Izabal Wood Co.


Selillón / Pouteria izabalense

Local Names
Zapote Faisan, Quiebra-hacha de Leche, Ciruelillo Cimarrón, Tasmuk.
Distribution & Tree
Selillón is found in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Belize. It’s found predominately in coastal lowlands. The tree grows to heights up to 30 meters (of which 15-18 may be merchantable) and reaches diameters of 90 cm with a straight bole and fluted base. Its bark, a dark reddish brown, exudes a viscous milky latex when cut.
Wood Appearance
The wood is an attractive light brown with a pinkish tone. A somewhat lustrous wood, it possesses a fine to medium texture, straight and softly distinct grain.
Processing Properties
Its density, hardness and high silica (3.5%) content make it difficult to process with hand tools. Stellite-tipped or tungsten-carbide implements are recommended. The wood is difficult to plane. That said, it is is highly suited to moulding, turnery and sanding. It polishes very well. Pre-boring is recommended for screwing.
Strength & Durability
Selillon is a very heavy wood, strong and quite durable, making it appropriate for bearing heavy loads. Movement in service is low. It is rated as durable when in contact with the ground and moderately resistant to termite attack. Immersion in a boron solution achieves good penetration.
Wood Uses
Heavy construction, railroad ties, industrial flooring, parquet flooring, beams, garden furniture, cladding, mine works, stairs/stringers, posts, and tool handles.
Ecological & Social Importance

The Pouteria genus is highly diverse with over 325 species, including many that produce edible fruit, such as zapote, and boasting very dense timber. Its scientific name is a tribute to the Department of Izabal where the tree was used historically for railroad crossties where it is known as one of the densest timbers and indeed one that sinks in water.

Reference Species with Similar Density & Hardness
Technical CharacteristicsSelillónBlack LocustSugar Maple
Janka Hardnesskgf733771658
Bending Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity)GPa13.814.112.6
Bending Strength (Modulus of Rupture)MPa121.2133.8109.0
Crushing StrengthMPa74.970.354.0
Shrinkage, Radial%4.1%4.6%4.8%
Shrinkage, Tangential%6.4%7.2%9.9%
Shrinkage, Volumetric%15.2%10.2%14.7%
T/R Ratio1.61.62.1
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
“Propiedades y Usos de la Madera de Selillón.” CUPROFOR/ITTO. 1999.
Cordero, J. Boshier, D. "Arboles de Centroamerica: Un manual para extensionistas." Oxford/Catie. 2003
Forster, R. et al. "Comunidades forestales y el mercadeo de maderas tropicales poco comerciales de Mesoamérica." 2002.
Pouteria campechiana. Cordero, J. Boshier, D. "Arboles de Centroamerica: Un manual para extensionistas." Oxford/Catie. 2003
Standley, PC. Williams, LO. Gibson, DN. "Flora of Guatemala." Volume 24. Field Museum of Natural History. 1974.
Vester, H., Navarro-Martínez, A. "Fichas Ecológicas arboles maderables de Quintana Roo." Forest Ecology And Management, Tropical Forest Ecology. 2007.