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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Persea spp.



Family: Lauraceae

Other Common Names: Peche marron (Haiti), Aquacote cimarron (Mexico), Aquacatillo

(Honduras, Costa Rica), Aquacate chico (Panama), Aquacate de anis (Colombia), Palto-jeia (Peru), Lingue (Chile), Canela-rosa, Canela ruiva (Brazil).

Distribution: Throughout tropical America from the West Indies and southern Mexico southward to Chile. P. americana (Avocado) widely planted for its fruit. P. lingue (Lingue) from Coquimbo to Valparaiso and Santiago in Chile.

The Tree: Generally up to 60 to 65 ft in height with trunk diameters to 40 in.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood brown, reddish, or pinkish; the darkest sharply demarcated from the gray or cream-colored sapwood. Texture medium to coarse; luster medium to high; grain straight to irregular; without distinctive odor or taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) varying with species from 0.39 to 0.54; air-dry density 30 to 41 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (First two sets of data based on the 2-cm standard; third on the 2-in. standard.)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (30) 9,750 1,360 4,600

15% 12,300 NA 6,400

12% (42) 13,050 1,465 7,020

12% (44) 10,550 1,790 NA

Janka side hardness about 670 lb for green material and 860 lb at 12% moisture content. Amsler toughness 214 in.-lb at 15% moisture content (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Reported to be easy to moderately difficult to air-dry with little or no degrade or tendency to warp and collapse. No data on kiln schedules available. Shrinkage from green to ovendry: radial 4.8%; tangential 9.5%; volumetric 13.5%.

Working Properties: All species are reported to be easy to work and finish smoothly; some fuzzy grain in one wood from Panama. P. lingue reported to be suitable for steam bending.

Durability: Generally reported to have low durability. P. americana reported to be slightly resistant to dry-wood termite attack.

Preservation: Generally reported to have low permeability and rated moderately difficult to preserve.

Uses: Joinery, furniture, interior construction, millwork, boxes and crates, utility veneers and plywood, flooring and parquetry. Bark of P. lingue used for tanning. P. americana as indicated, produces the avocado.

Additional Reading: (30), (42), (44), (56)