Wallaba Hardwood Lumber

Wallaba is one of the most abundant good-quality timbers in Guyana, where it is used extensively for many purposes. Wallaba utility poles and heavy timbers are gaining in popularity on the export market. As transmission poles it has been known to be in service in Caribbean countries for over 40 years.

Wallaba Hardwood Lumber

Wallaba

Scientific Name: Eperua Falcata ­ (Family: Caesalpiniaceae)
A.T.I.B.T. Standard Name: Walaba
Other Names: - Bois, Sabre, Wapa Gris, Uapa, Apa

Wallaba is one of the most abundant good-quality timbers in Guyana, where it is used extensively for many purposes. Wallaba utility poles and heavy timbers are gaining in popularity on the export market. As transmission poles it has been known to be in service in Caribbean countries for over 40 years. The adaptability of this species for fencing purposes, staves and posts is well recognized. As a roofing material (shingles), it is known for its lasting qualities and the coolness it lends to a house.

THE TREE

Boles measure 40-60 feet, with a diameters measuring 18-24 inches.

WOOD APPEARANCE

Wallaba heartwood is red-brown in color, with dark gum streaks which tend to spread over the surface. The sapwood is pale in color and is sharply defined from the heartwood. The wood has uniformly straight grain and medium to coarse texture. The wood is not lustrous, but quarter-sawed lumber shows a pleasing fleck as a result of resinous deposits.

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

Wallaba is hard, heavy, stiff, and strong but not difficult to cut. Its strength is between Greenheart and European Beech.

Weight: In the green condition the timber weighs 76 lbs/ft3, and about 59 lbs/ft3 (860 kg/m3) when air-dry.

Specific Gravity: Air-dry wood averages about .93 based on air-dry volume and weight, and averages .78 based on green volume and oven-dry weight.

Bending Strength: 104 N/mm2 (15100 lbf/in2).

Modulus of Elasticity: 1500N/mm2 (2180000 lbf/in2).

Compression Comparable to Grain: 57.8 N/mm2 (3380 lbg/in2).

NATURAL DURABILITY

Wallaba heartwood is highly resistant to decay and to subterranean termites and fairly resistant to dry-wood termites. The wear resistance of Wallaba is extremely high. Wallaba is self-impregnated by nature thus creosoting is unnecessary.

TIMBER PROCESSING

Seasoning: Wallaba dries very slowly. Kiln Schedule B.

Working/Machining: Wallaba is hard but works easily with machine and hand tools, except that gum collects on the tools.

Assembly: Glues well. Does not take nails and screws satisfactorily; preboring is recommended.

Finishing: Difficult to paint because gum exudation, but stains and polishes satisfactorily. Weathers beautifully.

USES

Wallaba is exceptionally well suited for use as transmission poles, flagpoles, and posts. Its good strength and durability qualify the timber for railway ties, shoring, bridge timbers, and mine timbers. In building construction it is used for foundations, sills, joists, framing, roofing, siding, and veranda posts. It is also used for vat staves, shingles, and paling. The high resin content of the wood makes it an excellent flooring material in chemical factories, mills, and warehouses.

SUPPLIES

Occurs abundantly in the Guyana Forest. Regular supplies in large volumes are easily available.