Iroko Milicia excelsa Moraceae

This important African tree grows throughout tropical Africa and is a popular substitute for teak, despite being not as strong as teak. West Africa is now the major source, as over-exploitation has greatly reduced populations in east Africa. It is a large tree, producing good quality, cylindrical logs, which are exported throughout the world.

The wood has pale yellow sapwood and deep brown heartwood with light fawn flecks radiating out from the center of the wood to the bark, when quarter-sawn. The grain is quite often interlocked and irregular. Generally, the wood works well with both machine and hand tools, although occasional calcium deposits known as 'stone' can damage the cutting teeth of saws. Iroko is extremely durable and is widely used in ship building, piling, marine work, and garden furniture. It is also a favorite wood for sculpture, wood-carving, and parquet flooring.

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