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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet

Cynodendron spp.

and Chrysophyllum spp.



Family: Sapotaceae

Other Common Names: Caimitillo, Lechecillo (Puerto Rico), Canela (Mexico), Caimito morado (Venezuela), Kokoritiballi (Guyana), Balata blanca (Peru), Massaranduba-rana (Brazil), Aguay, Carne de Vaca (Argentina).

Distribution: Widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions with various species found in southern Mexico to Misiones, Argentina.

The Tree: Often small to medium-sized tree 35 to 65 ft high, but sometimes 75 to 100 ft; trunk diameters up to 24 in. An attractive ornamental and shade tree widely planted (Chrysophyllum cainito).

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood variable in color from pale brown or pinkish to rather dark brown, with gradual transition to the sapwood. Luster rather low to medium; texture fine to medium; grain fairly straight; odor and taste absent or not distinctive. A silica content of over 0.84% is reported (C. maytenoides).

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) mostly from 0.60 to 0.90; air-dry density 50 to 70 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (1-in. standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

12% (41) 20,000 NA 11,500

12% (24) 23,200 3,300 12,600

Forest Products Laboratory toughness at 12% moisture content 128 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: The wood air-dries somewhat slowly and air-drying prior to kiln-drying is suggested. No kiln schedule data available. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 6.4%; tangential 8.6%; volumetric 15.2%.

Working Properties: A notably hard and abrasive wood that requires wear-resistant cutters for satisfactory machining; can be finished smoothly.

Durability: The Venezuelan species are reported to be vulnerable to attack by decay fungi as well as termites.

Preservation: Heartwood treats poorly by both pressure-vacuum and open-tank systems. Sapwood should have adequate treatment if incised.

Uses: General construction, carpentry, furniture, and turnery. C. cainito is favored for its edible fruit.

Additional Reading: (24), (41), (56)

24. Food and Agriculture Organization. 1970. Estudio de preinversion para el desarrollo forestal de la Guyana Venezolana. lnforme final. Tomo III. Las madera del area del proyecto. FAO Report FAO/SF: 82 VEN 5. Rome.

41. Laboratorio Nacional de Productos Forestales. 1974. Caracteristicas, propiedades, y usos de 104 maderas de los altos llanos occidentalis. Universidad de Los Andes, Merida.

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

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