odor.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.45; air-dry density 34 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
Green (9) 7,500 1,000 3,680
12% 11,200 1,250 6,550
12% (44) 12,300 1,600 7,400
Janka side hardness 770 lb for green material and 940 lb for dry. Amsler toughness 145 in.-lb for dry material (2-cm specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Dries rapidly but with a marked tendency to warp. Kiln schedule T2-D4 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T2-D3 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.7%; tangential 6.6%; volumetric 11.8%. Movement in service is rated as small.
Working Properties: Works rather easily with hand and machine tools, but there is tearing of interlocked grain, otherwise a good finish is obtained in most operation. Good gluing properties.
Durability: Heartwood is rated as moderately durable, termite resistance is variable. Sapwood liable to attack by powder-post beetle.
Preservation: Heartwood is rated as extremely resistant to preservative treatments, sapwood is resistant.
Uses: Furniture, joinery, cabinetmaking, boat construction, decorative veneers and plywood.
Additional Reading: (3), (8), (9), (44)
3. Bolza, E., and W. G. Keating. 1972. African timbers-the properties, uses, and characteristics of 700 species. CSIRO. Div. of Build. Res., Melbourne, Australia.
8. Eggeling, W. J., and C. M. Harris. 1939. Fifteen Uganda timbers. Clarendon Press. Oxford.
9. Farmer, R. H. 1972. Handbook of hardwoods. H. M. Stationery Office. London.
44.Sallenave, P. 1955. Proprietes et mecaniques des bois tropicaux de l'union Francaise. Pub. Centre Tech. For. Trop. No. 8.
From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.