Black Palm
Common Name:Black Palm, Palmyra Palm
Scientific Name:Borassus flabellifer
Distribution:Tropical Asia and Africa
Tree Size:65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight:61 lbs/ft3 (970 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness:2,020 lbf (9,000 N)
General Description
Fibers are more densely packed toward the outside of the tree trunk, becoming more and more sparse toward the center of the tree. Black fibers embedded in a lighter tan or light brown colored body. The center core of the tree is soft and contains none of the darker vascular bundles that give the wood its characteristic look and hardness. (This is nearly opposite of the typical outer sapwood/inner heartwood combination found in dicot hardwoods). Black Palm has a medium to fine texture, though it is by no means even or uniform on account of the contrast between the dense, darker fibers, and the soft, lighter cellulose structure of the wood. Grain is very straight, and contains no growth rings, knots, or defects.
This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
Market Value and usage
Prices for most sizes of Black Palm should be in the moderate range for an imported tropical wood. Although Black Palm trees can get up to several feet across, the center of the trunk is filled with a soft, unfigured portion, with only the outer areas of the trunk containing the characteristic colored fibers, so only narrow boards and spindle-stock are normally available.
Black Palm is said to be durable regarding decay resistance, but it is susceptible to insect attacks. Red Palm is highly variable in weight, strength, and hardness properties because the wood is so non-homogenous. Its trunk is measured by the gradient between the strong fibrovascular bundles, and the softer cellulose structure. The density of the wood is found to be greatest toward the outer wall of the trunk, and gradually becomes lighter, softer, and weaker towards the soft core.
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