USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
(608) 231-9200


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Guarea spp.


American Muskwood

Family: Meliaceae

Other Common Names: G. trichilioides: Guaraguao (Puerto Rico), Trompillo (Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia), Fruta de loro (Ecuador), Cedrillo (Argentina), Gito, Cedrohy (Brazil). G. excelsa: Cedrillo, Trompillo de plaza (Mexico), Cramantee (Belize), Guano blanco (Colombia), Cabimbo (Venezuela).

Distribution: West Indies, Mexico and Central America, and southward to southern Brazil and Argentina. Frequently planted in coffee plantations for shade.

The Tree: Varies with species but sometimes 130 ft in height and 4 ft in diameter, commonly 40 to 75 ft in height and 1 to 3 ft in diameter. Some are buttressed to 15 to 20 ft, boles straight to irregular.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood pinkish to deep reddish brown; sapwood distinct but not sharply demarcated from the heartwood. Luster is rather low; texture medium grain rather straight; green wood is aromatic but odor and taste very mild or not distinctive in dry specimens.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.46 to 0.57; air- dry density 34 to 44 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (First set of data based on 2-in. standard; second on 2-cm standard; third on 1-in. standard.)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (40) 8,000 1,340 4,070

12% 11,400 1,600 6,300

Green (42) 9,550 1,220 4,600

12% 12,750 1,400 6,950

12% (41) 17,900 NA 7,750

Janka side hardness 930 lb for green material, ranges from 800 to 1,330 lb at 12% moisture content. Forest Products Laboratory toughness 140 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (5/8-in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Air-dries slowly but with only a moderate amount of warping and no checking. Kiln schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4. Shrinkage from green to ovendry: radial 3.4%; tangential 7.0%; volumetric 11.2%. Movement after manufacture is rated as small.

Working Properties: The wood saws and machines easily and well in all operations except boring where there is a tendency to tear and crumble.

Durability: Heartwood has good resistance to dry-wood termites and is durable in the ground.

Preservation: Both heartwood and sapwood are not responsive to preservation treatments using either open-tank or pressure-vacuum systems.

Uses: Furniture, cabinet work, turnery, interior trim, joinery, ship construction (planking and trim), general carpentry, and decorative and utility veneer and plywood.

Additional Reading: (40), (41), (42), (45)