Common Name:Obeche
Scientific Name:Triplochiton scleroxylon
Distribution:Tropical West Africa
Tree Size:65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight:24 lbs/ft3 (380 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness:430 lbf (1,910 N)
General Description
Obeche wood is light in color, ranging from creamy white to a pale yellow; the narrow range of colors tends to create a uniform, featureless appearance with moderate luster. The texture is medium to coarse, with grain, typically straight to interlocked which provides a faint stripe on quarter sawn wood. Brittleheart is present in large logs. Sapwood and heartwood are highly similar in appearance and difficult to differentiate. When freshly cut, the wood is said to have an unpleasant odor, which disappears as the wood seasons. Green sapwood may develop a faint blue tint.
This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.
Market Value and usage
Lumber is sometimes available, though it’s primarily exported as veneer or plywood. Obeche is relatively inexpensive for an imported hardwood. Within its native range, It is widely used for lightweight items such as boxes and millwork, though the wood is too soft and light for construction and lacks durability and resistance to decay. The wood's light weight is well-suited for use in particleboard and as the core of plywood; some is used for veneer as well.
Non-durable with low bending and crushing strength. Sapwood susceptible to attack by powder post beetle. Non-resistant to West African termites. Heartwood is resistant to preservative treatment. Sapwood is permeable.
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