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99 Types of Hardwoods With Uses

 

99 Types of Hardwoods With Uses

List of Hardwoods

In this article, each species or group of species is described in terms of its principal location, characteristics, and uses.  Information on historical and traditional uses is provided for some species to illustrate their utility. 

 


1. Alder, Red

Red alder (Alnus rubra) grows along the Pacific coast between Alaska and California. It is the principal hardwood for commercial manufacture of wood products in Oregon and Washington and the most abundant commercial hardwood species in these two states.

The wood of red alder varies from almost white to pale pinkish brown, and there is no visible boundary between heartwood and sapwood. Red alder is moderately light in weight and intermediate in most strength properties but low in shock resistance. It has relatively low shrinkage.

 

 

2. Ash (Black Ash Group)

The black ash group includes black ash (Fraxinus nigra) and pumpkin ash (F. profun‑ da). Black ash grows in the Northeast and Midwest, and pumpkin ash in the South.

Principal uses for the black ash group are decorative veneer, cabinets, millwork, furniture, cooperage, and crates.

 

 

3. Ash (White Ash Group)

Important species of the white ash group are American white ash (Fraxinus americana), green ash (F. pennsylvanica), blue ash (F. quadrangulata), and Oregon ash (F. latifolia).

The first three species grow in the eastern half of the United States. Oregon ash grows along the Pacific Coast.

American white ash is used principally for nonstriking tool handles, oars, baseball bats, and other sporting and athletic goods. For handles of the best grade, some handle specifi- cations call for not less than 2 nor more than 7 growth rings per centimeter (not less than 5 nor more than 17 growth rings per inch). The additional weight requirement of

 

 

4. Aspen

Aspen is a generally recognized name that is applied to bigtooth (Populus grandidentata) and quaking (P. tremuloides) aspen. Aspen lumber is produced principally in the northeastern and Lake States, with some production in the Rocky Mountain States.

Aspen is cut for lumber, pallets, boxes and crating, pulp- wood, particleboard, strand panels, excelsior, matches, veneer, and miscellaneous turned articles. Today, aspen is one of the preferred species for use in oriented strandboard, a panel product that dominates the sheathing market.

 

 

5. Basswood

American basswood (Tilia americana) is the most important of the native basswood species; next in importance is white bass- wood (T. heterophylla), and no attempt is made to distinguish between these species in lumber form. In commercial usage, “white basswood” is used to specify the white wood or sapwood of either species. Basswood grows in the eastern half of North America from the Canadian provinces southward. Most basswood lumber comes from the Lake, Middle Atlantic, and Central States.

Basswood lumber is used mainly in venetian blinds, sashes and door frames, moulding, apiary supplies, wooden ware, and boxes. Some basswood is cut for veneer, cooperage, ex- celsior, and pulpwood, and it is a favorite of wood carvers.

 

 

6. Beech, American

Only one species of beech, American beech (Fagus grandifolia), is native to the United States. It grows in the eastern one-third of the United States and adjacent Canadian provinces. The greatest production of beech lumber is in the Central and Middle Atlantic States.

Most beech is used for flooring, furniture, brush blocks, handles, veneer, woodenware, containers, and cooperage. When treated with preservative, beech is suitable for rail- way ties.

 

 

7. Birch

The three most important species are yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), sweet birch (B. lenta), and paper birch (B. papyrifera). These three species are the source of most birch lumber and veneer.

Other birch species of some commercial Yellow and sweet birch lumber is used primarily for the manufacture of furniture, boxes, baskets, crates, wooden ware, cooperage, interior woodwork, and doors; veneer plywood is used for doors, furniture, paneling, cabinets, aircraft, and other specialty uses.

Paper birch is used for toothpicks, tongue depressors, ice cream sticks, and turned products, including spools, bobbins, small handles, and toys.

 

 

8. Buckeye

Buckeye consists of two species, yellow buckeye (Aesculus octandra) and Ohio buckeye (A. glabra). These species range from the Appalachians of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina westward to Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Buckeye is suitable for pulping for paper; in lumber form, it has been used principally for furniture, boxes and crates, food containers, wooden ware, novelties, and planing mill products.

 

 

9. Butternut

Also called white walnut, butternut (Juglans cinerea) grows from southern New Brunswick and Maine west to Minnesota. Its southern range extends into northeast- ern Arkansas and eastward to western North Carolina.

Principal uses are for lumber and veneer, which are further manufactured into furniture, cabinets, paneling, interior woodwork, and miscellaneous rough items.

 

 

10. Cherry, Black

Black cherry (Prunus serotina) is sometimes known as cherry, wild black cherry, and wild cherry. It is the only native species of the genus Prunus that produces commercial lumber. Black cherry is found from south-eastern Canada throughout the eastern half of the United States. Production is centered chiefly in the Middle Atlantic States.

Black cherry is used principally for furniture, fine veneer panels, and architectural woodwork. Other uses include burial caskets, wooden ware, novelties, patterns, and paneling.

 

 

11. Chestnut, American

American chestnut (Castanea dentata) is also known as sweet chestnut. Before this species was attacked by a blight in the 1920s, it grew in commercial quantities from New England to north- ern Georgia. Practically all standing chestnut has been killed by blight, and most sup- plies of the lumber come from salvaged timbers. Because of the species’ natural resistance to decay, standing dead trees in the Appalachian Mountains continued to provide substantial quantities of lumber for several decades after the blight, but this source is now exhausted.

