Izabal Wood Co.


Cedro / Cedrela odorata

Local Names
Acajou Rouge, Cédre Rouge, Cedro Rojo, Cedro Amargo, Cigarbox
Source & Tree

Cedro widespread in the Neotropics from Mexico to Argentina, including parts of the Caribbean. Trees prosper on rich, well-drained humid sites but are well adapted to a variety of climates of drier and hillier terrain. Trees can reach heights up to 35m and diameters 50cm with wide buttresses. Cedro’s name arose when Spanish settlers in the Americas found its scent reminiscent of the Old World cedar (Cedrus). The leaves, when crushed, have a garlicky scent that becomes more intense during flowering. The species doesn’t appear in high concentrations in natural forests due to the Hypsipyla grandella moth which bores into its tip. For the same reason, it is rarely established on plantations which are affected by the moth unless properly controlled. Through years of research, IWC’s sister company, Izabal Agro-Forest, has developed management techniques that minimize infestation, allowing plantation systems.

Wood Appearance
The heartwood is pink to reddish-brown when freshly cut, becoming reddish-brown after exposure. Sapwood is sometimes but not always clearly demarcated. Grain is usually straight, sometimes interwoven; texture ranges from fine and uniform to coarse and uneven and luster from medium to high. The wood has a distinctive, pleasant odor, which makes it attractive for jewelry and cigar boxes and cabinetry. In Honduras, the species is sometimes referred to as cigarbox.
Processing Properties
Cedro is easy to work by hand and with machine tools but somewhat difficult to bore cleanly. It’s easy to cut into veneer but with some tendency for wooly surfaces to occur. Good sanding, nailing and gluing properties; stains and finishes well but gums and oils sometimes are a problem in polishing.
Strength & Durability
It is a light wood around 500 kg/m3 and relatively soft with a Janka hardness rating of 220 kg. Its heartwood is rated as durable but there is some variability with species. It has good resistance to both subterranean and dry-wood termites but low resistance to attack by marine borers. Wood has excellent weathering characteristics. Movement in service is small.
Wood Uses
Cedro is favored for millwork, cabinets, fine furniture, musical instruments, boat building, patterns, sliced- and rotary-cut veneer, decorative and utility plywoods, cigar wrappers, sculpture, artwork frames and cigar boxes. In Guatemala, cedro is used to produce paneled doors, drums and window shutters.
Ecological & Social Relevance
With its copious flowering, cedro is an important species for the production of bee honey. Boiling its leaves, roots and wood is used by indigenous groups for bronchitis and stomach ailments.
Reference Species
Technical CharacteristicsCedroYellow PoplarEastern White Pine
Janka Hardnesskgf184245172
Bending Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity)GPa9.110.98.6
Bending Strength (Modulus of Rupture)MPa70.869.759.3
Crushing StrengthMPa40.438.233.1
Shrinkage, Radial%4.1%4.6%2.1%
Shrinkage, Tangential%6.2%8.2%6.1%
Shrinkage, Volumetric%10.2%12.7%8.2%
T/R Ratio1.51.82.9
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
“Fast growing timber trees of the lowland tropics no. 2.” University of Oxford. 1968.
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
Cedrela Odorata. Cordero, J. Boshier, D. "Arboles de Centroamerica: Un manual para extensionistas." Oxford/CATIE. 2003
Cedrela odorata. Vozzo JA. (ed) "Manual de Semillas de Arboles Tropicales." 2010.
Cedro Americano. "Especies de madera, por nombre comercial, recogidas en la Guía." Directorio de la Madera 2016. AEIM.
Cedro Americano. Vignote Peña "Principales Maderas Tropicales Utilizadas en España."
Cedro Rojo. "Catalogo de Arboles." Red de Viveros de Biodiversidad.
Cedro. "Fichas técnicas sobre características
tecnológicas y usos de maderas
comercializadas en México." Tomo II. CONAFOR.
Cedro. Data Sheets. “The main technological characteristics of 245 tropical wood species.” Tropix 7. CIRAD.
David H., et al. 2014. "Guía Ilustrada Flora Cañón del río Porce, Antioquia." EPM E.S.P. Universidad de Antioquia, Herbario Universidad de
Antioquia - Medellín, Colombia.
Sed. Timyan, J. "Bwa Yo: Important Trees of Haiti." South-East Consortium for International Development. 1996.
Spanish Cedar. Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheets. Forest Products Laboratory. USDA Forest Service.
Longwood, F. R. "Present and potential commercial timbers of the Caribbean." Agriculture Handbook No. 207. U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1962.
Francis, John K; Lowe, Carol. Bioecología de arboles nativos y exóticos de Puerto Rico y las Indias Occidentales. International Institute of Tropical Forestry (Río Piedras, San Juan, P.R.). 2000.
Instituto Nacional de Bosques. 2019. Paquete Tecnológico Forestal para Cedro Cedrela odorata L. Guatemala, Departamento de Investigación Forestal. 87p. (Serie técnica DT-029-2019).
Vázquez-Yanes, C., A. I. Batis Muñoz, M. I. Alcocer Silva, M. Gual Díaz y C. Sánchez Dirzo. 1999. Árboles y arbustos potencialmente valiosos para la restauración ecológica y la reforestación. Reporte técnico del proyecto J084. CONABIO - Instituto de Ecología, UNAM.