Izabal Wood Co.


Melina / Gmelina Arborea

Local Names
White Teak, White Beech, Teca Blanca, Gamar, Gumhar, Sor, Yemane
Distribution & Tree
Gmelina is native to India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, China, Japan, Pakistan, Nepal, Cambodia, and Vietnam, in semi-evergreen, sub-montane moist forests, often occurring with teak in its natural habitat. Although it grows best in alluvial savannah woodland and grows best on loamy silt deposits near rivers, it can survive in lateritic, clayey soils. Today it’s grown throughout the lowland tropics on plantations. Trees normally reaches 20 meters in height and 80 cm in diameter. Its bark exfoliates in woody flakes.
Wood Appearance
The wood is pale yellowish brown to ashy grey, sometimes with pink streaks and with no distinct contrast between sapwood and heartwood. Its grain is interlocked and wavy with a moderately coarse with texture and high luster.
Processing Properties
It’s easy to work with hand and machine tools and takes a smooth finish. It rotary peels well into veneers and is easy to glue and nail. Movement in service classified as small (good dimensional stability).
Strength & Durability
The species is rated as nondurable but the heartwood is moderately durable with variable resistance to termite attack.
Wood Uses
General carpentry, furniture components, light construction, utility plywood, pulp and paper products, particleboard, matches, pencils, and carvings.
Ecological & Social Importance

Gmelina is a useful agroforestry species. It coppices well, tolerates browsing in the understory by livestock, and is resistant to many pests. It’s a light-demanding species suitable for planting on pastures and forest edges. It is a useful firewood species and its leaves and fruit can be used as fodder. The wood ash and fruit yield a persistent yellow dye. In Southeast Asia, gmelina is employed in the traditional taungya agroforestry system intercropped with peanut, cashew, tobacco, maize and beans.

Reference Species
Technical CharacteristicsGmelinaAmerican ElmLoblolly Pine
Janka Hardnesskgf363376313
Bending Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity)GPa6.89.212.3
Bending Strength (Modulus of Rupture)MPa50.081.488.3
Crushing StrengthMPa29.238.149.2
Shrinkage, Radial%2.8%4.2%4.8%
Shrinkage, Tangential%5.5%9.5%7.4%
Shrinkage, Volumetric%8.4%14.6%12.3%
T/R Ratio2.02.31.5
Values determined at 12% humidity - Provided for reference only







Values are for reference only and cannot be guaranteed. Wood is a natural material and physical and mechanical properties may vary depending on age, genetics, and other factors. We encourage customers to consult the references provided in the bibliography. For further explanations of wood’s key technical characteristics, an excellent resource is the Wood Database with articles on Density (average dried weight); Janka hardness; Elastic Modulus; Rupture Modulus; Crushing Strength; Radial, Tangential and Volumetric Shrinkage.

ReferencesView Source
“Guía de Especies Forestales de Nicaragua." Orgut Consulting AB. MARENA/INAFOR. 2002
Catálogo virtual de flora del Valle de Aburrá, Universidad EIA
Gérard, J. Guibal, D. et al. "Tropical Timber Atlas: Technological characteristics and uses." ITTO. Éditions Quæ, 2017.
Gmelina arborea. Vozzo, J.A. (ed) "Manual de Semillas de Arboles Tropicales." 2010.
Gmelina arborea. World Agroforestry Centre database
Gmelina. Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheets. Forest Products Laboratory. USDA Forest Service.
Melina. ITTO Lesser Known Species.
Silva Guzmán, José Antonio. 2008. Fichas técnicas sobre características y usos de maderas comercializadas en México. Tomo II. Comisión Nacional Forestal (CONAFOR). Guadalajara, Jalisco. México 8.
Vignote Peña "Principales Maderas Tropicales Utilizadas en España." Universidad Politécnica de Madrid