Chestnut was once used for flooring, poles, railroad cross- ties, furniture, caskets, boxes, shingles, crates, and core- stock for veneer panels. At present, it appears most fre- quently as wormy chestnut for paneling, interior woodwork, and picture frames.

 

 

12. Cottonwood

Cottonwood includes several species of the genus Populus. Most important are eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides and its varieties), also known as Carolina poplar and whitewood; swamp cottonwood (P. heterophylla), also known as river cottonwood and swamp poplar; black cottonwood (P. trichocarpa); and balsam poplar (P. balsamifera).

Cottonwood is used principally for lumber, veneer, pulp- wood, excelsior, and fuel. Lumber and veneer are used pri- marily for boxes, crates, baskets, and pallets.

 

 

13. Elm

Six species of elm grow in the eastern United States: American (Ulmus americana), slippery (U. rubra), rock (U. thomasii), winged (U. alata), cedar (U. crassifolia), and September (U. serotina) elm. American elm is also known as white elm, slippery elm as red elm, rock elm as cork elm, and winged elm as wahoo. American elm is threatened by two diseases, Dutch Elm disease and phloem necrosis, which have killed hundreds of thousands of trees.

Historically, elm lumber was used for boxes, baskets, crates, slack cooperage, furniture, agricultural supplies and implements, caskets and burial boxes, and wood compo- nents in vehicles. Today, elm lumber and veneer are used mostly for furniture and decorative panels. Hard elm is pre- ferred for uses that require strength.

 

 

14. Hackberry

Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) and sugarberry (C. laevigata) supply the lumber known in the trade as hackberry. Hackberry grows east of the Great Plains from Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, and Oklahoma northward, except along the Canadian boundary. Sugar- berry overlaps the southern part of the hackberry range and grows throughout the Southern and South Atlantic States.

Most hackberry is cut into lumber; small amounts are used for furniture parts, dimension stock, and veneer.

 

 

15. Hickory (Pecan Hickory Group)

Species of the pecan hick- ory group include bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis), pecan hickory (C. illinoensis), water hickory (C. aquatica), and nutmeg hickory (C. myristiciformis). Bitter- nut hickory grows throughout the eastern half of the United States; pecan hickory, from central Texas and Louisiana to Missouri and Indiana;

Heavy pecan hickory is used for tool and implement handles and flooring. The lower grades are used for pallets. Many higher grade logs are sliced to provide veneer for fur- niture and decorative paneling.

 

 

16. Hickory (True Hickory Group)

True hickories are found throughout the eastern half of the United States. The species most important commercially are shagbark (Carya ovata), pignut (C. glabra), shellbark (C. laciniosa), and mock- ernut (C. tomentosa). The greatest commercial production of the true hickories for all uses is in the Middle Atlantic and Central States, with the Southern and South Atlantic States rapidly expanding to handle nearly half of all hickory lumber.

The major use for high quality hickory is for tool handles that require high shock resistance. It is also used for ladder rungs, athletic goods, agricultural implements, dowels, gymnasium apparatuses, poles, and furniture. Lower grade hickory is not suitable for the special uses of high quality hickory because of knottiness or other growth features and low density. However, the lower grade is useful for pallets and similar items. Hickory sawdust, chips, and some solid wood are used to flavor meat by smoking.

 

 

17. Honeylocust

The wood of honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos) has many desirable qualities, such as attractive figure and color, hardness, and strength, but it is little used because of its scarcity. This species is found most commonly in the eastern United States, except for New England and the South Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains.

When available, honeylocust is primarily used locally for fence posts and general construction. It is occasionally used with other species in lumber for pallets and crating.

 

 

18. Locust, Black

Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is sometimes called yellow locust. This species grows from Pennsylvania along the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia and Alabama. It is also native to western Arkansas and southern Missouri. The greatest production of black locust timber is in Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia.

Historically, black locust was important for the manufacture of insulator pins and wooden pegs used in the construction of ships, for which the wood was well adapted because of its strength, decay resistance, and moderate shrinkage and swelling.

 

 

19. Magnolia

Commercial magnolia consists of three species: southern magnolia (Magnolia grandi ora), sweet- bay (M. virginiana), and cucumbertree (M. acuminata). Other names for southern magnolia are evergreen magnolia, big laurel, and bull bay. Sweetbay is sometimes called swamp magnolia. The lumber produced by all three species is simply called magnolia. The natural range of sweetbay extends along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts from Long Island to Texas, and that of southern magnolia ex- tends from North Carolina to Texas.

Magnolia lumber is used principally in the manufacture of furniture, boxes, pallets, venetian blinds, sashes, doors, ve- neer, and millwork.

 

 

20. Maple (Hard Maple Group)

Hard maple includes sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and black maple (A. nigrum). Sugar maple is also known as rock maple, and black maple as black sugar maple. Maple lumber is manu- factured principally in the Middle Atlantic and Great Lake States, which together account for about two-thirds of production.

Hard maple is used principally for lumber and veneer. A large proportion is manufactured into flooring, furniture, cabinets, cutting boards and blocks, pianos, billiard cues, handles, novelties, bowling alleys, dance and gymnasium floors, spools, and bobbins.

 

 

21. Maple (Soft Maple Group)

Soft maple includes silver maple (Acer saccharinum), red maple (A. rubrum), boxelder (A. negundo), and bigleaf maple (A. macrophyllum). Silver maple is also known as white, river, water, and swamp maple; red maple as soft, water, scarlet, white, and swamp maple; boxelder as ash-leaved, three-leaved, and cut-leaved maple; and bigleaf maple as Oregon maple. Soft maple is found in the eastern United States except for bigleaf maple, which comes from the Pacific Coast.

