Other Common Names: Zambesi redwood, Umgusi, Mukushi (Rhodesia).
Distribution: Dry regions of Zambia and Rhodesia and bordering areas to the west.
The Tree: A small tree 50 to 60 ft in height with a short bole of 10 to 15 ft and a trunk diameter seldom more than 2 ft.
General Characteristics: Heartwood an attractive reddish brown with irregular black lines or flecks; sapwood pale pinkish brown, sharply demarcated from the heartwood. Texture fine and even; grain straight or slightly interlocked; luster low; without characteristic odor or taste. Moist wood in contact with iron may stain because of tannin content.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.73; air-dry density 56 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
12% (1) 12,220 1,230 9,600
Janka side hardness 2,990 lb at 12% moisture content.
Drying and Shrinkage: Dries slowly with little or no degrade. Kiln schedule T3-D2 suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to 12% moisture content radial 1.5%; tangential 2.5%. Movement in service is rated as small.
Working Properties: Rather difficult to saw and machine with severe blunting of cutters, gumming of teeth if sawn green; excellent turnery; good gluing.
Durability: Heartwood is rated as very durable; moderately resistant to termite attack. Sapwood liable to powder-post beetle attack.
Preservation: Heartwood extremely resistant to preservative treatments; sapwood moderately resistant.
Uses: Mainly used in flooring.
Additional Reading: (1), (3), (9)
1. Banks, C. H. 1954. The mechanical properties of timbers with particular reference to those grown in the Union of South Africa. J. S. African For. Assoc. 24:44-65.
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.
From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.