Azadirachta spp.
Family: Meliaceae


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Other Common Names: Ranggaii (Sabah), Sentang (Malaya), Ranggu (Sarawak), Tamaka (Burma).


Distribution: Throughout the Indo-Malayan regions, well distributed in lowland forests.  Extensively planted as an ornamental and for shade in gardens and along roadsides in the tropics.


The Tree: With a clear cylindrical trunk about 20 to 45 ft in length; diameters of 3 to 5 ft; bole is sometimes fluted.


The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood reddish brown, darkening on exposure; sapwood straw colored to pale red, not sharply demarcated.  Texture moderately coarse; grain interlocked; dull to somewhat lustrous; has a faint cedary odor when fresh which fades on drying, no distinctive taste.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.52; air-dry density  40 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: (First set of data based on the 2-cm standard, the second set on the 2-in.  standard.)


Moisture content   Bending strength   Modulus of elasticity   Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (70)                   11,000                         1,120                           5,300

12%                             14,300                         1,270                           7,370


12% (47)                     11,480                         1,009                           6,680


Janka side hardness 1,220 lb for green material and 1,460 lb at 12% moisture content.


Drying and Shrinkage: The timber is reported to season well with little or no degrade.  Kiln schedule T2-D4 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T2-D3 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to air dry: radial 2.2%; tangential 4.3%; volumetric 6.5%.  Movement in service is rated as small.


Working Properties: Works well with hand and machine tools; a fine smooth finish is produced.


Durability: A. excelsa reported not resistant to decay while A. indica is rated as durable to moderately durable.


Preservation: Heartwood is not treatable but sapwood absorption is good using a pressure-vacuum system.


Uses: Veneer and plywood, furniture and cabinetwork, joinery, carving.


Additional Reading: (9), (47), (70)


9. Burgess, P. F. 1966.  Timbers of Sabah.  Sabah For.  Rec.  No.  6.

47.  Pearson, R. S., and H. P. Brown.  1932.  Commercial timbers of India.  Gov.  of India Central Publ.  Br., Calcutta.

70.  United Kingdom: For.  Prod.  Res.  Lab.  1968.  Report on two consignments of Neem (Azadirachta   indica) from the Republic of the Sudan.  FPRL consignment Nos. 1307 and 1374.  Reports on        Overseas Timbers, Princes Risborough Lab.  No.  11.


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