Prosopis spp.

 

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Family: Leguminosae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mesquite

 

 

 

Mesquite (the genus Prosopis) is represented by about 45 species of trees and shrubs native to North America, Central/South America and Africa/Asia. The word prosopis is an ancient Greek plant name, used by Dioscorides apparently for burdock. Only trees are included in the following list.

North American species

Prosopis glandulosa-Algaroba, bilayati kikar, common mesquite, cuji, honey locust, honey mesquite, honey-pod, ibapiguazu, inesquirte, ironwood, mesquite, screwbean, Torrey mesquite, wawahi, western honey mesquite.

Prosopis pubescens-Mescrew, screwbean, screwbean mesquite, screw-pod mesquite, scrub mesquite, tornillo.

Prosopis velutina-Mesquite, velvet mesquite.

South/Central American species

Prosopis abbreviata-Algarrobillo espinoso.

Prosopis alba?Acacia de catarina, algaroba, algaroba blanca, algarobo, algarroba, algarrobe blanco, algarrobo, algarrobo bianco, algarrobo blanco, algarrobo impanta, algarrobo panta, aroma, barbasco, bate caixa, bayahonda, carbon, chachaca, cuji yaque, ibope-para, igope, igope-para, ironwood, jacaranda, manca-caballa, mesquite, nacasol, screwbean, tintatico, visna, vit algarroba, white algaroba.

Prosopis affinis-Algarobilla, algarobillo, algarrobilla, algarrobo nandubay, algarrobo negro, calden, espinillo, espinillo nandubay, ibope-moroti, nandubay.

Prosopis articulata-Mesquit, mesquite, mesquite amargo.

Prosopis caldenia-Calden.

Prosopis calingastana-Cusqui.

Prosopis chilensis-Algaroba chilena. algaroba du chili, algarroba, algarrobo, algarrobo blanco, algarrobo cileno, algarrobo de chile, algarrobo panta, arbol blanco, chilean algaroba, chileens algaroba, cupesi, dicidivi, divi-divi, mesquite, nacascal, nacascol, nacascolote, nasascalote, tcako, trupillo.

Prosopis cineraria-Jambu, kandi, shami.

Prosopis ferox-Churqui, churqui blanco, churqui jujeno, quiscataco.

Prosopis flexulosa-Algarroba, algarrobo, algarrobo amarillo, algarrobo dulce, algarrobo negro, arbol negro, lamar, lamaro, panta negro .

Prosopis hassleri-Algarrobo, algarrobo del chaco, algarrobo paraguayo.

Prosopis juliflora-Acacia de catarina, algaroba, algarobo, algarroba, algarrobo, algarrobo Colorado, algarrobo del brasil, aroma, aroma americana, aromo, barbasco, baron, bate caixa, bavahonda, bayahonda, bayahonde, bayarone, biia, cambron, carbon, cashaw, catzimec, chachaca, chucata, cuida, cuji, cuji amarillo, cuji carora, cuji negro, cuji yaque, espino ruco, ganda babool, gandasein, guatapana, guisache, haas, honey locust, huupa, inda-a, indjoe, indju, ironwood, jacaranda, ju’upa, jupala, katzimelk, kuigi, maiz criollo, maje, manca caballo, manca-caballa, mareno, me-equite, mesquit-tree, mesquite, mesquito, mezquite, mezquite amarillo, mezquite blanco, mezquite chino, mezquite Colorado, mimisquicuabitl, mimisquitl, misquitl, mizquitl, nacascol, nacasol, prosopis de mexique, qui, t’hai, tai, taj, tepemezquite, tintatico, toji, trupillo, tsirisicua, ttahi, tziritsequa, tziritzecua, uejoue, upala, utuh, visna, wawabi, yaga-bu, yaque, yaque blanco, yaque negro.

Prosopis kuntzei-Barba de tigre, caranda, itin, jacaranda, lanza-lanza, palo mataco, yacaranda, yacaranda itin.

Prosopis laevigata-Algarrobo, mesquite, mezquite, thako.

Prosopis nandubay-Algarrobillo, espinillenhout, espinillo, nandubay.

Prosopis nigra-Acacia de catarina, agarrobo morado, algaroba, algaroba negra, algaroba negro, algaroba noir, algarobo, algarroba, algarroba dulce, algarroba negro, algarrobi negro, algarrobo, algarrobo amarillo, algarrobo negro, algeroba negra, arbol negro, aroma, barbasco, bate caixa, bayahonda, black algaroba, carbon, chachaca, cuji yaque, ibope-hu, ibope-saiyu, igope-guazu, ironwood, jacaranda, manca-caballa, mesquite, mezquite, nacasol, screwbean, tintatico, visna, yura-tacu, zwarte algaroba.

Prosopis pallida-Algaroba, algarroba, algarroba paiva, algarrobo, algarrobo americano, carobier, huarango, kiawe, mesquite.

Prosopis palmeri-Palo de hierro, palo fierro.

