Green heart

Common Name(s): Greenheart


Scientific Name: Chlorocardium rodiei


Distribution: Northeastern South America (primarily Guyana and Suriname)


Tree Size: 75-100 ft (23-30 m) tall,


                     1.5-2 ft (.5-.6 m) trunk diameter


Average Dried Weight: 63 lbs/ft3 (1,010 kg/m3)


Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): 0.81, 1.01


Janka Hardness: 2,530 lbf (11,260 N)


Modulus of Rupture: 26,900 lbf/in2 (185.5 MPa)


Elastic Modulus: 3,573,000 lbf/in2 (24.64 GPa)


Crushing Strength: 13,290 lbf/in2 (91.7 MPa)


Shrinkage: Radial: 8.2%, Tangential: 8.9%,


                          Volumetric: 16.5%, T/R Ratio: 1.1


 More images | Identification

Color/Appearance: Heartwood can be highly variable in color, and is sometimes sold sorted into color categories of black, brown, yellow, and white—though there doesn’t seem to be any difference in strength or physical properties between the different colors. Generally the heartwood tends to be a pale brown to olive green color, sometimes with darker streaks. Yellowish sapwood is not clearly demarcated from the heartwood.


Grain/Texture: Grain tends to be straight to interlocked, with a fine to medium grain and good natural luster.


Rot Resistance: Greenheart is rated as very durable, with excellent insect/borer resistance. It’s also considered to be one of the best-suited woods for use in marine environments, and has good weathering and wear characteristics.


Workability: Generally somewhat difficult to work on account of its density, with a moderate to high blunting effect on cutters. Sections with interlocked grain should be machined with care to avoid grain tearout. Gluing can be difficult in some pieces, and precautions for gluing tropical species should be followed. Turns and finishes well. Responds moderately well to steam-bending.


Odor: Freshly cut green wood can have an aromatic scent, though the dried wood has little to no characteristic odor.


Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Greenheart has been reported as a sensitizer. Greenheart has also been observed to cause a number of other health effects, such as wheezing, cardiac and intestinal disorders, severe throat irritation, and the tendency for wood splinters to become infected. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

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