Soft maple is used for railroad crossties, boxes, pallets, crates, furniture, veneer, wooden ware, and novelties.

 

 

22. Oak (Red Oak Group)

Most red oak comes from the Eastern States.

The principal species are northern red (Quercus ru‑ bra), scarlet (Q. coccinea), Shumard (Q. shumardii), pin (Q. palustris), Nuttall (Q. nuttallii), black (Q. velutina), southern red (Q. falcata), cherrybark (Q. falcatavar. pagodaefolia), water (Q. nigra), laurel (Q. laurifolia), and willow (Q. phellos) oak. The sapwood is nearly white and roughly 2 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in.) wide. The heartwood is brown with a tinge of red.

The red oaks are primarily cut into lumber, railroad cross- ties, mine timbers, fence posts, veneer, pulpwood, and fuelwood. Ties, mine timbers, and fence posts require pre- servative treatment for satisfactory service. Red oak lumber is remanufactured into flooring, furniture, general millwork, boxes, pallets and crates, agricultural implements, caskets, wooden ware, and handles. It is also used in railroad cars and boats.

 

 

23. Oak (White Oak Group)

White oak lumber comes chiefly from the South, South Atlantic, and Central States, including the southern Appalachian area. Principal species are white (Quercus alba), chestnut (Q. prinus), post (Q. stellata), overcup (Q. lyrata), swamp chestnut (Q. michauxii), bur (Q. macrocarpa), chinkapin (Q. muehlenbergii), and swamp white (Q. bicolor). The most important western oak species, Oregon white oak (Q. garryana), is a member of this group.

White oaks are usually cut into lumber, railroad crossties, cooperage, mine timbers, fence posts, veneer, fuelwood, and many other products. High-quality white oak is es- pecially sought for tight cooperage. An important use of white oak is for planking and bent parts of ships and boats; heartwood is often specified because of its decay resistance. White oak is also used for furniture, flooring, pallets, agri- cultural implements, railroad cars, truck floors, furniture, doors, and millwork.

 

 

24. Sassafras

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) ranges from south eastern Iowa and eastern Texas eastward. Sassafras is easily confused with black ash, which it resembles in color, grain, and texture. Sapwood is light yellow, and heartwood varies from dull grayish brown to dark brown, sometimes with a reddish tinge. Freshly cut surfaces have a characteristic odor. The wood is moderately heavy, moderately hard, moderately weak in bending and endwise compression, quite high in shock resistance, and resistant to decay.

Sassafras was highly prized by the native Americans for dugout canoes, and some sassafras lumber is still used for small boats. Locally, sassafras is used for fence posts and rails and for general millwork.

 

 

25. Sweetgum

Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraci ua) grows from southwestern Connecticut westward into Missouri and southward to the Gulf Coast. Almost all lumber is produced in the Southern and South Atlantic States.

Sweetgum is used principally for lumber, veneer, plywood, slack cooperage, railroad crossties, fuel, pulpwood, boxes and crates, furniture, interior moulding, and millwork.

 

 

26. Sycamore, American

American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is sometimes called button- wood or buttonball-tree. Sycamore grows from Maine to Nebraska, southward to Texas, and eastward to Florida.

Sycamore is used principally for lumber, veneer, railroad crossties, slack cooperage, fence posts, and fuel. The lum- ber is used for furniture, boxes (particularly small food containers), pallets, flooring, handles, and butcher blocks. Veneer is used for fruit and vegetable baskets and some decorative panels and door skins.

 

 

27. Tanoak

Tanoak (Lithocarpus densi orus) is also known as tanbark-oak because high-grade tan- nin was once obtained in commercial quantities from its bark. This species is found from southwestern Oregon to southern California, mostly near the coast but also in the Sierra Nevadas.

Because of its hardness and abrasion resistance, tanoak is excellent for flooring in homes or commercial buildings.

It is also suitable for industrial applications such as truck flooring. Tanoak treated with preservative has been used for railroad crossties. The wood has been manufactured into baseball bats with good results, and it is also suitable for veneer, both decorative and industrial, and for high quality furniture.

 

 

28. Tupelo

The tupelo group includes water (Nyssa aquatica), black (N. sylvatica), swamp (N. sylvatica var. biora), and Ogeechee (N. ogeche) tupelo. Water tupelo is also known as tupelo gum, swamp tupelo, and sourgum; black tupelo, as blackgum and sourgum; swamp tupelo, as swamp blackgum, blackgum, and sourgum; and Ogeechee tupelo, as sour tupelo, gopher plum, and Ogeechee plum. All except black tupelo grow principally in the southeastern United States. Black tupelo grows in the eastern United States from Maine to Texas and Missouri.

Tupelo is cut principally for lumber, veneer, pulpwood, and some railroad crossties and slack cooperage. Lumber goes into boxes, pallets, crates, baskets, and furniture.

 

 

29. Walnut, Black

Black walnut (Juglans nigra) ranges from Vermont to the Great Plains and southward into Louisiana and Texas. About three-quarters of walnut wood is grown in the Central States.

 The heartwood of black walnut varies from light to dark brown; the sapwood is nearly white and up to 8 cm (3 in.) wide in open-grown trees. Black walnut is normally straight grained, easily worked with tools, and stable in use. It is heavy, hard, strong, and stiff, and has good resistance to shock. Black walnut is well suited for natural finishes.

Because of its good properties and interesting grain pattern, black walnut is much valued for furniture, architectural woodwork, and decorative panels. Other important uses are gunstocks, cabinets, and interior woodwork.

