Wood Technical Fact Sheet
Humiria balsamifera
Family: Humiriaceae


Other Common Names: Bastard bulletwood, Tabaniro (Guyana), Basra bolletrie, Tawanangro (Surinam), Bois rouge, Houmiri (French Guiana), Oloroso (Colombia), Couramira, Turanira (Brazil).


Distribution: The Guianas, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Brazilian Amazon. In Guyana it is a principal dominant species in the marsh forests; does best on light sandy soils. In Surinam occurs in savanna forests.


The Tree: Heights 90 to 120 ft with long cylindrical clear bole 60 to 70 ft; commonly 20 to 28 in. in diameter, occasionally up to 48 in.


The Wood:


General Characteristics: Heartwood varies from light brown to reddish brown; poorly demarcated from the narrow light brown sapwood. Texture medium; grain straight to interlocked; luster medium; without distinctive odor or taste.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.66; air-dry density 50 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)
Moisture content           Bending strength   Modulus of elasticity   Maximum crushing strength
(%)                                          (Psi)                 (1,000 Psi)                  (Psi)
green (75)                               11,720             2,060                          5,810
12%                                        18,770             2,510                          8,950
Janka side hardness 1,320 lb for green wood and 1,610 lb at 12% moisture content. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 146 in.-lb. (5/8-in. specimen).


Drying and Shrinkage: The wood air-dries at a rapid rate with slight surface and end checking and some warping. No data available on kiln schedules. Shrinkage from green to ovendry: radial 7.2%; tangential 9.7%; volumetric 15.7%.


Working Properties: The wood is moderately difficult to work, considerable chipped grain develops in planing wood with interlocked grain.


Durability: The species of Humiria have a reputation of being highly durable. Pure culture tests rate the wood very durable when exposed to white-rot fungus but durable to moderately durable in resistance to a brown-rot fungus. The wood is rated resistant to dry-wood termites, but has little resistance to marine borers.


Preservation: No information available.


Uses: Heavy construction, flooring, furniture, wheel spokes, suggested as a possible decorative veneer.

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