Baikiaea insignis subsp. minor
Family: Leguminosae
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Other Common Names: Nkoba (Uganda).


Distribution: Abundant in the South Buddu forests of Uganda and the Bukoba district of Tanzania; found in riverain, lakeshore, and swampy localities.


The Tree: Reaches a height of 70 to 100 ft; boles usually 25 to 40 ft, rarely straight, crowns often wide spreading; trunk diameter about 2 ft, fluted at the base, buttresses rare.


The Wood:

General Characteristics: The wood is straw or more yellowish with a pinkish tinge turning a grayish brown on drying, often marked with darker streaks, little or no distinction between sapwood and heartwood. Texture medium; grain straight; when worked, the wood has a green fig odor, tasteless.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.65; air-dry density 50 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)


Moisture content   Bending strength   Modulus of elasticity   Maximum crushing strength

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

12% (69)                     17,035             2,615                           9,460


Janka side hardness 1,770 lb for dry material. 


Drying and Shrinkage: Seasons well

with little or no degrade except for end checking and moderate cup.  Kiln schedule T3-C2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-C1 for 8/4.  Shrinkage green to air-dry: radial 2.3%; tangential 4.5%.  Movement in service is rated as medium.


Working Properties: Green timber difficult to saw because gummy sawdust clogs the teeth and blade; but works easily with hand and machine tools, some tearing of grain in planing.


Durability: The wood is rated as nondurable and is very liable to beetle and termite attack.


Preservation: Sapwood is moderately resistant to impregnation, absorbing about 10 pcf of preservative oil using a pressure system, however, lateral penetration was shallow.


Uses: Flooring, heavy construction (treated), furniture components.


Additional Reading: (3), (6), (63), (69)


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.

6. Chalk, L., J. B. Davy, H. E. Desch, and A. C. Hoyle.  1933.  Twenty West African timber trees.    Clarendon Press.  Oxford.

63.  Uganda: For.  Dep.  1954.  Nkobakoba (Baikiaea minor).  Uganda For.  Dep.  Leafl.  No.  16.

69.  Wyk, J. H. van.  1955.  Physical and mechanical properties of the woods of  Manilkara cuneifolia and Baikiaea minor from Uganda.  Trop.  Woods No.  102:50-54.


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