USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
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Wood Technical Fact Sheet

Podocarpus spp.



Names: Cipres (Guatemala, Honduras), Cipricillo, Cipresillo lorito (Costa Rica), Pino chaquiro (Colombia), Pino castaneto (Venezuela), Pinho bravo (Brazil); Manio, (Chile).

Distribution: Various species in mountainous areas from the West Indies and southern Mexico to southern Chile.

The Tree: Varies considerably with species, ranging from heights of 60 ft and diameters 10 to 16 in. to heights of 100 ft and diameters up to 40 in. Clear straight boles often somewhat fluted but without buttresses.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood pale yellow to yellowish brown; not distinct from sapwood. Texture fine and uniform without conspicuous zones of latewood; somewhat lustrous; grain usually straight but may be slightly interlocked; odor or taste absent or not distinctive in seasoned wood.

Weight: specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) varies with species from 0.37 to 0.55; air-dry density 28 to 42 pcf.

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

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (1) 8,700 1,250 4,320

12% 11,800 1,380 6,980

Green (30) 6,500 780 2,970

15% 8,550 NA 4,600

12% (62) 15,600 2,080 NA

Janka side hardness at 12% moisture content 760 lb. Amsler toughness at 15% moisture content is 70 in.-lb. (2-cm specimen) for Brazilian material.

Drying and Shrinkage: The wood air-seasons rapidly with little or no warping or checking. Kiln schedule T10-D4S is suggested for 4/4 stock and T8-D3S for 8/4 (P. guatemalensis). Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.6%; tangential 6.4%; volumetric 9.6%. Movement in service is rated small.

Working Properties: The timber works easily with hand and power tools; nails easily and takes stain, varnish, and paint satisfactorily.

Durability: Heartwood from trees grown in Belize reported to be moderately durable ground contact under tropical exposure. Durability of other species from other are reported as low.

Preservation: Reported to have good penetration and absorption if treated by a pressure-vacuum system.

Uses: Joinery, millwork, furniture components, boxes and crates, general construction, veneer and plywood, pulp and paper, pattern making.

Additional Reading: (1), (30), (46), (62)

1. Armstrong, F. H. 1953. The strength properties of timber. Dep. Sci. Ind. Res. For. Prod. Res. Bull. No. 28. H. M. Stationery Office. London.

30. Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnologicas. 1956. Tabelas de resultados obtidos para madeiras nacionais. Bol. Inst. Pesqu. tec. Sao Paulo No. 31.

46. Longwood, F. R. 1962. Present and potential commercial timbers of the Caribbean. Agriculture Handbook No. 207. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

62. Slooten, H. J. van der, I. Acosta-Contreras, and P. S. Aas. 1970. Maderas latinoamericanas. III. Podocarpus standleyi, Podocarpus oleifolius, Drimys granadensis, Magnolia poasana y Didymopanax pittieri. Turrialba 20(1): 105-115.

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