The TreeThe tree may be up to 45m tall and 2m in diameter above the base. The bole is straight, cylindrical, and free of buttresses, and may be 21m to 24m long.
The TimberThe heartwood and sapwood are distinct; the heartwood is pale pink when freshly cut, darkening on exposure to reddish-brown. It closely resembles the related sapele, both in appearance and properties, but is more open in texture due to the larger pores, and generally lacks the cedar-like odour of sapele. The interlocked grain produces a broad ribbon-stripe, often wider and more irregular than that of sapele. It weighs about 660 kg/m3 when dried.
DryingUtile dries moderately slowly with a distinct tendency for distortion in the form of twist to occur, and original shakes to extend. In general however, distortion is not severe.
StrengthIts strength properties are similar to those of American mahogany.
Working QualitiesMedium - Works rather well, but with a slight blunting effect on cutting edges. A cutting angle of 150 will reduce the tendency for the interlocked grain to tear during planing and moulding. Takes stain and glue well, and polishes well after filling.
Latin NameEntandrophragma utile
Also known asSipo (Ivory Coast), assii (Cameroons)
OriginIvory Coast, Cameroons, Liberia, Gabon, Uganda