Additional Wood Species - Tree Information

As a custom manufacturer, Decore-ative Specialties offers nearly every wood species. Below we have provided some information on many of the unique wood species we offer to give a better understanding of the origin, benefits, characteristics, and hardness (Janka Rating) of each species. If you don't see the material you are looking for below, please contact our Customer Service Department to discuss your project needs.

Learn More About Additional Species

Basswood (Tilia americana, Other Name: Linden)

General Description

  • The sapwood of basswood is usually quite large and creamy white in color, merging into the heartwood which is pale to reddish brown, sometimes with darker streaks.
  • The wood has a fine uniform texture and indistinct grain that is straight.

Physical Properties

  • The wood is light and soft with generally low strength properties and a poor steam-bending abilities.
  • Janka Rating System = 410.

Where It Grows

  • Principally the Northern and Lake states.
  • Average tree height is 65 feet.

Relative Abundance

  • Together, aspen, basswood, cottonwood, elm, gum, hackberry, sassafras, sycamore and willow represent 12.5 percent of commercially available U.S. hardwoods.

Did You Know?

  • Native Americans also used basswood’s inner bark fibers to make thread and fabric.
  • It is used for carvings, turnings, furniture, pattern-making, moldings, millwork and musical instruments.
  • It has an important specialized use is Venetian blinds and shutters.

Bubinga (Guibourtia demeusei, Guibourtia pellegriniana, Guibourtia tessmannii and others)

General Description

  • The heartwood ranges from a pinkish red to a darker reddish brown with darker purple or black streaks.
  • The sapwood is a pale straw color and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood.
  • Stunning grain figures are possible.

Physical Properties

  • Janka Rating System = 1980.

Where It Grows

  • Equatorial rain forests of Africa.
  • An evergreen tree growing to 130 feet tall with a trunk diameter of up to 60+ inches.

Relative Abundance

  • Readily available and available in long lengths and big widths.
  • The tree is endangered by a fungal infection. In some areas, 90% of the butternut trees have been killed. Still, wood is available for use.

Did You Know?

  • Often referred to as African Rosewood though not a rosewood at all.
  • Some of its main uses are Guitar tone wood, veneer, inlays, fine furniture, cabinetry, turnings, and specialty items.

Butternut (Juglans cinerea)

General Description

  • The heartwood is usually a light to medium tan and at times with a reddish tint.
  • Growth rings are darker. They form fairly distinct grain patterns.
  • The sapwood is a pale yellowish white.

Physical Properties

  • Janka Rating System = 490.

Where It Grows

  • Southern Canada south to the southern border of Tennessee.
  • The tree is under attack from a fungus and is disappearing from forests throughout its range.
  • A deciduous tree growing to 80 feet tall, rarely 95 feet, with a 15 – 30 inch stem diameter.

Relative Abundance

  • Readily Available, however getting rarer due to disease.
  • The tree is endangered by a fungal infection. In some areas, 90% of the butternut trees have been killed. Still, wood is available for use.

Did You Know?

  • Also known as White Walnut.
  • It is a close relative of Black Walnut.
  • Early settlers used the bark and nut rinds to color homespun cloth into a yellow to dark brown color.

Koa - Acacia koa

General Description

  • Color can vary but it trends toward medium golden or reddish brown, similar to Mahogany. There are usually contrasting bands of color in the growth rings, and it isn’t uncommon to see ribbon-like streaks of color.
  • Boards figured with wavy and/or curly grain are also common.

Physical Properties

  • Janka Rating System = 870.

Where It Grows

  • A species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. It is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands where it is the second most common tree. The largest populations are on Hawaiʻi, Maui, and Oʻahu.
  • A large tree, typically attaining a height of 49 - 82 feet and a spread of 20 - 39 feet. In deep volcanic ash, a Koa can reach a height of 98 feet, a trunk circumference of 20 feet, and a spread of 125 feet.
  • It is one of the fastest growing Hawaiian trees, capable of reaching 20 - 30 feet in five years in good soil.

Relative Abundance

  • Rare.

Did You Know?

  • Its name, in the Hawaiian language, means brave, bold, fearless, or warrior.
  • Highly figured boards will be very expensive.

