Density in kg/m3

The Tree
Commonly a large, well-formed tree, reaching a height of 30m to 45m with diameters of 0.6m to 1.2m and occasionally up to 1.8m or more. Usually without buttresses, but often basally swollen.

The Timber
The heartwood is light red to rose red when freshly cut, turning dark reddish brown on exposure; sapwood whitish or pale brown,distinct, but not sharply demarcated from the heart-wood. The grain is usually straight but sometimes interlocked, and the texture is fine and uniform. The wood is hard and extremely heavy.

Generally reported to be difficult to dry, tending to develop severe checking, warp and casehardening, and requiring care in piling to assure a slow rate of drying. However, reports from Puerto Rico state that 25mm lumber was air dried to 19 per cent moisture content in four months with only a small amount of degrade in the form of very slight cup, crook and bow, and without apparent surface checking.

Similar or superior to greenheart in bending strength, shock resistance, hardness, shear and in across-the-grain properties of compression and tension, but slightly weaker than greenheart in compression parallel to the grain (crushing strength) and in elastic resilience in bending, and quite inferior in stiffness.

Working Qualities
Medium to easy - Moderately easy to work despite its high density. It machines and finishes to a very smooth surface. The wood takes a fine polish and has the appearance of walnut. Gluing requires special care because of the wood's resistance to absorption of moisture.

Latin Name
principally Manilkara bidentata, Manilkara spp

Also known as
Macaranduba (Brazil), Bolletrie (Surinam), Nispero (Panama), Balata (Guyana and Colombia)

Wood Type

Extremely difficult



West Indies, Central America, Northern South America.