Density in kg/m3

The Tree
The tree is evergreen, usually dominant or co-dominant. And reaches a height of 30.0m or more and a diameter of about 0.6m although the maximum diameter could be 1.2m.

The Timber
The sapwood is pale yellow or greenish, and is about 25mm to 50mm wide in young trees and about 75mm wide in mature trees. The sapwood is not clearly demarcated from the heartwood which varies in colour from yellowish-green, greenish-yellow, or light olive through golden yellow, dark olive, or yellowish-brown to very dark brown. blackish, or black. The wood from decayed or defective logs has a distinctive yellow colour. The grain varies from straight to roey, and the texture is fine and uniform, lustrous and cold to the touch. It is exceedingly heavy, weighing about 1040 kg/m3 when dried.

The wood air dries very slowly, with a marked tendency to check, and for ends to split, but warping is not serious, and degrade generally is not excessive. Kiln drying is slow, with considerable degrade, particularly in thick sizes, and in general material over 25mm in thickness should be air dried prior to kilning.

Greenheart is one of the strongest woods in tropical America. It is hard, heavy, tough, strong and elastic, but inclined to splinter when fractured. It is only about 50 per cent heavier than English oak, but 100 per cent harder, 140 per cent stronger in compression and bending, and 1 20 per cent stiffer in bending under gradually applied loads.

Working Qualities
Difficult - Greenheart is moderately difficult to work with both hand and machine tools, resisting cutting similarly to tough grades of English oak. Although it dulls cutting edges rather quickly, a fine, smooth, lustrous surface can be obtained. Because of the low cleavage resistance of the wood, cross-grained or end- grain material must be machined carefully to avoid breaking- out and splintering at the exit of the tool. The wood turns easily, and gives a good finish with wax, oil, or polish without the need of a filler, but it does not take nails well and should be pre-bored for this purpose. Gluing gives fairly good results. The acid content of the wood is very low, calculated at 0.48 per cent of acetic acid in air dry wood, which represents a very low corrosive effect on nails, spikes and metal fastenings.

Latin Name
Chlorocardium rodiei, Ocotea rodiaei, Ocotea rodiaei

Also known as
Demerara greenheart (Guyana), black greenheart, brown greenheart, yellow greenheart, white greenheart

Wood Type

Extremely difficult



Guyana, Venezuela