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Okoume of Gabon

Okoume of Gabon

Aucoumea klaineana (angouma, gaboon, or okoumé) is a tree in the family Burseraceae, native to equatorial west Africa in Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, and Rio Muni. It is a medium-sized hardwood tree growing to 30–40 m tall, rarely larger, with a trunk 1-2.5 m diameter above the often large basal buttresses. The tree generally grows in small stands, the roots of the trees intertwined with neighboring trees. In Gabon it is the primary timber species.

Classification of OKOUME

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.6%, Tangential: 7.1%, Volumetric: 12.2%, T/R Ratio: 1.5.

Color/Appearance:Heartwood ranges from a pale pink to light brown. Color darkens with age. Narrow heartwood is grayish white, not clearly demarcated from heartwood.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to wavy or slightly interlocked. Texture is medium, with good natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; large pores in no specific arrangement, few; parenchyma not visible; narrow rays, spacing normal.

Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable; poor insect resistance.

Workability: High silica content has a pronounced blunting effect on cutters. Planing and shaping may produce tearout or fuzzy surfaces. Glues and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Okoume has been reported to cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritation, as well as other effects such as asthma-like symptoms, coughing, and conjunctivitis (pink eye).

Pricing/Availability: Most commonly sold as rotary veneer , sawn timber sizes , plywood , cigar boxes ,music instruments ,Boat building & others , Okoume should be moderately priced for an imported hardwood, though highly figured pieces tend to be more expensive.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.

Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, boatbuilding, musical instruments, furniture, and interior millwork.