Izabal Wood Co.


Naranjo / Terminalia amazonia

Local Names
Canxan, Canshán, Almendro, Cumbillo, Amarillo, Roble Coral, Bolitree, Guayabo León, Guayabon, Pardillo Negro, Tanimbuca, Fukadi, Pau-Mulato Brancho
Distribution & Tree

Nargusta is prevalent across the mainland Neotropics as well as parts of the Caribbean with multiple local names. It’s among Izabal’s most common tropical hardwoods with observed concentrations up to 10 to 12 trees per hectare. Trees can grow up to 50 meters in height with trunks often exceeding one meter. Trucks are highly cylindrical often free of branches up to 20 meters. Naranjo loses its leaves briefly during the dry season. It often develops large buttresses, especially when growing in swampy areas. It grows in a wide variety of soil types, including red lateritic soil derived from volcanic material, but achieves the tallest height in clayey soil.

Due to its fast growth and straight bole, it’s been used on a small scale as a commercial plantation timber in Costa Rica and Panama. Researchers associated with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Yale University and Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica found that Terminalia amazonia was among the fastest growers among 10 species studied.

Wood Appearance
The heartwood has a yellowish hue that can vary from brownish to reddish to olive, sometimes with darker streaks, and yields and attractive finish. The wood is lustrous, possesses a medium texture and frequently interlocked grain. It been suggested as a substitute for oak.
Processing Properties
Nargusta is generally reported to be from fair to moderately difficult to work with hand and machine tools; straight-grained material planes well although more interlocked grain can be challenging. It slices well into veneers. The heartwood is resistant to preservation treatments. Recommended Stellite-tipped blades and tungsten-carbide cutting tools. Nailing good but pre-boring necessary.
Strength & Durability
The wood is hard and dense with good mechanical and physical properties. Volumetric contraction is moderate given its density. It’s moderately resistant to fungal and termite attack. Culture tests showed the wood to be durable to both white-rot and brown-rot fungi.
Wood Uses
Nargusta is employed for flooring, parquets, railroad crossties, furniture and cabinet work, turnery, and utility plywood. It’s used in light and heavy construction (railroad crossties, stages, industrial flooring, bridge bases and beams, among others). Slicing well, it’s an excellent veneer. It’s used for barrels and boatbuilding. Ranchers and farmers sometimes use for fence posts as it holds up well against the elements.
Ecological & Social Importance
Nargusta’s bark is rich in tannins and has been locally used to cure cowhide.
Reference Species
Technical CharacteristicsNargustaHickory (Shagbark)Sugar Maple
Janka Hardnesskgf820853658
Bending Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity)GPa15.214.912.6
Bending Strength (Modulus of Rupture)MPa122.5139.3109.0
Crushing StrengthMPa66.063.554.0
Shrinkage, Radial%6.4%7.0%4.8%
Shrinkage, Tangential%8.7%10.5%9.9%
Shrinkage, Volumetric%14.9%16.7%14.7%
T/R Ratio1.41.52.1
Values determined at 12% humidity







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
“Propiedades anatómicas, físicas y mecánicas de
93 especies forestales – Ecuador." Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador/MFSCC/FAO. 2004.
“Propiedades y Usos de la Madera de Cumbillo.” CUPROFOR/ITTO. 1999.
FSC Denmark Lesser Known Timber Species
Fukadi. "Lesser Used Timber Species of Guyana." Itto/Guyana Forestry Commission.
ITTO Lesser Used Species
Laboratorio de Ecología de Poblaciones y Comunidades Tropicales, UNAM
Tanimbuca. Data Sheets. “The main technological characteristics of 245 tropical wood species.” Tropix 7. CIRAD.
Tepesúchil. "Fichas técnicas sobre características
tecnológicas y usos de maderas
comercializadas en México." Tomo II. CONAFOR.
Terminalia amazonia. Cordero, J. Boshier, D. "Arboles de Centroamerica: Un manual para extensionistas." Oxford/Catie. 2003
Terminalia amazonia. Vozzo, J.A. (ed) "Manual de Semillas de Arboles Tropicales." 2010.
Terminalia amazonia. Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheets. Forest Products Laboratory. USDA Forest Service.
The Wood Database