Brosimum spp. (Utile group)
Family: Moraceae
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Other Common Names: Mastate (Costa Rica), Avichuri (Colombia), Palo de vaca (Venezuela), Amapa doce, Gaucho macho (Brazil).


Distribution: Ranges from the Atlantic Coast in Costa Rica southward to Colombia and Ecuador.


The Tree: The tree attains a height of 80 to 100 ft with an erect trunk about 30 to 45 in.  in diameter.


The Wood:

General Characteristics: Dried there is no distinction between sapwood and heartwood uniform yellowish white to yellowish brown or light brown.  Grain is straight to widely and shallowly interlocked; medium texture; luster high.  Odorless and tasteless.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) ranges from 0.35 to 0.50 for this group.  Air-dry density averages about 24 to 38 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: (2-in.  standard)


Moisture content   Bending strength   Modulus of elasticity   Maximum crushing strength

            (%)                  (Psi)              (1,000 psi)                     (Psi)

Green (7)                       8,490             1,940               4,490

12%                             14,310             2,390               8,220


Janka side hardness 603 lb for green material and 903 lb for air dry.


Drying and Shrinkage: The lumber air-seasons rapidly and easily with little or no degrade.  However, material containing tension wood will be subject to warp.  Kiln schedule T5-C3 has been suggested for 4/4 stock.  A faster schedule was developed that can dry this wood to 7 percent moisture content in 6 to 8 days (51).  Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 3.9%; tangential 7.8%.


Working Properties: The wood is easy to machine.  However, tension wood is sometimes prevalent and this will cause fuzzy grain and burning of saws due to pinching.  Takes stains and finishes readily; presents no gluing problems.


Durability: The wood is vulnerable to attack by stain and decay fungi as well as insects.


Preservation: Reported to be treatable, but no detailed information is available.


Uses: Plywood, particleboard, fiberboard, carpentry, light construction, furniture components, pulp and paper products, and moldings.


Additional Reading: (7), (51), (56), (71)


7. Bendtsen, B. A., and M. Chudnoff.  1979.  Properties of seven Colombian woods. USDA Forest Serv.     Res.  Pap.  FPL-299.  For.  Prod.  Lab., Madison, Wis.

51.  McMillen, J. M., and R. S. Boone.  1974.  Kiln-drying selected Colombian woods Forest Prod.  J.            24(4):31 -36.

56.  Record, S. J., and R. W. Hess.  1949.  Timbers of the new world.  Yale University Press, New Haven,       Conn.

71.  Villamil G., F. (Editor).  1971.  Maderas colombianas.  Proexpo, Bogota.


From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.