The TreeAlthough the trees may reach 27.0m to 30.0m in height and a diameter of 0.6m or more, they grow rapidly, and are often defective due to the development of heart rot; consequently merchantable round logs are usually only about 6.0m to 7.5m long and about 0.5m in diameter. Transmission poles may be produced up to 1 8.0m long and with butt diameters of 200mm to 300mm.
The TimberThe sapwood is grey or greyish-white in colour, sharply demarcated from the deep red to reddish-purple heartwood. The surface of the wood is streaked with resin, which appears in concentric rings on the ends of logs with gummy exudations. The wood is straight grained, and the texture is medium to coarse. All four species mentioned are similar in appearance and weight, which is about 910 kg/m3 when dried.
DryingWallaba dries slowly with a marked tendency to warp and split. An initial period of air drying prior to kiln drying is essential if degrade is to be kept to a minimum.
StrengthHard, heavy, stiff and strong, it is similar to karri in most strength categories, except in resistance to shock loads and splitting.
Working QualitiesMedium - Although hard, it works easily with hand and machine tools except that gum collects on the cutting edges of tools, particularly saw teeth. This can be overcome by using saws with 88mm pitch and generous gullet space. It planes to a smooth surface, but tends to char when bored. There is a tendency for the finish to be spoiled later by gum exudation, but in tests, it would seem that treatment with a grain filler and wax polish satisfactorily held back the resin.
Latin NameEperua falcata, Eperua grandiflora, Eperua jenmanii, Eperua schomburgkiana
Also known aswaapa, bijlhout (Surinam), apa, aipe (Brazil), palo machete (Venezuela)
OriginGuyana, French Guiana, Surinam, Venezuela, Brazil