Prosopis panta-Algarobilla, algarrobo, algarrobo panta, cama tala, cama tale, panta.

Prosopis pugionata-Algarrobo, algarrobo de las salinas, alpataco.

Prosopis rubiflora-Espinillo.

Prosopis ruscifolia-Algarrobo blanco, ibope-moroti, olkha, pao de espinho, quilin,
vinal
, visnal, yuncumarim.

Prosopis tamarugo-Tamarugo.

Prosopis tamaruya-Tamarugo.

Prosopis torquata-Lata, quenti, schinqui, tintitaco, tusca.

Prosopis vinalillo-Algarrobo blanco, algarrobo santiagueno, quilin, vinalillo.

African/Asian species

Prosopis africana-Abusurug, akaba, akaka, guele, ir, kaki, kiriya, kpanena, palo, pangi, pau carvao, stenkoltra, zingili.

Prosopis cineraria-Ghaf, ihand, jambu, jand, jandi, jhand, shumi.

Prosopis pallida?Algarroba, bayahonda, kiawe, mesquite.

 

The Tree:

Prosopis alba reaches heights of 60 ft (24 m), with diameters of 5 ft (2 m) (94).

Prosopis affinis reaches heights of 65 ft (26 m), with diameters of 2 ft (0.6 m) (94).

Prosopis glandulosa reaches heights of 40 ft (16 m), with diameters of 10 inches (25 cm) to 4 ft (1.2 m) (74).

Prosopis juliflora reaches heights of 40 ft (16 m), with a diameter of 4 ft (1.2 m). It is a deciduous tree with a short, twisted bole, which is cultivated as an ornamental and used for reforestation and conservation in dry areas. It is moderately fast-growing (4).

Prosopis kuntze is a low tree, 35 ft (11 m) tall and 2 ft (0.6 m) in diameter, with large, sharp spines. It is devoid of leaves for most of the year (74, 94).

Prosopis nanduba rarely reaches heights of 20 ft (6 m) (74).

Prosopis nigra reaches heights of 33 to 52 ft (10 to 16 m), with a diameter of 1.3 to 4 ft (0.4 to 1.2 m) and a clear bole of 10 ft (3 m) (94, 96).

Prosopis ruscifolia reaches heights of 50 ft (15 m), with diameters of 1.5 ft (0.5 m) (94).

The Wood

General

Prosopis alba: The sapwood is light yellow, while the heartwood is reddish brown changing to dark brown. The wood has a pronounced stripe, with spiral to interlocked grain (94).

Prosopis affinis: The sapwood is yellow, while the heartwood is a reddish brown, changing to dark brown upon exposure to the air. The wood has a medium texture, with spiral to interlocked grain (94).

Prosopis caldenia: The sapwood is yellow-ochre; the heartwood is reddish brown, turning chestnut brown after cut. The wood has pronounced stripes, with a medium texture and wavy, interlocked grain (94).

Prosopis glandulosa: The sapwood is a lemon yellow, while the heartwood is a deep reddish brown. The wood is dense, close grained, very hard and heavy, but somewhat brittle. It is exceedingly resistant to heartwood decay, with a thin sapwood. It contains high concentrations of tannins (94).

Prosopis juliflora: The sapwood is narrow and pale yellow, while the heartwood is yellowish brown to dark brown. The wood has a slight luster, straight to wavy grain, and medium to coarse texture. It has a fragrant odor when freshly cut. It is hard, heavy, tough and strong (4).

Prosopis kuntzei: The sapwood is light yellow, while the heartwood is chestnut brown with patches of dark violet. The heartwood darkens upon exposure. The wood has a fine texture and straight to wavy to interlocked grain. This species is probably the densest wood of the genus (74, 94).

Prosopis nigra: The sapwood is yellow-ochre, while the sapwood is chestnut brown, darkening upon exposure, and sometimes has a wavy stripe. The texture is average, with slanted, interlocked grain. The wood is resistant to heartwood decay and is heavy
(94, 96).

Prosopis ruscifolia: The sapwood is light yellow; the heartwood ranges from yellow-brown to reddish brown, with dark stripes, and darkens upon exposure. The wood has coarse to medium texture, with wavy to interlocked grain (94).

 

 

 

 

Mechanical Properties (2-inch standard)

 

 

 

 

Compression

 

 

 

 

Specific

gravity

MOE

X106 lbf/in2

MOR

lbf/in2

Parallel

lbf/in2

Perpendicular

lbf/in2

WMLa

in-lbf/in3

Hardness

lbf

Shear

lbf/in2

Prosopis affinis b

Green

7,040

Dry

0.93— 1.05

1.42

6,430

Prosopis alba b

Green

Dry

0.75-0.85

0.88

9,150

8,510

4,550

Prosopis caldenia b

Green

Dry

0.65— 0.75

4,820

4,650

Prosopis chilensis

Green

Dry

0.80— 0.92c

Prosopis glandulosa

Green

Dry

0.819d

Prosopis juliflora

Green

1.80e

10,600 e

5,300 e

1,320 e

Dry

0.944b

1.33 b

2.06 e

12,300 b

16,500 e

9,120 b

9,000 e

2,940 b

2,180 e

Prosopis kuntzei b

Green

Dry

1.20— 1.35

2.52

22,300

12,700

Prosopis nigra

Green

Dry

0.85b

0.80f

0.85 b

1.38 f

9,050 b

13,400 f

8,280 b

8,700 f

4,410 b

1,990 b

Prosopis ruscifolia

Green

Dry

0.70— 0.85b

aWML = Work to maximum load.

bReference (94).

cReference (74).

dReference (103).
eReference (4).
fReference (96).

