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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Tabebuia spp. (White-Cedar group)


White Tabebuia

Family: Bignoniaceae

Other Common Names: White-cedar, Warakuri (Guyana), Zwamp panta (Surinam), Bois blanchet, Cedre blanc (French Guiana).

Distribution: The Guiana region and Brazil.

The Tree: Trees are commonly 90 ft high and about 12 in. in diameter but occasionally up to 16 in. Fluted buttresses range up to 12 ft in height (T. insignis). T. stenocalyx is a larger tree growing to a height of 150 ft with trunk diameters to 3 ft.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood brownish with reddish or olive hue, also creamy yellowish, varying in different specimens; not sharply demarcated from the sapwood. Luster rather high; texture medium and uniform; grain fairly straight; without distinctive odor or taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.57; air-dry density 42 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (First set of data based on the 2-in. standard, the second set on the 1-in. standard.)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (40) 13,700 2,300 6,200

12% 14,900 2,260 8,240

12% (24) 18,600 2,040 9,340

Janka side hardness for dry material 1,160 to 1,400 lb. Forest Products Laboratory toughness at 12% moisture content 126 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Reported to be easy to air season. No data available on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.7%; tangential 7.2%; volumetric 10.8%.

Working Properties: Dry lumber machines easily with smooth clean surfaces in all operations. Green logs are reported to spring badly in sawing.

Durability: The wood does not have decay resistance and is vulnerable to termite attack.

Preservation: Both sapwood and heartwood are reported to have good absorption and penetration of preservatives using either a pressure-vacuum or open-tank system.

Uses: Tool handles, furniture, flooring, interior trim, general carpentry, boxes, and crates. Suggested as a possible substitute for ash and birch.

Additional Reading: (24), (40), (46), (72)