African Mahogany



African MahoganyAfrican Mahogany (Khaya Ivorensis): The trees can grow to a height of 110′ – 150′ tall, with 4′ – 6′ trunk diameter. It typically has a large canopy and is mostly an open-crown tree. The African Mahogany prefers a drier climate and is found along the Ivory Coast of Africa. Although it has been found in low-lying areas of the rainforest. The trunk bole is straight, with branches generally occurring approximately 33′ off the ground, which makes it possible to yield wide long clear boards. The recognition and importance of the West African specie has occurred as a result of the the near distinction of Swietenia Mahogany, more commonly known as Genuine Mahogany. What happened? Over-logging and illegal trade for over 85 years had brought all species of Swietenia Mahogany to near extinction. Interestingly enough, and not that long ago, the Mahogany Khaya logs were cleared to be used as fuel for the villagers. But, more importantly, they were cleared to make room for the commercial growing of Cocoa. Now, Khaya is valued as “tone wood” for musical instruments, architectural millwork, yacht interiors and flooring. The desirability of African Mahogany is such now that U.S. importers are competing with Chinese importers. Heppner Hardwoods sources are long established and adhere to the Lacy Act, IUCN Red List and CITES. Planks are 4” – 15” wide and lengths are 8’-16’

Distribution: West and Central Africa

General Characteristics: African Mahogany’s heartwood is a light pink brown but darkens upon exposure to a deeper red-brown also exhibiting an optical phenomenon known as chatoyancy. It has a texture that ranges from medium to coarse and a grain that is straight to interlocked. African Mahogany has historically been rated second to the Swietenia Mahoganies, but it is a wood of many fine characteristics and properties, among them a range of interesting figures and an innate luster.

Hardness/Janka: Janka score of 2200; (71% harder than Northern Red Oak).

Grain: Has a medium to coarse texture with open pores. The grain can be straight, irregular, or interlocked with striped figuring in quarter sawn

Variations Within Species and Grades: African Mahogany is more brashy with more peck out and is more brittle than Swietenia. Quarter sawn African mahogany has a very nice ribbon stripe and more luster than you get with tropical mahogany, so it is a little more “flashy”.

Customized Species and Grades: Grade available is FAS or Select. If one wants character or a country look, don’t look for it in Mahogany. The wood is clear. Although the pores are distributed, this wood produces a very distinct, pleasing grain. It is the most lavishly figured mahogany offered in plain stripe, broken stripe, mottle, fiddleback, fine crotches and faux swirl.