USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
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Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheet

Brosimum spp. (Utile group)



Family: Moraceae

Other Common Names: Mastate (Costa Rica), Avichuri (Colombia), Palo de vaca (Venezuela), Amapa doce, Gaucho macho (Brazil).

Distribution: Ranges from the Atlantic Coast in Costa Rica southward to Colombia and Ecuador.

The Tree: The tree attains a height of 80 to 100 ft with an erect trunk about 30 to 45 in. in diameter.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Dried there is no distinction between sapwood and heartwood uniform yellowish white to yellowish brown or light brown. Grain is straight to widely and shallowly interlocked; medium texture; luster high. Odorless and tasteless.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) ranges from 0.35 to 0.50 for this group. Air-dry density averages about 24 to 38 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (7) 8,490 1,940 4,490

12% 14,310 2,390 8,220

Janka side hardness 603 lb for green material and 903 lb for air dry.

Drying and Shrinkage: The lumber air-seasons rapidly and easily with little or no degrade. However, material containing tension wood will be subject to warp. Kiln schedule T5-C3 has been suggested for 4/4 stock. A faster schedule was developed that can dry this wood to 7 percent moisture content in 6 to 8 days (51). Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 3.9%; tangential 7.8%.

Working Properties: The wood is easy to machine. However, tension wood is sometimes prevalent and this will cause fuzzy grain and burning of saws due to pinching. Takes stains and finishes readily; presents no gluing problems.

Durability: The wood is vulnerable to attack by stain and decay fungi as well as insects.

Preservation: Reported to be treatable, but no detailed information is available.

Uses: Plywood, particleboard, fiberboard, carpentry, light construction, furniture components, pulp and paper products, and moldings.

Additional Reading: (7), (51), (56), (71)

7. Bendtsen, B. A., and M. Chudnoff. 1979. Properties of seven Colombian woods. USDA Forest Serv. Res. Pap. FPL-299. For. Prod. Lab., Madison, Wis.

51. McMillen, J. M., and R. S. Boone. 1974. Kiln-drying selected Colombian woods Forest Prod. J. 24(4):31 -36.

56. Record, S. J., and R. W. Hess. 1949. Timbers of the new world. Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn.

71. Villamil G., F. (Editor). 1971. Maderas colombianas. Proexpo, Bogota.

From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.