Araracanga Wood (Aspidosperma megalocarpon): Uses, Properties, Pros, and Cons

The wood, called araracanga is very strong and lasts long. It is often taken from the wild and sold overseas.

Araracanga heartwood is orange to light brown and sometimes has large pink veins. It is easily distinguished from the 3 to 8 cm wide band of almost white to light brown sapwood.

When the timber makes contact with the soil, it becomes extremely heavy, hard, and durable. It is resistant to fungi and dry wood borers and only moderately resistant to termites.

It takes a while to dry out and has a high chance of cracking and warping. Once it’s dry, it’s not very stable.

It isn’t easy to deal with and has a rather high blunting impact. It is advised to use power tools with tungsten carbide and stellite tips.

However, pre-boring is required before nailing or screwing. Gluing is good for interior purposes only.

The wood can be used to construct massive bridges, railroad ties, home posts, heavy carpentry, industrial flooring, hydraulic works in freshwater, and other things.

Aspidosperma megalocarpon is a tree that stays green all year and can grow between 7 and 30 meters tall. The bole can be 20 to 80 cm in diameter and free of branches for most of its height.

Araracanga is sold under other names

Belize: My Lady

Bolivia: Gavetillo

Brazil: Araracanga, Ararauba, Jacamin

Colombia Copachi, Quillo Caspi

Guatemala: Chichica

Guyana: Shibadan

French Guiana: Kiantioutiou, Koumanti Oudou

Honduras: Chapel, Chaperna

Mexico: Volador, Alcarreto

Peru: Pumaquiro

Suriname: Kromanti Kopi

Venezuela: Nielillo Negro

Treatment

Does not require any preservative treatment If there is a chance of temporary or permanent humidity to protect against dry wood borer attacks.

Availability        

In the United States, this wood is rarely for sale. But trade in any species goes up and down depending on how much people want it and how many there are.

Pricing

For an imported species, prices ought to be at the range’s middle to the high end.

Geography

The species in this group live in Mexico, Central America, and the high forests with moist soil in the lower Amazon, including the Guianas.

Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Suriname, Venezuela, and NW Brazil are among the countries where it is present.

Sustainability   

Although this wood is not on the CITES Appendices list, the IUCN considers it near endangered.

It technically does not match the Red List requirements for a vulnerable or endangered species, but it is near to or may soon meet those criteria.

Wood identification

When freshly cut, the heartwood is a bright orange-red to reddish brown, turning light pinkish brown or pale yellowish brown after exposure and drying.

Sapwood is narrow, white to yellowish, darkens with exposure, and therefore difficult to distinguish from heartwood.

The grain is straight to uneven when dry, with a medium, consistent texture and no discernible odor or taste.

Aaracanga wood is utilized in heavy construction. It is resistant to fungus, termites, and dry wood borers.

Color and appearance

Heartwood can be golden yellow to reddish brown, sometimes with pinkish lines running through it.

Heartwood and yellow sapwood are not always easy to tell apart.

With time, the color tends to get darker.

Flower

flowers fragrant, ca 1 cm diam; calyx grayish-green, tubular, 4-5 mm long, the lobes rounded, 1-1.5 mm long, pubescent on the outside.

Corolla pale yellow, lobed to about the middle, the tube slender, pubescent inside, the lobes oblong-elliptic, asymmetrical; stamens 5, inserted at the throat of a tube; ovary ca 1 mm long, glabrous; styles 2, glabrous, united, ca 1.5 mm long; stigma simple.

Fruit

Fruits are brown, paired, reniform to suborbicular, flattened, 5.5-12 cm long.

Densely and obscurely lenticellate, densely mealy-pubescent, becoming glabrous in age.

Seeds several, tan, orbicular, papery thin, to 7 cm diam, the funicle slender, attached near the center of seed, to ca 2.5 cm long.

Grain and texture

Straight grain with a medium texture that is the same all over.

The grain is mostly straight, but it is twisted or crooked. It is between medium and fine. At 12% moisture, the density is 0.94 g/cm3.

Leaves

Leaves alternate; petioles 6-15 mm long, weakly canaliculate.

blades oblong-elliptic to narrowly elliptic, gradually acuminate at apex, acute to cuneate at base, (3.7) 6-14 cm long, 2.2-7.5 cm wide.

green above, pale and weakly glaucous below (drying grayish), glabrous or inconspicuously pubescent along the midrib, the margins weakly recurved.

Panicles axillary, 2-3 cm long, pubescent; pedicels 2-3 mm long.

Tree

The mature tree is said to be small to medium-sized, with a height of 20–30 m and a diameter of 40–60 cm. The stems are usually straight and round, and the bark is usually ridged.

Araracanga is a common canopy tree in lowland seasonal rainforests. It likes to grow in soil that is moist. Small amounts of wood are taken from the forest.

Araracanga wood bark

The outer bark is gray, relatively smooth, becoming weakly fissured in age.

Inner bark pale yellow, granular, the sap white, copious.

stems and petioles, especially stem, densely mealy-granular-pubescent when young, soon glabrous; stems soon conspicuously lenticellate.