 

 

30. Willow, Black

Black willow (Salix nigra) is the most important of the many willows that grow in the United States. It is the only willow marketed under its own name. Most black willow comes from the Mississippi Valley, from Louisiana to southern Missouri and Illinois.

Black willow is principally cut into lumber, which is then remanufactured into boxes, pallets, crates, caskets, and fur- niture. Small amounts have been used for slack cooperage, veneer, excelsior, charcoal, pulpwood, artificial limbs, and fence posts.

 

 

31. Yellow-Poplar

Yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) is also known as poplar, tulip-poplar, and tulip- wood. Sapwood from yellow-poplar is some- times called white poplar or whitewood. Yellow- poplar grows from Connecticut and New York southward to Florida and westward to Missouri. The greatest commercial production of yellow- poplar lumber is in the South and Southeast.

The lumber is used primarily for furniture, interior moulding, siding, cabinets, musical instruments, and engineered wood composites. Boxes, pallets, and crates are made from lower-grade stock. Yellow-poplar is also made into ply- wood for paneling, furniture, piano cases, and various other special products.

 

 

32. Afrormosia

Afrormosia or kokrodua (Pericopsis elata), a large West African tree, is sometimes used as a sub- stitute for teak (Tectona grandis).

The heartwood is fine textured, with straight to

Afrormosia is often used for the same purposes as teak, such as boat construction, joinery, flooring, furniture, interior woodwork, and decorative veneer.

 

 

33. Albarco

Albarco, or jequitiba as it is known in Brazil, is the common name applied to species in the genus Cariniana. The 10 spe- cies are distributed from eastern Peru and northern Bolivia through central Brazil to Venezuela and Colombia.

Albarco is primarily used for general construction and carpentry wood, but it can also be used for furniture com- ponents, shipbuilding, flooring, veneer for plywood, and turnery.

 

 

34. Andiroba

Because of the wide- spread distribution of andiroba (Carapa guianensis) in tropical America, the wood is known under a variety of names, including cedro macho, carapa, crabwood, and tangare. These names are also applied to the related species C. nicaraguensis, whose properties are generally inferior to those of C. guianensis.

On the basis of its properties, andiroba appears to be suited for such uses as flooring, frame construction in the tropics, furniture and cabinetwork, millwork, utility and decorative veneer, and plywood.

 

 

35. Angelique

Angelique (Dicorynia guianensis) comes from French Guiana and Suriname. Because of the variability in heartwood color between different trees, two forms are commonly recognized by producers. The heartwood that is russet-colored when freshly cut and becomes superficially dull brown with a purplish cast is referred to as “gris.”

The strength and durability of angelique make it espe- cially suitable for heavy construction, harbor installations, bridges, heavy planking for pier and platform decking, and railroad bridge ties. The wood is also suitable for ship deck- ing, planking, boat frames, industrial flooring, and parquet blocks and strips.

 

 

36. Avodire

Avodire (Turraeanthus africanus) has a rather extensive range in Africa, from Sierra Leone west- ward to the Congo region and southward to Zaire and Angola. It is most common in the eastern region of the Ivory Coastand is scattered elsewhere. Avodire is a medium-size tree of the rainforest where it forms fairly dense but localized and discontinuous timber stands.

Figured material is usually converted into veneer for use in decorative work, and it is this kind of material that is chiefly imported into the United States. Other uses include furni- ture, fine joinery, cabinetwork, and paneling.

 

 

37. Azobe (Ekki)

Azobe or ekki (Lophira alata) is found in West Africa and extends into the Congo basin. The heartwood is dark red, chocolate–brown, or purple–brown with conspicuous white deposits Azobe is excellent for heavy construction work, harbor construction, heavy-duty flooring, and railroad crossties.

Azobe is excellent for heavy construction work, harbor con- struction, heavy-duty flooring, and railroad crossties.

 

 

38. Balata

Balata or bulletwood (Manilkara bidentata) is widely distributed throughout the West Indies, Central America, and northern South America.

Balata is suitable for heavy construction, textile and pulp- mill equipment, furniture parts, turnery, tool handles, floor- ing, boat frames and other bentwork, railroad crossties, violin bows, billiard cues, and other specialty uses.

 

 

39. Balau

Balau, red balau, and selangan batu constitute a group of species that are the heaviest of the 200 Shorea species. About 45 species of this group grow from Sri Lanka and southern India through southeast Asia to the Philippines.

Balau is used for heavy construction, frames of boats, deck- ing, flooring, and utility furniture.

 

 

40. Balsa

Balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) is widely distributed throughout tropical America from southern Mexico to southern Brazil and Bolivia, but Ecuador has been the principal source of supply since the wood gained commercial importance. It is usually found at lower elevations, especially on bottom-land soils along streams and in clearings and cutover forests. Today, it is often cultivated in plantations.

Because of its light weight and exceedingly porous composition, balsa is highly efficient in uses where buoyancy, insulation against heat or cold, or low propagation of sound and vibration are important. Principal uses are for life- saving equipment, floats, rafts, corestock, insulation, cushioning, sound modifiers, models, and novelties.

 

 

41. Banak, Cuangare

 Various species of banak (Virola) occur in tropical America, from Belize and Guatemala south- ward to Venezuela, the Guianas, the Amazon region of northern Brazil, and southern Brazil, and on the Pacific Coast to Peru and Bolivia. Most of the wood known as banak is V. koschnyi of Central America and V. surinamensis and V. sebifera of northern South America. Botanically, cuan- gare (Dialyanthera) is closely related to banak, and the woods are so similar that they are generally mixed in the trade.

