USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
Other Common Names: Ramon de Castilla (Mexico), San Ramon (Honduras), Gallote, Morillo (Panama), Guaimaro (Colombia), Charo negro, Marfil (Venezuela), Cuchara-caspi (Peru).
Distribution: Throughout the West Indies, southern Mexico, Central America, and the Andean region of South America into Peru.
The Tree: A medium-sized tree 70 ft high with a trunk diameter of 18 in.
General Characteristics: Heartwood light to dark brown with parenchyma markings suggesting elm; sharply demarcated from the creamy to yellowish sapwood. Fairly lustrous; texture medium; grain straight to irregular; without distinctive odor or taste.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) varies with species from 0.42 to 0.65; air-dry density 31 to 50 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (1-in. standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
12% (41) 11,200 NA 6,000
Janka side hardness at 12% moisture content 770 lb. Forest Products Laboratory toughness at the same moisture content 96 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Reported to air-dry rapidly. No data available on kiln schedules or shrinkage properties.
Working Properties: Reports vary from abrasive and difficult to work to machines without difficulty and finishes smoothly.
Durability: Graveyard tests in Venezuela indicate the wood to be very susceptible to attack by decay fungi and insects.
Preservation: High chemical absorptions for both heartwood and sapwood are reported using either a pressure-vacuum or open-tank system, penetrations were vascular.
Uses: Suggested as a veneer for plywood and scaffolding in Venezuela.
Additional Reading: (41), (56)