Other Common Names: Corpus (Mexico), Yemeri (Belize, Nicaragua), Corosillo (Panama) Dormilon (Colombia), Tin-tin (Venezuela), Kwari (Surinam), Kouali (French Guiana), Chambo caspi (Peru), Quaruba (Brazil).
Distribution: Throughout tropical America from southern Mexico to Peru but most abundant in the Guianas and Brazil. The trees make their best growth on coastal plains and along waterways, forms almost pure stands on abandoned farms.
The Tree: Varies with species, commonly 100 ft in height with diameters of 24 in.; however trees to a height of 190 ft and diameters up to 6 ft are reported. Boles are sometimes basally swollen or buttressed, cylindrical, and clear.
General Characteristics: Heartwood a dull uniform pink, pinkish brown golden brown; not always sharply demarcated from the whitish to yellowish sapwood. Luster medium to high; texture is moderately coarse; grain slightly to highly interlocked; without distinctive odor or taste. Vertical traumatic gum ducts may occur sporadically and are sometimes considered as an objectionable defect.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) varies with species from 0.37 to 0.57,commonly close to 0.40; air-dry density ranges from 28 to 43 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
Green (74) 6,120 1,220 2,760
12% 9,090 1,390 5,840
Green (25) 6,300 1,250 3,000
12% 11,300 1,670 5,550
Janka side hardness at 12% moisture content ranges from 530 to 680 lb. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry wood is 97 in.-lb (5/8- in. specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Air-drying rates range from slow to rapid, prone to warp with some checking. Collapse occurs in thick stock. Quartersawing is suggested to minimize degrade. Kiln schedule T2-D4 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T2-D3 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 3.2%; tangential 10.8%; volumetric 13.0%.
Working Properties: The wood is easily worked by either hand or machine tools but raised and woolly grain are common defects; takes glue, paint, and nails well and polishes to a good finish. The wood has a tendency to blunt cutting edges.
Durability: Variable in decay resistance, generally reported to be susceptible to attack by fungi as well as insects.
Preservation: Both heartwood and sapwood are readily impregnated with preservatives.
Uses: Carpentry, utility plywood, furniture components, interior trim, millwork. The wood is suggested as a substitute for Cedrela.
Additional Reading: (25), (44), (46), (74)
25. Food and Agriculture Organization. 1973. Ivestigaciones sobre el fomento de produccion de los bosques del noreste de Nicaragua: propiedades y usos de quince especies maderables del noreste de Nicaragua. FAO FO: SF/NIC9, Informe tecnico 8. Nicaragua.
44. Llach, C. L. 1971. Properties and uses of 113 timber-yielding species of Panama. Part 3. Physical and mechanical properties of 113 tree species. FO- UNDP/PAN/6. FAO, Rome.
46. Longwood, F. R. 1962. Present and potential commercial timbers of the Caribbean. Agriculture Handbook No. 207. U.S. Department of Agriculture.
74. Wangaard, F. F., and A. F. Muschler. 1952. Properties and uses of tropical woods, Ill. Tropical Woods 98:1-190.
From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.