USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
Other Common Names: Bois d'orange (Trinidad), Barossa, Moral (Mexico), Palo de mora (Costa Rica), Dinde, Palo amarillo (Colombia), Mora (Venezuela), Insira (Peru), Amarillo (Bolivia), Taiuva, Amarello (Brazil), Tatayiva-saiyu (Argentina).
Distribution: Widely distributed throughout tropical America. A northern form is found in coastal lowlands of southern Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, and northern South America. A southern form is found in Misiones (Argentina), Paraguay and southern Brazil, but nowhere abundant.
The Tree: Forest-grown trees are well formed, frequently 20 to 24 in. in diameter and 60 to 80 ft high with a clear trunk of 20 to 35 ft. In certain areas the trees attain diameters of 40 in. and heights of 90 to 120 ft. Open-grown trees are short, highley branched, and often with a crooked bole.
General Characteristics: Fresh heartwood is bright yellow, drying to golden yellow, changing upon exposure to brown or russet, sometimes with a reddish tinge; sharply demarcated from the nearly white sapwood. Luster high; texture usually fine; grain variable, often interlocked; odor and taste lacking or not distinctive.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.71 to 0.78; air- dry density 52 to 60 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (First set of data based on 2-in. standard, second on 2-cm standard.)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
Green (74) 14,840 1,590 6,860
12% 19,560 2,180 11,080
Green (30) 20,000 1,920 9,700
15% 21,600 NA 11,900
Janka side hardness 2,190 lb for green material and 2,380 lb at 12% moisture content. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 229 in.-lb. (5/8-in. specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Air-dries at a moderate to fast rate with only slight checking and warping. No data on kiln-drying available but air-drying followed by a mild kiln schedule is suggested. Despite its high density, the wood has exceptionally low shrinkage. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 3.4%; tangential 5.4%; volumetric 7.8%.
Working Properties: The wood is somewhat difficult to work with hand and power tools but finishes smoothly and glues well.
Durability: Heartwood very durable in resistance to both white-rot and brown-rot fungi and also has excellent weathering characteristics. The heartwood is also rated as highly resistant to dry-wood termites. Data on resistance to marine- borer attack are conflicting.
Preservation: The heartwood is not responsive to preservation treatments; sapwood should treat satisfactorily if incised.
Uses: Heavy construction, decking, planking, and framing for boats, exterior and interior flooring, turnery, furniture parts, tool handles, railroad ties, and wood tanks. Also contains the dye, maclurin, long used as a yellowish-brown or khaki dye.
Additional Reading: (30), (41), (56), (74)