 

Drying and Shrinkage

Type of shrinkage

Percentage of shrinkage
(green to final moisture content)

0% MC

6% MC

20% MC

Prosopis alba

Tangential

3.1 b

2.8 c

0.7 b

Radial

2.2 b

2.1 c

0.2 b

Volumetric

8.2 c

Prosopis glandulosa d

Tangential

3.2

1.4

0.14

Radial

1.6

0.72

0.09

Volumetric

4.8

2.12

0.23

Prosopis juliflora e

Tangential

8.1

7.1

Radial

>5.1

>4.1

Volumetric

Prosopis kuntzei c

Tangential

5.3

Radial

4.3

Volumetric

11.0

Prosopis nigra c

Tangential

2.5

Radial

1.9

Volumetric

6.6

Prosopis nigra f

Tangential

3.0

Radial

2.1

Volumetric

6.8

aProsopis juliflora: This species tends to produce small checks during air drying, but it is very stable (4). Prosopis nigra: Rated as very stable (96).
bReference (95).
cReference (94).
dReference (103).
eReference (4).
fReference (96).

 

 

Kiln Drying Schedules: No information available at this time.

Working Properties: Prosopis juliflora works easily with most tools and finishes smoothly, but it does not take a high polish. Preboring is necessary for nailing (4).

Durability: Mesquite is rated as very resistant to heartwood decay (98).

Prosopis juliflora is classed as resistant to very resistant to heartwood decay. It is susceptible to Lyctus beetles, termites and pinhole bores. (4)

Prosopis nigra is resistant to heartwood decay in damp and open air conditions (96).

Preservation: Prosopis nigra is slightly permeable with reduced absorption. Immersion or surface treatments are good if parts are sapwood, although puncturing will work somewhat (96).

Uses: Prosopis chilensis: Fuel, posts, stakes (74).

Prosopis glandulosa: Buildings, cabinetry, posts, charcoal, fuel, railway crossties, paving blocks (74).

Prosopis juliflora: Charcoal, firewood, buildings, cabinetry, and posts; pods are good for fodder (4).

Prosopis nandubay: Posts (74).

Prosopis nigra: Flooring, cooperage, firewood, charcoal, posts, boats, carriages, turnery, furniture, frames for doors and windows (96).

Toxicity: Dermatitis has been reported for Prosopis juliflora, P. africana and P. glandulosa, possibly due to an alkaloid, prospinine (40, 64, 105).

 

Additional Reading and References Cited (in parentheses)

4.?Berni, C.A.; Bolza, E.; Christensen, F.J. 1979. South American timbers. The characteristics, properties and uses of 190 species. Melbourne, Australia: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Division of Building Research.

10.?Burkhart, A. 1976. A monograph of the genus Prosopis (Leguminosae, subfam. Mimosoideae). Boston, MA: Harvard University, Arnold Arboretum Journal. 57(3): 219-249.

29.?Elias, T.S. 1980. The complete trees of North America, field guide and natural history. New York: van Nostrand Reinhold Company.

40.?Hausen, B.M. 1981. Woods injurious to human health. A manual. New York: Walter de Gruyter.

55. ?Little, Jr., E.L. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. U.S. Government Printing Office.

64. Mitchell, J.; Rook, A. 1979. Botanical dermatology: plants and plant products injurious to the skin. Vancouver, BC: Greenglass ltd.

74. Record, S.J.; Hess R.W. 1943. Timbers of the new world. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

94. Tortorelli, L.A. 1956. Argentine forests and trees (Maderas y bosques Argentinos).
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Editorial Acme. SACI. 910 p.

95. Turc, C.O.; Cutter, B.E. 1984. Sorption and shrinkage studies of six Argentine woods. Wood and Fiber Science. 16(4): 575—582.

96. Universidad Nacional del Nordeste. Ficha Tecnica (Prospis nigra). Chaco, Argentina: Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Facultad de Ingenieria, Departmentos de Estabilidad y Fisico-Quimica-Resistencia.

103. Wiley, A.T. 1977. Moisture relations of mesquite wood. Publ. 113. College Station, Texas: Texas Forest Service.

105. Woods, B.; Calnan, C.D. 1976. Toxic woods. British Journal of Dermatology.
95(13): 1—97.