Banak is considered a general utility wood for lumber, veneer, and plywood. It is also used for moulding, millwork, and furniture components.

 

 

42. Benge, Ehie, Bubinga

Although benge (Guibourtia arnoldiana), ehie (or ovangkol) (Guibourtia ehie), and bubinga (Guibourtia spp.) belong to the same West African genus, they differ rather marked- ly in color and somewhat in texture.

These woods are used in turnery, flooring, furniture components, cabinetwork, and decorative veneers.

 

 

43. Cativo

 Cativo (Prioria copaifera) is one of the few tropical American species that occur in abundance and often in nearly pure stands. Commercial stands are found in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia.

Considerable quantities of cativo are used for interior woodwork, and resin-stabilized veneer is an important pat- tern material. Cativo is widely used for furniture and cabinet parts, lumber core for plywood, picture frames, edge banding for doors, joinery, and millwork.

 

 

44. Ceiba

 Ceiba (Ceiba pentandra) is a large tree that grows to 66 m (200 ft) in height with a straight cylindrical bole 13 to 20 m (40 to 60 ft) long. Trunk diameters of 2 m (6 ft) or more are common. Ceiba grows in West Africa, from the Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone to Liberia, Nigeria, and the Congo region. A related species is lupuna (C. samauma) from South America.

Ceiba is available in large sizes, and its low density combined with a rather high degree of dimensional stability make it ideal for pattern and corestock. Other uses include blockboard, boxes and crates, joinery, and furniture components.

 

 

45. Courbaril, Jatoba

The genus Hymenaea consists of about 25 species that occur in the West Indies and from southern Mexico through Central America into the Amazon basin of South America. The best-known and most important species is H. courbaril, which occurs throughout the range of the genus. Courbaril is often called jatoba in Brazil.

Courbaril is used for tool handles and other applications that require good shock resistance. It is also used for steam- bent parts, flooring, turnery, furniture and cabinetwork, veneer and plywood, railroad crossties, and other specialty items.

 

 

46. Degame

Degame or lemon- wood (Calycophyllum candidissimum) grows in Cuba and ranges from southern Mexico through Central America to Colombia and Venezuela. It may grow in pure stands and is common on shaded hillsides and along waterways.

Degame is little used in the United States, but its character- istics have made it particularly adaptable for shuttles, picker sticks, and other textile industry items that require resilience and strength. Degame was once prized for the manufacture of archery bows and fishing rods. It is also suitable for tool handles and turnery.

 

 

47. Determa

Determa (Ocotea rubra) is native to the Guianas, Trinidad, and the lower Amazon region of Brazil.

Uses for determa include furniture, general construction, boat planking, tanks and cooperage, heavy marine construction, turnery, and parquet flooring.

 

 

48. Ekop

Ekop or gola (Tetraber‑ linia tubmaniana) grows only in Liberia.

Ekop is a general utility wood that is used for veneer, plywood, and furniture components.

 

 

49. Gonçalo Alves

Most imports of gonçalo alves (Astronium graveo‑ lens and A. fraxinifolium) have been from Brazil.

In the United States, gonçalo alves has the greatest value for specialty items such as archery bows, billiard cue butts, brushbacks, and cutlery handles, and in turnery and carving applications.

 

 

50. Greenheart

Greenheart (Chlorocardium rodiei) is essentially a Guyana tree, although small stands also occur in Suriname.

Greenheart is used principally where strength and resistance to wear are required. Uses include ship and dock building, lock gates, wharves, piers, jetties, vats, piling, planking, industrial flooring, bridges, and some specialty items (fishing rods and billiard cue butts).

 

 

51. Hura

Hura (Hura crepitans) grows throughout the West Indies from Central America to northern Brazil and Bolivia.

Hura is often used in general carpentry, boxes and crates, and lower grade furniture. Other important uses are veneer and plywood, fiberboard, and particleboard.

 

 

52. Ilomba

Ilomba (Pycnanthus an‑ golensis) is a tree of the rainforest and ranges from Guinea and Sierra Leone through tropical West Africa to Uganda and Angola. Common names include pycnanthus, walele, and otie.

In the United States, this species is used only in the form of plywood for general utility purposes. However, ilomba is definitely suited for furniture components, interior joinery, and general utility purposes.

 

 

53. Ipe

Ipe, the common name for the lapacho group of the genus Tabebuia, consists of about 20 species of trees and occurs in practically every Latin America country except Chile. Other commonly used names are guayacan and lapacho.

Ipe is used almost exclusively for heavy-duty and durable construction. Because of its hardness and good dimensional stability, it is particularly well suited for heavy-duty floor- ing in trucks and boxcars. It is also used for decks, railroad crossties, turnery, tool handles, decorative veneers, and some specialty items in textile mills.

 

 

54. Iroko

 Iroko consists of two species (Milicia excelsa and M. regia). Milicia excelsa grows across the entire width of tropical Africa from the Ivory Coast southward to Angola and eastward to East Africa.

Because of its color and durability, iroko has been suggested as a substitute for teak (Tectona grandis). Its durability makes it suitable for boat building, piles, other marine work, and railroad crossties. Other uses include joinery, flooring, furniture, veneer, and cabinetwork.

 

 

55. Jarrah

Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) is native to the coastal belt of southwest- ern Australia and is one of the principal species for that country’s sawmill industry.

