Density in kg/m3

The Tree
A large, well shaped tree, from 35m to 48m tall and 1.0m to 2.0m in diameter at breast height, The trunk is generally without buttresses, although old trees often have a basal swelling that extends not more than 1.0m above the ground. The bole is slender, cylindrical, and free of branches for 20m to 30m.

The Timber
The heartwood is a distinctive uniform golden-yellow or orange-brown colour, clearly differentiated from the pinkish yellow sapwood which is usually about 50mm wide. The texture is coarse and the grain frequently interlocked, producing a striped or roll figure on quarter-sawn surfaces. Lustrous, very hard and moderately heavy, it weighs about 750 kg/m3 when dried.

Needs careful drying, or checks and splits may develop. Hair-shakes often occur during drying, but warping generally is not serious. Especially in large sizes opepe dries very slowly, and it is advisable to use thin stickers when piling.

An exceptionally strong timber, superior to English oak in all strength categories except resistance to shock loads or splitting.

Working Qualities
Medium - The timber works with moderate ease in most hand and machine operations and has a reasonably small dulling effect on tool edges. Quarter-sawn material tends to pick up in planing unless a cutting angle of about 100 is employed. An excellent finish can be obtained; when polishing, the grain needs considerable filling, but a high polish is obtainable. The timber tends to split on nailing.

Latin Name
Nauclea diderrichii

Also known as
Kusia (Ghana), badi (Ivory Coast), bilinga (Gabon)

Wood Type

Moderately easy



Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, the Cameroons.