Padauk - Pterocarpus soyauxii, Pterocarpus macrocarpus, and Pterocarpus dalbergioides

General Description

  • The heartwood color can vary from a pale pinkish orange to a deep brownish red.
  • Most pieces tend to start reddish orange when freshly cut, darkening substantially over time to a reddish/purplish brown.

Physical Properties

  • Janka Rating System = 1725.

Where It Grows

  • All of the 35 species are African or Asian with P. soyauxii (African) being the most abundant. The other two lumber species are Burmese Padauk, P. macrocarpus and Andaman Padauk, P. dalbergioides.
  • Trees grow100-130 feet tall with a 2-4 foot trunk diameter.

Relative Abundance

  • Readily available.

Did You Know?

  • Sometimes confused with rosewoods (It is somewhat related to that species).
  • Excellent decay and insect resistance.
  • Because of its bright red color when freshly cut, it is used for making dye.
  • It is also prized for its lumber and is used for veneer, flooring, turned objects, musical instruments, furniture, tool handles, and other small specialty wood objects.

Purpleheart - Peltogyne pubescens

General Description

  • When freshly cut, the heartwood is a dull grayish/purplish brown.
  • Upon exposure to air, the wood becomes purple in color. With further age and exposure to UV light, the wood becomes a dark brown with a hint of purple. The purple color can be maintained.

Physical Properties

  • Janka Rating System = 1860.

Where It Grows

  • Central and South America (from Mexico down to southern Brazil) where they grow in rain forest climates.
  • Grows to 100-170 feet tall and 3-5 feet in diameter.

Relative Abundance

  • Readily available.

Did You Know?

  • Purpleheart ranks among the very stiffest and strongest woods in the world.
  • Often used for boat-building, flooring, heavy construction, fine furniture, architectural millwork, wood turning, wood carving, inlaying, outdoor construction, and gymnasium equipment.

Rosewood

One hardwood supplier lists no less than 10 species of Rosewood grouped into two categories; Dalbergia and Non-Dalbergia. The members of the Dalbergia group are considered to be the “true rosewoods” as the Non- Dalbergia versions are of different species altogether.

General Description

  • The heartwood ranges from a light yellow-brown to a darker orange or reddish brown.
  • Darker black streaks are common, and can produce a grain figure known as "spider-webbing" or "landscape". This is often found in Brazilian Rosewood and Ziricote.
  • The sapwood is a pale yellow.

Physical Properties

  • Janka Rating System = 2720-3170.

Where It Grows

  • Depending upon the species, Rosewood grows in tropical rainforests across the globe.
  • Madagascar Rosewood grows to 50-75 feet tall, 1-3 feet trunk diameter.

Relative Abundance

  • Depends upon the species. Madagascar Rosewoods, for example, are severely limited.

Did You Know?

  • Not all species in the genus Dalbergia yield rosewoods; only about a dozen species do.
  • Veneer, musical instruments including guitar bodies, fingerboards and piano keys, furniture, cabinetry, inlays, carving, turned objects, and other small specialty wood items.
  • Oils are collected for their fragrance potential as well as to make oil finishes.

Sapele - Entandrophragma cylindricum

General Description

  • The wood is medium to dark reddish brown or purplish brown. Color tends to darken with age.
  • Besides the common ribbon pattern seen on quarter sawn boards, Sapele is also known for a wide variety of other figured grain patterns. These include pomelle, quilted, mottled, wavy, beeswing, and fiddleback. Figured woods are prized and more expensive to obtain.

Physical Properties

  • Janka Rating System = 1510.

Where It Grows

  • Tropical Africa.
  • Grows to a heights up to 145 feet high (rarely 195 feet).
  • The trees can be huge and 4 foot diameter logs are not uncommon.

Relative Abundance

  • Readily available though some countries have restrictions on felling these trees.

Did You Know?

  • Sapele has a distinct, cedar-like scent while being worked.
  • It can also react when put into direct contact with iron, causing discoloration and staining.

Redwood - Sequoia and Sequoiadendron

General Description

  • The heartwood color can range from a light pinkish brown to deep reddish brown.
  • The sapwood is a pale white/yellow color.

