Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
Other Common Names: Caraco, Aji, Arracacho (Colombia), Matapalo (Ecuador), Chichillica (Peru), Guariuba, Oity (Brazil).
Distribution: Widely distributed in Brazil and extends into northeastern Peru, the Serrania de San Lucas region of Colombia, and the Venezuelan Guianas; grows scattered or in small clumps.
The Tree: Attains a height of 130 ft with well-formed non-buttressed trunk sometimes 36 in. in
diameter and free of branches for 50 to 60 ft.
General Characteristics: Heartwood bright yellow, becoming brown or russet, but retaining a golden luster upon exposure; sharply defined from the thin white sapwood. Texture medium to coarse; grain variable, often decidedly roey with attractive figure; dry specimens without distinctive odor or taste.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) averages about 0.53; air-dry density 40 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (First set of data based on 2-cm standard, second on 1-in. standard, and third on 2-in. standard.]
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
Green (30) 10,400 1,150 5,350
15% 11,600 NA NA
12% (24) 16,700 2,340 9,620
12% (21) 18,000 2,360 9,070
Janka side hardness averages about 1,400 lb for dry material. Forest Products Laboratory toughness 159 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (5/8-in. specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Air-dries rapidly. No data on degrade or on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.9%; tangential 6.1%; volumetric 9.0%. Reported to have good stability when manufactured.
Working Properties: Easy to work and is rated fair to good in all machining operations. Cross-grained material requires sharp tools to produce a smooth surface fresh wood saws woolly.
Durability: Tentative field trials in Venezuela indicate heartwood to be durable and resistant to termite attack. Elsewhere the wood is rated not very durable in ground contact.
Preservation: Heartwood not responsive to treatment by pressure-vacuum systems or by open tank. Sapwood treatable if incised.
Uses: General construction, flooring, and furniture components.
Additional Reading: (21), (24), (30), (56