Other Common Names: Caraco, Aji, Arracacho (Colombia), Matapalo (Ecuador), Chichillica (Peru), Guariuba, Oity (Brazil).
Distribution: Widely distributed in Brazil and extends into northeastern Peru, the Serrania de San Lucas region of Colombia, and the Venezuelan Guianas; grows scattered or in small clumps.
The Tree: Attains a height of 130 ft with well-formed non-buttressed trunk sometimes 36 in. in
diameter and free of branches for 50 to 60 ft.
General Characteristics: Heartwood bright yellow, becoming brown or russet, but retaining a golden luster upon exposure; sharply defined from the thin white sapwood. Texture medium to coarse; grain variable, often decidedly roey with attractive figure; dry specimens without distinctive odor or taste.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) averages about 0.53; air-dry density 40 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (First set of data based on 2-cm standard, second on 1-in. standard, and third on 2-in. standard.]
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
Green (30) 10,400 1,150 5,350
15% 11,600 NA NA
12% (24) 16,700 2,340 9,620
12% (21) 18,000 2,360 9,070
Janka side hardness averages about 1,400 lb for dry material. Forest Products Laboratory toughness 159 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (5/8-in. specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Air-dries rapidly. No data on degrade or on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.9%; tangential 6.1%; volumetric 9.0%. Reported to have good stability when manufactured.
Working Properties: Easy to work and is rated fair to good in all machining operations. Cross-grained material requires sharp tools to produce a smooth surface fresh wood saws woolly.
Durability: Tentative field trials in Venezuela indicate heartwood to be durable and resistant to termite attack. Elsewhere the wood is rated not very durable in ground contact.
Preservation: Heartwood not responsive to treatment by pressure-vacuum systems or by open tank. Sapwood treatable if incised.
Uses: General construction, flooring, and furniture components.
Additional Reading: (21), (24), (30), (56)
21. Falla Ramirez, A. 1971. Resultados de estudios físico-mecaánicos de algunas maderas de la Serraniae San Lucas. Plegable Divulgativo, División Forestal. INDERENA, Bogotá.
24. Food and Agriculture Organization. 1970. Estudio de preinversión parap e desarrollo forestal de la Guyana Venezolana. Informe final. Tomo III. Las maderas del area del proyecto. FAO Report FAO/SF :82 VEN 5. Rome.
30. Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnológicas. 1956. Tabelas de resultados obtidos para madeirs nacionais. Bol. Inst. Pesqu. téc. Sčo Paulo No. 31.
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.