Physical Properties

  • Janka Rating System = 420.

Where It Grows

  • The native habitat of Sequoiadendron giganteum is the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada range in central eastern California.
  • The native habitat of Sequoia sempervirens is in the Northern California coastal forests on the Northern California coast and several miles into Oregon.
  • The tree grows to 200-300 feet tall, with a 6-12 foot trunk diameter.

Relative Abundance

  • This is an endangered subfamily due to habitat losses from fire ecology suppression, development, and air pollution.

Did You Know?

  • The redwood species contains the largest and tallest trees in the world.
  • These trees can live for thousands of years.
  • Old growth lumber is more decay resistant than second growth.

Spanish Cedar - Cedrela odorata

General Description

  • The wood is a relatively uniform pinkish to reddish brown. Its colors tend to darken with age.
  • It is not uncommon to find random pockets of gum and natural oils. The resins and oils give it its insect repelling qualities.

Physical Properties

  • Janka Rating System = 600.

Where It Grows

  • On the Pacific coast of Mexico, throughout Central America and the Caribbean, south to the lowlands and foothills of South America up to 4,000 foot altitude. It finds its southern limit in Argentina.
  • Trees grow to a height from 40 to 100 feet.

Relative Abundance

  • Readily available though it is considered a vulnerable species.

Did You Know?

  • Both rot and insect resistant, Spanish Cedar is a natural for building clothes storage containers.
  • Spanish Cedar is closely related to true Mahoganies Swietenia and Khaya.
  • Used for beehive and humidor construction.
  • The wood is the traditional choice for making the neck of flamenco and classical guitars. Veneer, plywood, cabinetry, boatbuilding, garden furniture, outdoor construction.

Philippine Mahogany - Shorea

General Description

  • There are five main species sold as Meranti. Their names are very descriptive of their color. They are: Light Red Meranti, Dark Red Meranti, White Meranti, Yellow Meranti, and Balau.

Physical Properties

  • Janka Rating System = 780-825.

Where It Grows

  • Native to Southeast Asia, from Northern India to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
  • Sold as lumber under a number of names including Meranti, Seraya, Balau, Bangkirai, Lauan (or Luan), Lawaan, and Philippine Mahogany.

Relative Abundance

  • There are 148 different species of Shorea. 102 are listed as “Critically Endangered”.

Did You Know?

  • The genus is named after Sir John Shore, the Governor-General of the British East India Company, 1793-1798.
  • The trees of this species are the tallest trees in their native habitat. They may approach or surpass 260 feet in height.

Teak – Tectona grandis

General Description

  • The heartwood tends to be a golden or medium brown, with color darkening with age.

Physical Properties

  • Janka Rating System = 1000.

Where It Grows

  • Teak is native to south and Southeast Asia. It grows mainly in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Burma but is plantation grown in many countries including those in Africa and the Caribbean.
  • The tree will grow up to 130 feet tall with a 3-5 foot trunk diameter.

Relative Abundance

  • Teak enjoys widespread cultivation on plantations worldwide.

Did You Know?

  • Teak is considered to be the very best for its decay resistance. Its heartwood is rated as very durable.
  • Teak is also resistant to termites though only moderately resistant to marine borers and powder post beetles.
  • Despite its widespread cultivation, teak is very expensive.

Zebrawood - Microberlinia brazzavillensis

General Description

  • The heartwood is a light brown or cream color with dark blackish brown streaks that vaguely resemble a zebra’s stripes.
  • Depending on whether the wood is flat sawn or quarter sawn, the stripes can be either chaotic and wavy (flat sawn), or somewhat uniform (quarter sawn).

Physical Properties

  • Janka Rating System = 1658.

Where It Grows

  • West Africa (Cameroon, Congo & Gabon).
  • Grows to 150 feet with trunk diameters of 48 - 60 inches.

Relative Abundance

  • Becoming endangered, however, it is still available.

Did You Know?

  • Zebrawood has a characteristic unpleasant smell when being worked.
  • Zebrawood is frequently quarter sawn to reveal its distinctive grain pattern and used as veneer.

Learn More About Additional Species