Baikiaea plurijuga
Family: Leguminosae
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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.


The Wood:

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.