Izabal Wood Co.


Cenízaro / Samanea saman

Local Names
Carreto, Genícero, Guachapalí, Zorra, Dormilón, Algarrobo, Samaguare, Lara, Carabalí, Huacamayo-Chico.
Distribution & Tree
Monkey pod or the rain tree is native to southern Mexico and Guatemala and is found southwards through Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. It has been introduced in other tropical regions worldwide, including the Philippines, India and Fiji. In Hawaii, “monkey pod bowls” are a common craft piece. The tree may reach heights of 38 meters and trunk diameters of 125 centimeters. When grown in open pasture, it develops a massive crown up to 60 m wide and a short thick trunk. It tends to occur in transitional zones between dry and humid tropical forest, usually on gently sloping plains or mesas. The species is a nitrogen fixer. Our group manages planted monkey pod which makes an excellent shade cover for cacao.
Wood Appearance
Monkey pod’s heartwood runs from a dark walnut to a rich chocolate-brown. When seasoned it lightens to a golden-brown with darker streaks in the form of overlapping arches. Its texture is medium to coarse with a medium luster Medium and a straight to interwoven grain. The wood is a substitute for black walnut and parota (conacaste).
Processing Properties
The wood saws and machines easily but it can become fuzzy when working pieces with interlocked grain. It takes an excellent finish. The wood can be impregnated.
Strength & Durability
The wood is rated durable to very durable in resistance to attack by a white-rot and brown-rot fungus and is rated resistant to attack by dry-wood termites.
Wood Uses
Fine furniture (including live-edge slab) and cabinet work, millwork, decorative veneer, joinery, and turnery.
Ecological & Social Importance
The tree is highly favored for its shade and nutritious pods eaten by cattle, hogs, and goats. The pods contain 12-18% protein content.
Reference Species
Technical CharacteristicsMonkey PodBlack WalnutRed Cedar
Janka Hardnesskgf431458408
Bending Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity)GPa7.911.66.1
Bending Strength (Modulus of Rupture)MPa65.7100.760.7
Crushing StrengthMPa39.952.341.5
Shrinkage, Radial%2.0%5.5%3.1%
Shrinkage, Tangential%3.4%7.8%4.7%
Shrinkage, Volumetric%6.0%12.8%7.8%
T/R Ratio1.71.41.5
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
"Catálogo de Arboles." Red de Viveros de Biodiversidad.
"Guía de Especies Forestales de Nicaragua." Orgut Consulting AB. MARENA/INAFOR. 2002
Blanco Flórez, J. "Caracterización de las 30 Especies Forestales maderables más Movilizadas en Colombia Provenientes del Bosque Natural." Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible. 2020
Catálogo virtual de flora del Valle de Aburrá, Universidad EIA
Longwood, F. "Puerto Rican Woods: Their Machining, Seasoning and Related Characteristics." Agricuiture Handbook No. 205. USDA.
Monkey Pod. The Wood Database.
Saman. ITTO Lesser Known Species.
Saman. Laboratorio de Productos Forestales. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. 2018.
Saman. Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheets. Forest Products Laboratory. USDA Forest Service.
Samanea saman. Cordero, J. Boshier, D. "Arboles de Centroamerica: Un manual para extensionistas." Oxford/Catie. 2003
Samanea saman. Vozzo, J.A. (ed) "Manual de Semillas de Arboles Tropicales." 2010.
Vignote Peña "Principales Maderas Tropicales Utilizadas en España." Universidad Politécnica de Madrid