Jarrah is used for decking and underframing of piers, jetties, and bridges, as well as piles and fenders for docks and harbors. As flooring, jarrah has high resistance to wear, but it is inclined to splinter under heavy traffic. It is also used for railroad crossties and other heavy construction.

 

 

56. Jelutong

Jelutong (Dyera costulata) is an important species in Malaysia where it is best known for its latex production in the manufacture of chewing gum rather than for its wood.

Because of its low density and ease of working, jelutong is well suited for sculpture and pattern making, wooden shoes, picture frames, and drawing boards.

 

 

57. Kaneelhart

Kaneelhart or brown silverballi are names applied to the genus Licaria. Species of this genus grow mostly in Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname and are found in association with greenheart (Chlorocardium rodiei) on hilly terrain and wallaba (Eperua) in forests.

Uses of kaneelhart include furniture, turnery, boat building, heavy construction, and parquet flooring.

 

 

58. Kapur

The genus Dryobalanops consists of nine species distributed over parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. For the export trade, the species are combined under the name kapur.

Kapur provides good and very durable construction wood and is suitable for all purposes for which keruing (Dipterocarpus) is used in the United States. In addition, kapur is extensively used in plywood either alone or with species of Shorea (lauanmeranti).

 

 

59. Karri

Karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor) is a very large tree limited to southwestern Australia.

Karri is inferior to jarrah for underground use and water- works. However, where flexural strength is required, such as in bridges, floors, rafters, and beams, karri is an excellent wood. Karri is popular in heavy construction because of its strength and availability in large sizes and long lengths that are free of defects.

 

 

60. Kempas

Kempas (Koompassia malaccensis) is distributed throughout the lowland forest in rather swampy areas of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Kempas is ideal for heavy construction work, railroad crossties, and flooring.

 

 

61. Keruing (Apitong)

Keruing or apitong (Dip‑ terocarpus) is widely scattered throughout the Indo- Malaysian region. Most of the more than 70 species in this genus are marketed under the name keruing.

Keruing is used for general construction work, framework for boats, flooring, pallets, chemical processing equipment, veneer and plywood, railroad crossties (if treated), truck floors, and boardwalks.

 

 

62. Lignumvitae

For many years, the only species of lignumvitae used on a large scale was Guaiacum officinale, which is native to the West Indies, northern Venezuela, northern Colombia, and Panama.

Lignumvitae wood is used chiefly for bearing or bushing blocks for ship propeller shafts. The great strength and tenacity of lignumvitae, combined with self-lubricating properties resulting from the high resin content, make it especially adaptable for underwater use. It is also used for such articles as mallets, pulley sheaves, caster wheels, sten- cil and chisel blocks, and turned products.

 

 

63. Limba

Limba (Terminalia superba), also referred to as afara, korina, or ofram, is widely distributed from Sierra Leone to Angola and Zaire in the rainforest and savanna forest. Limba is also favored as a plantation species in West Africa.

Principal uses include plywood, furniture, interior joinery, and sliced decorative veneer.

 

 

64. Macawood

Macawood and trebol are common names applied to species in the genus Platymiscium. Other common names include cristobal and macacauba. This genus is distributed across continental tropical America from southern Mexico to the Brazilian Amazon region and Trinidad.

Macawood is a fine furniture and cabinet wood. It is also used in decorative veneers, musical instruments, turnery, joinery, and specialty items such as violin bows and billiard cues.

 

 

65. Mahogany

The name mahogany is presently applied to several distinct kinds of commercial wood. The original mahogany wood, produced by Swietenia mahagoni, came from the American West Indies. This was the premier wood for fine furniture cabinet work and shipbuilding in Europe as early as the 1600s.

 

 

66. Mahogany, African

The bulk of “African mahogany” shipped from west-central Africa is Khaya ivorensis, the most widely distributed and plentiful species of the genus found in the coastal belt of the so-called high forest.

Principal uses for African mahogany include furniture and cabinetwork, interior woodwork, boat construction, and veneer.

 

67. Mahogany, American

True, American, or Honduras mahogany (Swiete‑ nia macrophylla) ranges from southern Mexico through Central America into South America as far south as Bolivia. Planta- tions have been established within its natural range and elsewhere throughout the tropics.

The principal uses for mahogany are fine furniture and cabi- nets, interior woodwork, pattern woodwork, boat construc- tion, fancy veneers, musical instruments, precision instru- ments, paneling, turnery, carving, and many other uses that call for an attractive and dimensionally stable wood.

 

 

68. Manbarklak

Manbarklak is a common name applied to species in the genus Eschweilera. Other names include kakaralli, machin- mango, and mata-mata. About 80 species of this genus are distributed from eastern Brazil through the Ama- zon basin, to the Guianas, Trinidad, and Costa Rica.

Manbarklak is an ideal wood for marine and other heavy construction uses. It is also used for industrial flooring, mill equipment, railroad crossties, piles, and turnery.

 

 

69. Manni

Manni (Symphonia globu‑ lifera) is native to the West Indies, Mexico, and Central, North, and South America. It also occurs in tropical West Africa. Other names include ossol (Gabon), anani (Brazil), waika (Africa), and chewstick (Belize), a name acquired because of its use as a primitive toothbrush and flossing tool.

Manni is a general purpose wood that is used for railroad ties, general construction, cooperage, furniture components, flooring, and utility plywood.

 

 

70. Marishballi

Marishballi is the common name applied to species of the genus Licania. Other names include kauta and anaura. Species of Licania are widely distributed in tropical America but most abundant in the Guianas and the lower Amazon region of Brazil.

