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Detailed Specs: Simarouba

Scientific Name:  Simarouba amara
Family:  Simaroubaceae
Other Names:  Aceituno (Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama), Cedro blanco, Simaruba (Venezuela), Soemaroeba (Suriname), Caixeta, Marupa (Brazil), Acajou blanc (French Guiana), Simarupa (Guyana)

The Tree

A large un-buttressed tree reaching a height of 140 feet and diameters of 20-24 inches, occasionally 36 inches. Boles are straight, cylindrical, strongly tapered, and frequently clear to 70-90 feet.

The Wood

General Characteristics: The heartwood is not differentiated from the whitish or straw coloured sapwood which has occasional oily streaks. Luster is high, texture is medium and uniform and grain is usually straight. Has no odour but a bitter quinine taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry/green volume) 0.38; air dry density 27 pcf.

Drying and Shrinkage: According to reports it is easy to season air dry. Boards dry rapidly with little or no degrade. There is no information about kiln schedules available. Shrinkage from green to oven dry: radial 2.3%, tangential 50% and volumetric 8.0%.

Working Properties:  The wood is easy to work and machines to a smooth, clean surface. Freshly felled logs tend to split in sawing due to internal stresses. The wood is easy finish and glue.

Janka side hardness at 390 lb for green material and 440 lb at 12% moisture content. Forest Product Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material 66 in-lb. (5/8 inch specimen)

Durability: According to pure culture tests the wood is somewhat durable to white rot and brown rot fungi. However, actual graveyard evaluations show that the wood is readily attacked by decay fungi and insects. It is also very susceptible to dry wood termit e and blue stain.

Distribution: Northern South America from Venezuela to the Guinanas to the Amazon region of Brazil, also in Trinidad and Tobago.

Preservation: Absorption and penetration of wood preservatives are excellent using either a pressure vacuum system or open tank systems.

Uses: Interior construction, boxes and crates, furniture components, veneer and plywood, pattern making, millwork, particleboard and fiberwood.


–       Chundnoff, Martin (1984), “Tropical Timbers of the World.” USDA Forest Service Ag. Handbook No.607.

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