Burkea africana
Family: Leguminosae
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Other Common Names: Mgando, Mkarati, Msangala (Tanzania).


Distribution: Widely distributed in dry savanna forests from Nigeria southward to to Transvaal.


The Tree: A small to medium-sized tree, 50 to 70 ft in height, with a bole length of 15 to 20 ft; trunk diameters 1 to 2 ft.  Heart of the tree is often decayed.


The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood dark brown or reddish brown; sapwood whitish or yellowish, not always sharply defined.  Texture moderately fine; grain interlocked  wavy; lustrous.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.60 to 0.80; air- dry density 46 to 61 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: No information available.


Drying and Shrinkage: Dries rather rapidly with little warping or splitting.  Kiln schedule T2-C2 is suggested for 414 stock.  Shrinkage green to 12% moisture content; radial 1.2%; tangential 2.1%.  Little movement in service.


Working Properties: Not difficult to saw but is difficult to work with hand and machine tools, tends to tear in planing, glues well, takes a good finish.


Durability: Heartwood is rated as very durable and is immune to termite attack.


Preservation: Heartwood is extremely resistant to preservative treatments, sapwood permeable.


Uses: Parquet flooring, fine cabinet and furniture work, joinery, railroad crossties, mining timbers.


Additional Reading: (3), (6), (62)


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.

62.  Tanzania: Util.  Div.  For.  Dep.  1967.  Timbers of Tanganyika: Burkea africana  (Mkarati).  Moshi.


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

Preservation: Extremely resistant to preservative treatments; sapwood reported to be moderately resistant.