Araracanga wood pros and cons         

Our Araracanga wood pros and cons blog is designed to help you determine if Araracanga wood is the right choice for your needs.

Here, we’ll help you learn more about the characteristics of the wood, its uses, how it’s processed, and whether or not it has any cons.

Rot resistance

Depending on where it grows, its durability can range from moderately to very durable in terms of resistance to decay, but it is vulnerable to insect attack.

Strength and Durability 

End-uses in temperate climates are those that are resistant to fungi and termites.

Natural durability is based on mature heartwood, except for particular remarks on sapwood.

Sapwood must always be regarded as weak to substances that cause wood to deteriorate.

Allergies and toxicity

Even though serious reactions are rare, Araracanga has been said to irritate the skin and lungs and asthma-like symptoms.

When the wood and sap of an araracanga tree are just cut, they irritate the eyes, nose, and throat and make you feel sick.

Water resistance

Moderate

Workability

Araracanga is easy to work with and gives good results, but it dulls cutters more than average. Works well to glue, turn, and finish.

The effect of blunting is pretty high; peeling isn’t recommended or interesting, but cutting is said to be good. Even though it is very dense, Araracanga wood is not hard to work with, but it does need power.

With the right cutting angle, you can make something that is smooth. It is best to drill first. Less experience is needed for gluing and finishing.

Araracanga wood generally dries too slowly, and while there is a potential that it will break, the likelihood that it will distort is higher.

Araracanga wood uses

Common Uses: Vehicle or container flooring, Shipbuilding (ribs, planking, and deck), Sleepers Industrial or heavy flooring, Hydraulic works (freshwater), Heavy carpentry Bridges (parts in contact with water or ground), Current furniture or furniture components, Sliced veneer, Sculpture, Cabinetwork (high-class furniture), Exterior paneling.

Araracanga is a hardwood that grows in tropical Central America and South America and is particularly suitable for wooden structures, posts, interior frames, and floors.

Araracanga wood for furniture and flooring

Araracanga wood is heavy, very hard and durable, and prized for furniture and flooring use. The sap is also used for varnishes, ointments, and incense.

It finishes smooth and has a natural luster and a warm glow.

Araracanga wood for construction

Araracanga can be used in exterior constructions like bridges, jetties, decking, poles, and sheet piling. Wood is used locally for general building, heavy, and boat construction.

Araracanga wood for veneer

This type of wood is utilized in the production of veneers. The procurement of substantial chunks of araracanga wood has become an extremely challenging task.

Araracanga related species

Araracanga, also known as Volador, is a relative of the more well-known Peroba Rosa. However, unlike Peroba Rosa, Araracanga has a more grainy texture, is somewhat heavier, and possesses more strength.

This blog lists all of the many species of Araracanga that can be found around the world, ranging from the largest to the smallest, along with information regarding their range and habitat.

Peroba Rosa (Aspidosperma polyneuron)

An evergreen tree with an oval crown and a trunk that is about 80 cm thick, the peroba rose can reach heights of 8 to 30 meters.

The heartwood is rose-red to orange or yellowish with some darker streaks, and the sapwood is a dull gray-white.

The wood is very valuable, and the tree is often cut down in the wild to get it for local use and sell abroad. As a popular tree for making a wood, it has been heavily used and has lost its natural habitat.

Aspidosperma rigidum

For its wood, this tree’s wild branches are harvested. Unless polishes or colors are applied to the wood after it has dried, it loses its poisonous properties.

Aspidosperma species’ newly cut wood and sap irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, making people feel unwell.

Aspidosperma triternatum

Evergreen Aspidosperma triternatum trees can reach heights of up to 25 meters. For local use, the wood is collected from the wild.

Eye, nose, and throat discomfort from wood and sap also results in an overall feeling of unwellness. Unless polishes or colors are applied to the wood after it has dried, it loses its poisonous properties.

Quebracho Blanco (Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco)

The quebracho blanco tree has a maximum height of 30 meters.

It generates a tonic that is bitter and astringent, which stimulates the genito-urinary, respiratory, and circulatory systems, reduces fevers, and calms spasms.

The wood is utilized in building, ordinary carpentry, tool handles, toys, wooden flooring blocks, and lathe work.

Remo Caspi (Aspidosperma excelsum)

Remo caspi is a huge, evergreen canopy tree in the Amazon Rainforest that has many buttresses. It makes a huge amount of high-quality hardwood rainforest wood.

Aspidosperma species’ freshly cut wood and sap irritate the eyes, nose, and throat and make people feel sick in general.

Unless you use polishes or colors manufactured with organic solvents, wood is no longer hazardous once it has dried completely.

The root bark is antibacterial, anti-periodic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, carminative, digestive, febrifuge, hypoglycemic, stomachic, and a vasodilator.

Pereiro Amargo (Aspidosperma cuspa)

The wood of the Pereiro amargo tree is taken from the wild and used as medicine.

Local burning and a vesicular eruption caused by the wood, along with general muscle weakness and cramps, are the main effects of the wood.

Because the wood is so small, it can only be used to make small things like tools and utensils.

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