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Tree Data
Sapele is a large rain forest tree from Africa. It is reported to grow to heights of 150 feet (45 m), with trunk diameters of 48 to 72 inches (120 to 180 cm).

Boles are usually clear and cylindrical to heights of 80 to 100 feet (24 to 30 m).

Sapwood Color
The sapwood is gray-pink or cream in color.

Heartwood Color
The heartwood is pink when freshly cut, but it matures to a red-brown or purple-brown color.

The grain is moderately interlocked or wavy. Quarter cut Sapele is reported to yield a ribbon, regular stripe or bee's wing. Other cuts feature various desirable patterns, including fiddlebacks, roe or a mottled design, especially in wood containing wavy grain.

Texture is typically moderately fine.

Luster is described as high and golden.

The wood has a cedar-like scent that remains even after long exposure.

Gum Content
Gum canals are reported to be a natural feature in Sapele.

Movement in Service
The timber is reported to have moderate dimensional stability after seasoning, and shows medium movement in use.

Natural Durability

The wood is reported to be susceptible to pinhole borer, and marine borer attack. The sapwood is reported to be readily attacked by powder post beetle, but it is moderately resistant to African termites. Resistance to Impregnation The heartwood is nearly untreatable, while the sapwood is moderately resistant to preservatives.

Veneering Qualities
Sapele is reported to be available at moderate prices as veneer. Sapele pommeleis reported to be a popular veneer for designers in architectural interiors, table tops, and wall paneling. The material is quartered to yield a straight grain appearance, and is usually flat cut for cathedrals.


Category Green Dry Unit
Bending Strength 10233 17895 psi
Max. Crushing Strength 5115 8788 psi
Impact Strength 36 39 inches
Stiffness 1397 1704 1000 psi
Work to Maximum Load 10 16 in-lbs/in3
Hardness 1510 lbs
Shearing Strength 2288 psi
Specific Gravity 0.48 0.62
Weight 52 42 lbs/cu.ft.
Density (Air-dry) 42 lbs/cu.ft.
Radial Shrinkage (G->OD) 5 %
Tangential Shrink. (G->OD 7 %
Volumetric Shrink. (G->OD 14 %


Crown-Wood is a division of Crown-Holdings bvba, a registered company in Belgium active in the import/export & trading of all kinds of Tropical & Exotic Hardwoods (from South-East Asia, West Africa and South-America). 

Crown-Holdings bvba

Crown-Holdings bvba has the following divisions:

Contact details

a division of Crown-Holdings bvba

Baillet Latourlei 98
2930 Brasschaat

E-mail: info@crown-wood.be
Telephone: +32 3 480 10 14
Fax: +32 3 605 48 53