Aucoumea klaineana
Family: Burseraceae
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Okoume

 

Other Common Names: Gaboon (U.K.), Angouma, Moukoumi, N'Koumi (Gabon).

 

Distribution: Confined to Gabon, Rio Muni, and Congo-Brazzaville; rather common, and extensively planted within its natural range.

 

The Tree: Reaches a height of 100 to 130 ft, sometimes to 200 ft, boles cylindrical and clear to 70 ft and more; trunk diameters 3 to 8 ft over large buttresses.

 

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood salmon pink to light pinkish brown; sapwood narrow, whitish or pale gray, not clearly demarcated from heartwood.  Texture medium, grain straight, shallowly interlocked, sometimes wavy; sometimes lustrous; without characteristic odor or taste.  Silica content of about 0.12 to 0.16% is reported.

 

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.37; air-dry density 28 pcf.

 

Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)

 

Moisture content   Bending strength   Modulus of elasticity   Maximum crushing strength

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

12%(2)                        12,600              1,145                           5,350

 

Janka side hardness 240 lb for dry material.

 

Drying and Shrinkage: Dries readily with little degrade.  Kiln schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4.  Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.1%; tangential 6.1%; volumetric 11.3%.

 

Working Properties: Saw teeth blunt rather quickly due to the silica content; machined surfaces are somewhat woolly but can be worked to a good finish; glues and nails well; easy to peel into veneer, bolts generally heated.

 

Durability: Heartwood is not resistant to attack by decay fungi and is susceptible to termite attack.

 

Preservation: Reported to be resistant to preservative treatments.

 

Uses: Plywood, furniture components, joinery, paneling, blockboard, particleboard, light construction.

 

Additional Reading: (2), (3), (9), (11)

 

2. Becking, R. W. 1960.  A summary of information on Aucoumea klaineana.  For.  Abstr.  21 (1 ;2):1-6;   163-172.

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.

9. Farmer, R. H. 1972.  Handbook of hardwoods.  H. M. Stationery Office.  London.

11.  France: Bois For.  Trop.  1951.  Okoume (Aucounmea klaineana).  Bois For.  Trop.  18/19:147-150.

 

From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.