Marishballi is ideal for underwater marine construction, heavy construction above ground, and railroad crossties (treated).

 

 

71. Meranti Groups

Meranti is a common name applied commercially to four groups of species of Shorea from southeast Asia, most commonly Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Species of meranti constitute a large percentage of the total hardwood plywood imported into the United States. Other uses include joinery, furniture and cabinetwork, moulding and millwork, flooring, and general construction. Some dark red meranti is used for decking.

 

 

72. Merbau

Merbau (Malaysia), ipil (Philippines), and kwila (New Guinea) are names applied to species of the genus Intsia, most commonly I. bijuga. Intsia is distributed throughout the Indo–Malaysian region, Indonesia, Philippines, and many western Pacific islands, as well as Australia.

Merbau is used in furniture, fine joinery, turnery, cabinets, flooring, musical instruments, and specialty items.

 

 

73. Mersawa

Mersawa is one of the common names applied to the genus Anisoptera, which has about 15 species distributed from the Philippine Islands and Malaysia to east Pakistan. Names applied to this wood vary with the source, and three names are generally used in the lumber trade: krabak (Thailand), mersawa (Malaysia), and palosapis (Philippines).

The major volume of mersawa is used as plywood because conversion in this form presents considerably less difficulty than does the production of lumber.

 

 

74. Mora

Mora (Mora excelsa and M. gonggrijpii) is widely distributed in the Guianas and also occurs in the Ori- noco Delta of Venezuela.

Mora is used for industrial flooring, railroad crossties, shipbuilding, and heavy construction.

 

 

75. Oak (Tropical)

The oaks (Quercus) are abundantly represented in Mexico and Central Amer- ica with about 150 species, which are nearly equally divided between the red and white oak groups.

Utilization of the tropical oaks is very limited at present because of difficulties encountered in the drying of the wood. The major volume is used in the form of charcoal, but the wood is used for flooring, railroad crossties, mine timbers, tight cooperage, boat and ship construction, and decorative veneers.

 

 

76. Obeche

Obeche (Triplochiton scleroxylon) trees of west-central Africa reach a height of 50 m (150 ft) or more and a diameter of up to 2 m (5 ft). The trunk is usually free of branches for a considerable height so that clear lumber of considerable size can be obtained.

The characteristics of obeche make it especially suitable for veneer and corestock. Other uses include furniture, com- ponents, millwork, blockboard, boxes and crates, particle- board and fiberboard, patterns, and artificial limbs.

 

 

77. Okoume

The natural distribution of okoume (Aucoumea klai‑ neana) is rather restricted; the species is found only in west-central Africa and Guinea. However, okoume is extensively planted throughout its natural range.

In the United States, okoume is generally used for decora- tive plywood paneling, general utility plywood, and doors. Other uses include furniture components, joinery, and light construction.

 

 

78. Opepe

Opepe (Nauclea diderrichii) is widely distributed in Africa from Sierra Leone to the Congo region and eastward to Uganda. It is often found in pure stands.

Opepe is a general construction wood that is used in dock and marine work, boat building, railroad crossties, flooring, and furniture.

 

 

79. Pau Marfim

The range of pau marfim (Balfourodendron riede‑ lianum) is rather limited, extending from the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, into Paraguay and the provinces of Corrientes and Missiones of northern Argentina.

In its areas of growth, pau marfim is used for much the same purposes as are sugar maple and birch in the United States. Introduced to the U.S. market in the late 1960s, pau marfim has been very well received and is especially esteemed for turnery.

 

 

80. Peroba de Campos

Peroba de campos (Paratecoma peroba), also referred to as white peroba, grows in the coastal forests of eastern Brazil, ranging from Bahia to Rio de Ja- neiro. It is the only species in the genus Paratecoma.

In Brazil, peroba de campos is used in the manufacture of fine furniture, flooring, and decorative paneling. The prin- cipal use in the United States is shipbuilding, where peroba de campos serves as substitute for white oak (Quercus alba) for all purposes except bent members.

 

 

81. Peroba Rosa

Peroba rosa is the common name applied to a number of similar species in the genus Aspidosperma. These species occur in southeastern Brazil and parts of Argentina.

Peroba is suited for general construction work and is favored for fine furniture and cabinetwork and decorative veneers. Other uses include flooring, interior woodwork, sashes and doors, and turnery.

 

 

82. Pilon

The two main species of pilon are Hieronyma alchorneoides and H. laxi ora, also referred to as suradan. These species range from southern Mexico to southern Brazil including the Guianas, Peru,

Pilon is especially suited for heavy construction, railway crossties, marinework, and flooring. It is also used for furni- ture, cabinetwork, decorative veneers, turnery, and joinery.

 

 

83. Piquia

Piquia is the common name generally applied to species in the genus Caryocar. This genus is distributed from Costa Rica southward into northern Colombia and from the upland forest of the Amazon valley to east- ern Brazil and the Guianas.

Piquia is recommended for general and marine construction, heavy flooring, railway crossties, boat parts, and furniture components. It is especially suitable where hardness and high wear resistance are needed.

 

 

84. Primavera

The natural distribution of primavera (Tabebuia don‑ nell–smithii) is restricted to southwestern Mexico, the Pacific coast of Guate- mala and El Salvador, and north-central Honduras.

The dimensional stability, ease of working, and pleasing appearance make primavera a suitable choice for solid furniture, paneling, interior woodwork, and special exterior uses.

