Greenheart Hardwood Lumber

Greenheart is an excellent timber for many uses, but is most highly regarded for marine construction because of its high resistance to marine borers and high resistance to fungi and termites.

Greenheart Hardwood Lumber


Demerara Greenheart

Scientific Name: Ocotea Rodiaei – (Family: Lauraceae)
A.T.I.B.T. Standard Name: Greenheart
Other Names: - bibiru, sipiri, rora, kwatuk, sipu, bibiju, beeberoe, sipiroe, groenhartbloom, gruenholz, gruenherzbaum, and bibirubaum

Greenheart is an excellent timber for many uses, but is most highly regarded for marine construction because of its high resistance to marine borers and high resistance to fungi and termites. The timber’s resistance to destructive agencies is further supported by exceptionally high strength properties, qualifying it for numerous uses where durability, strength and good wearing qualities are essential. Other woods are occasionally called greenheart and used as substitutes, but none have proved as satisfactory as true Demerara greenheart. Nearly all the commercial supply comes from Guyana, where it is one of the most plentiful timbers.


The tree is evergreen, usually dominant or co-dominant; it grows to a maximum of 40 inches in diameter and 130 feet in height, but on average 18-25 inches in diameter and 100 feet in height. Boles are generally cylindrical, straight and 50-80 feet long.


The wood is straight grained to interlocked grained, fine in texture, uniform, lustrous and cold to the touch. When the wood is fresh cut, it is strongly aromatic but becomes odorless and tasteless when dry. The wood is also usually free of knots and other defects.


The strength properties of Demerara Greenheart are exceptionally high, even for a wood of its great density. It is considered one of the strongest woods in the American tropics. In general the timber is exceptionally hard, heavy, tough, strong and elastic. Weight: In the green condition the timber weighs 75-80 pounds per cubic foot, and about 64 pounds per cubic foot (1030 kg/m3) when air-dry.
Specific Gravity: Air-dry wood averages about 1.04 based on air-dry volume and weight, and averages .88 based on green volume and oven-dry weight.
Bending Strength: 181 N/mm2 (26200 lbf/in2).
Modulus of Elasticity: 2100N/mm2 (304000 lbf/in2).
Compression Comparable to Grain: 89.9 N/mm2 (3040 lbg/in2).


The heartwood is almost immune to decay, fungi and termites; very highly resistant to marine borers and organisms; and has a high resistance to fire. Greenheart also has very good weathering characteristics and excellent wearability under heavy use.


Seasoning: Greenheart is moderately difficult to air-season and somewhat more difficult to kiln-dry in comparison to other timbers. The timber air-dries slowly with a marked tendency to check and with some end splitting. Warping is not serious and the total amount of degrade is not excessive. Kiln schedule B.
Working/Machining: The wood is easily sawn, in spite of a slight blunting effect and turns well. Planing is not difficult despite the high density of the wood and interlocked grain.
Assembly: Gluing gives fairly good results. Preboring is recommended for a good nail and screw holding.
Finishing: Finishes to a fine smooth lustrous surface and will also take a high finish with wax, oil, or French polish without the need of a filler. Staining is rarely necessary.


Greenheart’s natural durability nearly eliminates the need for preservative treatments. Only slight end penetration and virtually no lateral penetration is achieved by either open-tank or pressure treatment.


A very heavy and hard timber suitable for use under exacting conditions, outstanding in most of its strength properties, of very high durability, and having excellent resistance to attack by marine borers. Greenheart is available in very large sizes and long lengths, making it suitable for a variety of applications.
Marine Construction: piling, piers, lock gates, docks, braces, decking, bridges, groins, jetties, revetments, fenders, shipping platforms, ship construction, wharves, and harbor works.
General Construction: flooring, handrails, joinery in both interior and exterior situations, crane mats, railroad crossties/sleepers,
Other Applications: In the engineering industry as bearers for engines, and in chemical plants for vats, filter press plates and frames. In the sporting goods industry the wood is used for fishing rods, billiard cue butts, hiking/walking sticks and as a center laminar for longbows.


Found in commercial quantities only in Guyana’s forest. Regular and large supplies are readily available.