USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
Other Common Names: Gualandai (Panama), Chingale (Colombia), Abey, Cupay (Venezuela), Goebaja (Surinam), Copaia, Faux simarouba (French Guiana), Carnauba da matta, Para-para (Brazil).
Distribution: From Belize southward to Brazil. A component of the upland forests of the Amazon region and also common in the mixed hardwood forests of Guyana. Regenerates abundantly on old clearings.
The Tree: May reach heights over 100 ft, with cylindrical, more or less straight boles clear to 50 to 60 ft; trunk diameters usually 16 to 30 in. Trunks are unbuttressed but are basally swollen.
General Characteristics: Heartwood and sapwood not sharply demarcated, dull white to oatmeal color; prominent brown vessel lines. Luster rather high; texture medium to coarse; grain straight; without distinctive odor or taste.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.35; air-dry density 26 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (First two sets of data based on 2-in. standard; third set on the 1-in. standard.)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
Green (75) 4,580 1,160 1,980
12% 7,040 1,310 4,120
12% (44) 9,850 1,730 NA
12% (24) 8,600 1,900 4,650
Janka side hardness 280 lb for green wood and 350 lb at 12% moisture content. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 54 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: The wood dries rapidly and is rated easy to season; only slight surface and end checking develops. No data available on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.5%; tangential 6.5%.
Working Properties: The wood is easy to work; however, sawn surfaces of green lumber are often woolly. Even after seasoning, sawn and planed surfaces are apt to be fuzzy unless cutters are very sharp; easy to peel and slice into veneer.
Durability: The wood is perishable in ground contact, vulnerable to insect attack, and prone to blue stain.
Preservation: The wood has good treatability using either open-tank or pressure-vacuum systems.
Uses: Furniture components, interior construction, utility plywood, boxes and crates, concrete form work, match-sticks and matchboxes, fiberboard, particleboard, and pulp and paper.
Additional Reading: (24), (44), (72), (76)