 

 

85. Purpleheart

Purpleheart, also referred to as amaranth, is the name applied to species in the genus Peltogyne. The center of distribution is in the north-central part of the Brazilian Amazon region, but the combined range of all species is from Mexico through Central America and southward to southern Brazil.

The unusual and unique color of purpleheart makes this wood desirable for turnery, marquetry, cabinets, fine furniture, parquet flooring, and many specialty items, such as billiard cue butts and carvings. Other uses include heavy construction, shipbuilding, and chemical vats.

 

 

86. Ramin

Ramin (Gonystylus banca‑ nus) is native to southeast Asia from the Malaysian Peninsula to Sumatra and Borneo.

Ramin is used for plywood, interior woodwork, furniture, turnery, joinery, moulding, flooring, dowels, and handles of nonstriking tools (brooms), and as a general utility wood.

 

 

87. Roble

Roble, a species in the roble group of Tabebuia (generally T. rosea), ranges from southern Mexico through Central America to Venezuela and Ecuador.

Roble is used extensively for furniture, interior woodwork, doors, flooring, boat building, ax handles, and general construction. The wood veneers well and produces attrac- tive paneling. For some applications, roble is suggested as a substitute for American white ash (Fraxinus americana) and oak (Quercus).

 

 

89. Rosewood, Brazilian

Brazilian rosewood (Dal‑ bergia nigra), also referred to as jacaranda, occurs in eastern Brazilian forests from the State of Bahia to Rio de Janeiro. Because it was exploited for a long time, Brazilian rosewood is no longer abundant.

Brazilian rosewood is used primarily in the form of veneer for decorative plywood. Limited quantities are used in the solid form for specialty items such as cutlery handles, brush backs, billiard cue butts, and fancy turnery.

 

 

90. Rosewood, Indian

Indian rosewood (Dalber‑ gia latifolia) is native to most provinces of India except in the northwest.

Indian rosewood is essentially a decorative wood for high- quality furniture and cabinetwork. In the United States, it is used primarily in the form of veneer.

 

 

91. Sande

Practically all commercially available sande (mostly Brosimum utile) comes from Pacific Ecuador and Colombia. However, the group of species ranges from the Atlantic Coast in Costa Rica southward to Colombia and Ecuador.

Sande is used for plywood, particleboard, fiberboard, carpentry, light construction, furniture components, and moulding.

 

 

92. Santa Maria

Santa Maria (Calophyllum brasiliense) ranges from the West Indies to south- ern Mexico and southward through Central America into northern South America.

The inherent natural durability, color, and figure on the quarter-sawn face suggest that Santa Maria could be used as veneer for plywood in boat construction. Other uses are flooring, furniture, cabinetwork, millwork, and decorative plywood.

 

 

93. Sapele

Sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum) is a large African tree that occurs from Sierra Leone to Angola and eastward through the Congo to Uganda.

As lumber, sapele is used for furniture and cabinetwork, joinery, and flooring. As veneer, it is used for decorative plywood.

 

 

94. Sepetir

The name sepetir applies to species in the genus Sindora and to Pseudosindora palustris. These species are distributed throughout Malaysia, Indochina, and the Philippines.

Sepetir is a general carpentry wood that is also used for fur- niture and cabinetwork, joinery, flooring (especially truck flooring), plywood, and decorative veneers.

 

 

95. Seraya, White

White seraya or bagtikan, as it is called in the Philip- pines, is a name applied to the 14 species of Parashorea, which grow in Sabah and the Philippines.

White seraya is used for joinery, light construction, mould- ing and millwork, flooring, plywood, furniture, and cabinet work.

 

 

96. Spanish-Cedar

Spanish-cedar or cedro consists of a group of about seven species in the genus Cedrela that are widely distributed in tropical America from southern Mexico to northern Argentina.

Spanish-cedar is used locally for all purposes that require an easily worked, light but straight grained, and durable wood. In the United States, the wood is favored for mill- work, cabinets, fine furniture, boat building, cigar wrappers and boxes, humidores, and decorative and utility plywood.

 

 

97. Sucupira (Angelin, Para-Angelim)

Sucupira, angelin, and paraangelim apply to species in four genera of legumes from South America. Sucupira applies to Bowdichia nitida from northern Brazil, B. virgili‑ oides from Venezuela, the Guianas, and Brazil.

Sucupira, angelin, and para-angelim are ideal for heavy construction, railroad crossties, and other uses that do not require much fabrication. Other suggested uses include flooring, boat building, furniture, turnery, tool handles, and decorative veneer.

 

 

98. Teak

Teak (Tectona grandis) occurs in commercial quantities in India, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the East In- dies. Numerous plantations have been developed within its natural range and in tropical areas of Latin America and Africa, and many of these are now producing teakwood.

Teak is one of the most valuable woods, but its use is lim- ited by scarcity and high cost. Because teak does not cause rust or corrosion when in contact with metal, it is extremely useful in the shipbuilding industry, for tanks and vats, and for fixtures that require high acid resistance. Teak is cur- rently used in the construction of boats, furniture, flooring, decorative objects, and decorative veneer.

 

 

99. Tornillo

Tornillo (Cedrelinga cateniformis), also referred to as cedro-rana, grows in the Loreton Huanuco provinces of Peru and in the humid terra firma of the Brazilian Amazon region. Tornillo can grow up to 52.5 m (160 ft) tall, with trunk diameters of 1.5 to 3 m (5 to 9 ft). Trees in Peru are often smaller in diameter, with merchantable heights of 15 m (45 ft) or more.

Tornillo is a general construction wood that can be used for furniture components in lower-grade furniture.

 


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